or, The Great Chiliaquiles Hunt of 2016: Part 2
I finished my trip to Los Angeles and the Action on Film International Film Festival with a hop over to Studio City to continue with the Great Chilaquiles Hunt of 2016. I was with my roomie for the week, a filmmaker from Florida, who was more than eager to be this post’s Brunch Buddy. She was even kind enough to introduce me to another big fan of Brunch before skipping over to the Aroma Coffee and Tea Company.
Let me tell you, this place is a treat. The first sight of the line-up outside can be quite daunting, but fear not, the place is a maze of seating options. It’s like they’ve taken an old house with a big yard and snaked tables all around the expanse of the property. The line moves fairly quickly and the tables rotate in a reasonable fashion. You order and pay at the counter, take your number and find your spot. Brunch will be delivered.
The menu is huge, so grab one while you’re in line and take your time. If I was not on the hunt for the ever delicious chilaquiles, I might have been a bit overwhelmed, but I was a brunch blogger on a mission. Not even the massive display of house made cakes and pies could distract me. Okay, I admit, it distracted me a little bit, because as I saw a couple of plates go by, I knew I was in trouble.
The Brunch Buddies were not shy. The roomie showed some self restraint and ordered the Breakfast Quesadilla (grilled chicken breast, scrambled eggs, spinach, monterey jack, aged cheddar cheese grilled in a flour tortilla with sour cream, guacamole, and pico de gallo) with a fruit salad. Our local bruncher ordered an omelette with three farm fresh eggs served with oven roasted rosemary potatoes and toast with a side of turkey breakfast sausage. She convinced me to add the sausage to my order, and I did. Being a local with a fridge to return to (I was heading for the airport) she also ordered the German Chocolate Cake.
The plates that arrived were generous and colourful, and unlike some places that rely on huge plates to detract you from the lack of flavour, everything was lip-smacking good. The chilaquiles was a plateful of cheesy wonder, the beans perfect and the guacamole fresh. My only issue was that the scrambled eggs were only partially buried in the tortilla chips and cheese. I had to do my own thorough mix. The quesadilla was loaded with chunks of chicken and the breakfast eggs came just as ordered. The turkey sausage was delicious but it was too much food for me.
Our local buddy grabbed some “to go” containers for the rest of her meal, my last sausage and the cake. She’s a sly one this gal, the cake was always intended for take-out. We finished our fresh and richly-flavoured coffee and headed out into the heat of the day, or in my case the pandemonium of LAX, well fortified and content.
I found this to be the perfect California setting; outdoors, shaded, and relaxed. Aroma is the kind of local hideaway you dream of finding when you’re on vacation. It’s a place where you can feel like a local, while never exiting vacation mode.
I have to add that this place makes me want to add a “friendliness factor” to my reviews. Yes, the staff were unflappably friendly in the face of the constant client onslaught, but the people in the line-up were too. I had a lovely conversation with a couple while we waited to pay for our order. Everything about the wait was enjoyable. How many times do you get to say that?
Whether you’re in Los Angeles for a Film Festival, a Chilaquiles Hunt of your own, or just to get away from it all, check out Aroma Coffee and Tea Company. It’s the real deal of California experiences.
Movie Recommendation: Gidget (1959) stars Sandra Dee, Cliff Robertson and James Darren. It’s one of the first California beach party films.
4360 Tujunga ave. Studio City, California
Open from 6 am Monday through Saturday, and 6:30 am on Sundays