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Jul 22, 2014 01:53 AM

Aroma Cafe Hollywood - Report

It's practically the closest restaurant to me, even closer than Greenblatt's, the Griddle Cafe, Cheebo, etc. I'd been to the Tujunga version a couple of times. Yet when it opened oh-so-close to me, years ago, I was reticent. It was too popular. Jammed with industry hipsters.

But today, on a MONDAY, I had a hankering for Griddle Cafe and their massive pancakes. Still, a line, on Monday.

So we went to Aroma.

Holy crap!

First of all and who knew for a cafe/bakery: Full Bar!

Second, just a massive menu. Surely they can't do it all well (Gordon Ramsay would have it down to five dishes), but...

It's Mediterranean food (Israeli owned) the likes of which I haven't had outside of my trip to Turkey. Their #1 Breakfast is two eggs as you like with a salad (for breakfast! so Mediterranean) with julienned cucumber, tomato, and shaved feta. The shaved feta was unbelievable. Not your crumbly feta, it melted creamily in the mouth.

I ordered my eggs poached, medium well, and they came out just so.

#1 also included a pint of (truly) fresh squeezed OJ, bottomless coffee, their baked in house olive bread, house made marmalade, and their "olive cheese spread," which was like the cream cheese/salmon mix you get at your local bagelry, but with kalamatas instead of salmon. I mean, come on!

Wife had one of their (several) breakfast "burritos" (not really, because the wrapper is an ultra-thin, grilled lavash bread. I'm not generally a fan of "wraps," but this was really good): omelette, avocado, smoked salmon, spicy sauce.

The menu is ridiculous. Everything from beef stroganoff (with rice rather than noodles, which some will appreciate) to fish tacos, to filet mignon to all manner of Mediterrean staples like eggplant, puff pastry thingies w/fillings.

They also do smoothies, shakes, have 8-10 beers on tap, $5 house wine happy hour every day, drink specials, $9 all you can drink mimosas on weekends...

Please, someone tell me why it sucks so I don't go there all the time.

PS: did I mention "Full Bar?"

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  1. We moved to the area recently, and this is one of our standbys. We come from Israel, so this is a taste of home for us. If you want to try and Israeli tradition, go on the weekends for Jachnun. It is a Yemenite specialy, a kind of steamed bread served with hardboiled eggs, tomato puree, and hot sauce. Not something you want to eat every day, but worth trying once.

    What are your other favorite restaurants in the area?

    1. Can't speak to this location, but the Encino/Tarzana rendition is very loud. The waitresses are probably working on expired visas looking for green card marriages. There's a lot of patio smoking. You get a lot of "scene" for your money.

      1. This place, Aroma Bakery Cafe is related to the cafe in Encino, not Studio City. The Tujunga cafe is Cafe Aroma.

        Thanks for the report. I've been eager to try this place.

        4 Replies
        1. re: gr8pimpin

          thank you for clearing that up, I wasn't sure myself which one the OP was referring to. Is the Encino location the one located in the mall with the Laemmle theatre?

          1. re: medrite

            Actually, it's on Ventura Blvd (north side) at Lindley between a Carl's Jr. to the east and an urgent care to the west.

            1. re: gr8pimpin

              You forgot to mention that Aroma Encino is also good.

              1. re: cls

                Didn't know if it is good or not, never been. But I'll assume it's good now ;-)

        2. I recently tried it for the first time as well, and was very happy. I went on a weekday for breakfast, the place was pretty dead, but still the service was outstanding. Our servers name escapes me, but I'm thinking he maybe had a neck tattoo? Anyway, he was great! Very very attentive. I had a croissant sandwich, which was really good, and it came with fruit (the good fruit) and tater tots. Tater tots. Tater tots. That alone will make me go back. Want to try it out for dinner, but haven't gone yet. Oh, and their dessert case looked mouth-watering!!!

          1. I love, love, LOVE the sandwich called "The Tunisian" at the Aroma on Sunset.
            Tuna, eggs, tomato, onion and harissa spread on a crunchy "Jerusalem Sesame Bagel."