Tucked away in the valley of Los Angeles hides rustic Aroma, an enchanting bungalow style cafe famous for its heavenly array of flaky pastries and moist cakes, hand roasted coffee, and generous portions of home-style recipes that uniquely integrate comfort and health food.
Owner Mark Gunsky designed the delightful oasis based on the idea of “something for everyone.” Locals claim the bustling hotspot never fails to draw a loyal crowd from the doorway to the lovely clothing shops along chic Tujunga Avenue. The staff is cheery, the atmosphere is eclectic, the vibe is the essence of southern California: the perfect commingling of laidback and upbeat.
The barista recommends the fresh salmon filet or buffalo mozzarella stuffed caprese press Panini yet reassures: “Absolutely everything is good.” Good and affordable, with all dishes under $15.
Wind your way through the restaurant and you’ll feel right at home amongst the walls of antique relics and cozy nooks. Enjoy a sunny day by people watching on the café’s sidewalk seating or find your happy place beneath the orange blossoms on the back patio, adorned with darling red umbrellas and kitschy hanging bulbs.
Its charming yet relaxed mystique may be just the reason Aroma is so dearly coveted as a celebrity secret frequented by Ashley Greene, Hilary Duff, Jennifer Lopez and Vanessa Hudgens. During my visit I spot Tyler Blackbird, actor on the popular television series “Pretty Little Liars.” No need for a star map here.
The server promptly brought out my “personal trainer endorsed” breakfast platter: a homemade turkey burger patty, scrambled egg whites, spinach, and black beans with flour tortillas; a hearty meal overflowing the edges of my colossal plate. For a light lunch, you can’t go wrong with the wild rice and tofu salad, a summery fusion of cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, and sliced avocado on a bed of baby mixed greens with (you guessed it: homemade) lemon-herb vinaigrette.
To top it off, a creamy dark chocolate chip loaded cheesecake slice with crumbly Oreo crust. The tangy, fluffy texture is perfectly countered by the bittersweet chocolate. It’s just the icing on the cake.