The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Aroma Cafe and Bakery offers a unique dining experience

Photo Credit: Natalia Bereznyuk / Staff Photographer

Driving down Sunset Boulevard, it is impossible not to notice the spacious, contemporary building  of Aroma café and bakery. The restaurant includes  several patios and glass windows.

As you walk in, one will immediately notice that there are two plasma TV’s and a big projector in the middle of the room.  A friendly hostess will greet you and will offer you a choice to sit inside or outside. If you decide to sit outside, you will be asked to choose between smoking and non-smoking patios.

Non-smokers will appreciate the separation between the two different atmospheres.  Often those who do not smoke are forced to inhale second hand smoke when sharing an outdoor patio.

With over 50 pages, the café has a very diverse menu. Mixed with Mediterranean and European cuisine, patrons have a variety of dishes to choose from. Although the menu’s prices are more  expensive than most casual restaurants, it is well worth it.

Vegetarians, meat connoisseurs, sweets lovers, and those watching their weight will appreciate Aroma’s menu and dishes to satisfy your taste buds. The fish portion of the menu offers ahi tuna steak, salmon wrap, creamy tilapia and sea bass skewers.

You’ll also find an assortment of salads, pastas, hot and cold paninis, and sandwiches. The Pizzaromas Clay Oven section features barbecue chicken pizzas, neapolitana, and roasted vegetables.

The clay oven also offers sambusak, calzone, bourekas pinuk filled with egg, pickles and tahini.

The vegetarian menu lists mozzarella sticks, brochette, hummus plate and eggplant rolls.

Meat and poultry are the most versatile of choices on the menu. For poultry, rosemary chicken, pineapple chicken, chicken marcella, and orange chicken are just a few choices. Meat selections include rib-eye steaks, beef kababs, beef macao, lamb skewers, beef stroganoff, garlic skirt steak and lamb chops. With the variety of choices, it is impossible to list all of them.

The most interesting dish I found on the menu was the Coca-Cola Chicken. The menu described it as chicken marinated in Coca-Cola, baked with potatoes and served with mixed greens. I was astonished to learn of the interesting marinade.

I decided to go vegetarian that evening. I narrowed my choices down to either the baked portabello mushrooms stuffed with spinach, and the baladi eggplant.

However, the baladi eggplant sounded more exotic, so I ordered it and a drink consisting of orange juice, crushed mint and a hint of lemonade on top.  My goal was to to find a dish under $15.

My whole eggplant arrived baked and burned over open fire, covered with tahini sauce and chopped Israeli salad. Perhaps tahini sauce, a sesame seed paste, was too exotic for me. Other than that, I enjoyed the meal.

Aroma Café also has a full bar that features specialty cocktails. You can also buy freshly baked bread such as olive, seven grain or walnut raisin to go, as well as cookies and pastries.

If you are gulity of having a sweet tooth, Aroma’s bakery is the right place to come. I couldn’t resist trying light and soft crème brulee, which was exquisite.

Being stunned by such a wide variety of food, it’s so easy to forget about the prices. Just remember that although the ambiance is casual, the bill may be higher than you expected.
I’d recommend taking advantage of the cafe’s lunch hours, and trying Aroma’s specials that are available from Monday through Friday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

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