Thursday, September 20, 2012

Aroma Coffee and Tea

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Studio City, CA. An evening of small bites and conversation led my friend and I to round out the night with a warm beverage and cake at Aroma Coffee and Tea. He spoke of the cafe before but timing never suited either one of us to convert the talk into reality. Looks are a bit deceiving in this eclectic eatery. The tight-fitting entryway, the line out the door, and the humble display cases can make the wraparound patio unnoticed. Yet, once an order is placed, desserts chosen, and the quest for a seat occurs, one realizes how spacious the eatery is for extended conversations of any sort.

My friend saw my eyes brighten up when I saw the pastry display case, not because it was 'just' another pastry - but because I recognized a few desserts from Crumb Fairy Bakery, an innovative bakery supplying cakes to a number of valley coffee houses and cafes. In studying the other offerings, it became realized that this wasn't 'just' a cafe either - it's a full restaurant, and if I weren't so stuffed, I'd have a lot more to consider. I asked the cashier a few questions and my friend and I decided on a couple drips (coffee beans delivered weekly by Fonte Miicro Coffee Roaster), then took our seats next to a heat lamp outside.

Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding - I've had this before, enjoyed this before, and enjoyed this again. The pudding is dense, served warm, and usually hard to eat in full. Luckily my friend was with me (however small-stomached he claims to be) to chow down on the remaining bits. The hot coffee was a great balance to the sweet, warm, chocolate-riddled dessert. I've made versions of this before paired with a light custard, and I could only imagine where a warm crème anglaise could take this, though possibly gratuitously so.

Chocolate Cake with White Chocolate Buttercream

Chocolate Cake with White Chocolate Buttercream - I've been on an exploratory mission to find a great, moist, chocolate cake to get my creativity flowing for a few home recipes. This triple-layer cake was no different than most chocolate cakes I've tasted: moist enough but left me wanting, and the buttercream was a rich, too rich - either my mouth was going numb from the sugar or the cool outdoor temperature was messing with my taste buds. The chocolate cake was 'fine,' and for anyone who loves it normally, it may prove to be a safe choice with its rather traditional make. 

Different areas of the patio had different vibes, whether it be families, students, those kicking back and reading their latest book, awkward first dates, or friends catching up. The mixture felt right at its most comfortable and warrants several future return trips for coffee, food, and dessert treats.

Aroma Cofee and Tea
4360 Tujunga Ave
Studio City, CA 91604

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