Aroma Coffee & Tea

As I'm fond of saying about Los Angeles, you don't actually have to be in Los Angeles to eat well here.  The valley is packed with little gems from Sherman Oaks to North Hollywood, and where breakfast is concerned, one of my favorite pre-work spots is Aroma Coffee & Tea Company in Tujunga Village.

Originally a private residence, it was transformed years ago into an eclectic seat-yourself eatery with a pastry case full of locally-sourced goodness, excellent coffee and teas, a charming book store and gift shop, and a back yard-turned-patio filled with perfectly mismatched outdoor and lounge furniture that makes the entire experience casual, relaxed and inviting.

You'll wait to get into the at almost any hour, but it hardly matters with the smell of baked goods and bacon in the air, and the beauty of the cafe itself.  My favorite spot is probably their copper-topped bar nook, over-the-top with its gigantic crystal chandelier and wall of mirrors ... the perfect spot for a morning latte and conversation with a best girlfriend.  

There is no rush here ... you choose your meal, take your number, wander through the garden for a table and at some point, they'll bring you your food.  Of course, while there is little sense of urgency on the part of the guest, happily the service is brisk and friendly.

And the food?  Delicious.  Fresh omelettes with crisp breakfast potatoes, individual pots of jam and whole grain toast.  Or, french toast and pastries that make you want to weep.  For lunch or dinner, choose from crisp salads, burgers and amazing paninis like sliced apple and brie ... good lord, it's yummy.

Plus, it's a neighborhood place, wholly walkable and surrounded by plenty of shopping/strolling awesomeness.  Who says you can't walk anywhere in LA?


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