18047 Ventura Blvd
Encino, CA 91316
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Aroma Bakery & Cafe

Neighborhoods: Encino
Cuisine: Middle Eastern, Gluten Free, Breakfast

Aroma Bakery & Cafe is a Middle Eastern, Gluten Free, and Breakfast restaurant where most Menuism users came for fun with friends, paid between $10 and $25, and tipped more than 18%.

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  • 7/03/2017

    A Middle Eastern chowhound from Los Angeles, CA tried it.

  • 4/10/2016

    A diner from Winter Garden, FL tried it and liked it. They liked the food.

  • 11/09/2015

    A diner from Encino, CA tried it.

Ching photo

Ching

 Santa Monica, CA
 

Fresh Israeli Yumminess

I ABSOLUTELY ADORE this place.

One late night after attending a friend’s party, my now ex and I were trolling up and down Ventura Blvd in hopes of finding a decent place for some much needed grub. We passed by Norm’s and were in the process of making a U-ie, and THAT’s when I spied Aroma. “Stooop!! We HAFTA go there!” Thankfully, he agreed with me cuz he’s as much of a vibe lover as I am. At close to midnight on a week night, Aroma was hoppin’. The fire pit was roaring, music was blaring, tons of gorgeous Persian/Israeli people dining, drinking, smoking, laughing…yes, Norm’s became an after thought. Puhleeze, like there was really ever any comparison?

Two years later, I’m still a huge fan of Aroma even though I work/play/live NOWHERE near the Valley. Yesterday, I lunched with my sis in law, Sabrina L., while visiting the sweet baby niece. Here’s what we shared…-(I’m so loving that my bro married an adventurous foodie):

  • Hummus & Ahi Tuna Shawarma – I’m very particular about hummus because I like it seasoned with a lot of tahini, and Aroma is the only place that seems to make it to my satisfaction. My sis in law wanted to try it, and it was surprisingly good. The ahi tuna shawarma was a bit chewy in texture and not at all “ahi” like. The flavor of the tuna tasted a lot like curry, so not sure how shawarma like it was supposed to be. The name of the dish was misleading, in my opinion, because I had different expectations of how this dish was supposed to taste. I still enjoyed it, but I really prefer their plain hummus with hard boiled eggs or their eggplant hummus plates. This hummus seemed over powered by the tuna shawarma flavor. However thumbs up because all their hummus plates seem to be served with generous portions of warm fluffy pita.
  • Grilled Veggie Sandwich with portobello mushrooms and other vegetables, goat cheese and pesto on toasted ciabatta bread. I liked this very much. In fact all of their sandwiches and bagel sandwiches are really good. Large portions that always come served with fresh salads.
  • Jachnun which is a traditional baked Yemenite Jewish dish prepared from rolled dough. As per custom, its only eaten on Saturdays, and somehow we were able to order this yesterday on a Sunday. As soon as I cut into it, I could clearly see that it was made out of rolled LAYERS of dough. When I bit into it, it had a very chewy texture that was reminiscent of the Burmese parantha of my childhood. I knew immediately that this dough based dish was extremely time consuming to prepare as there’s lot of kneading involved that no Cuisine Art bread maker could duplicate. It HAS to be hand prepared. This dish was definitely an acquired taste. My sis in law didn’t seem to care for it, but I really enjoyed it mainly because it was reminiscent of what I enjoyed as a child.
  • Chocolate Souffle with dollops of fresh cream and a serving of vanilla ice cream. – this one was very nicely executed. Light crust on top to reveal creamy chocolate souffle filling inside the cake crust.

Sigh…yes, we had lots of take out boxes to bring home as left overs. We were in a taste testing mood. :)

Here’s what else I’ve enjoyed in the past:

  • Sea Bass Skewers, with rice substituted by couscous – yummilicious.
  • Roasted Eggplant served with tahini sauce and salad – yummilicious.
  • Herb Crusted Salmon Salad – yummilicious.
  • Mango Pecan Salad – yummilicious.
  • Panini Portobello – yummilicious.
  • Margherita Pizza – pretty good
  • Creamy Tilapia – this dish was NEVER successfully shared between my ex and I. As soon as one was grabbing a portion, the other would grab the dish back. This one is one of my ALL time favs!

*Raviloi with Sun Dried Tomatoes and goat cheese sauce. Seriously decadent GOOD.
The only dish I really DIDN’T LIKE was the Greek Plate. Maybe if there was hummus served with it, as falafel does, it would taste better. But all the ingredients are super fresh as with all of their dishes. Can’t argue that it’s not healthy, but I just didn’t care for this.

Too bad they don’t take reservations and there’s always a huge wait to get in during prime time, but I’ve never minded waiting since I enjoy chatting with my companions who have dined here with me. They do have valet parking $3 if there are no metered street parking avail, but I usually go late at night when there’s plenty of FREE street parking to choose from.

I prefer dining in the canopied patio area, but could do without all the 2nd hand cigarette smoke. It has a very Euro cafe vibe to it, much more than their Sunset Blvd location, which is also very good, but I much prefer this location in Encino.

Kudos to them for having high chairs to accommodate babies, but I wouldn’t recommend bringing small children in the evening.

Truly, Aroma is my crack in the Valley. I loooove this place!

Raviloi with Sun Dried Tomatoes and goat cheese sauce

*Raviloi with Sun Dried Tomatoes and goat cheese sauce. Seriously decadent GOOD.

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Middle Eastern Gluten Free Breakfast
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Aroma Bakery & Cafe  Restaurant Reviews

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Aroma Bakery & Cafe is located near the cities of Stafford, Lake Balboa, Sherman Oaks, and Reseda.
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