Cheap Eats: Cafe Aroma

When you accidently break a glass dish or cup at home it's unforgivable, but when you unintentionally break one at Café Aroma, it's a celebration.

Employees and customers begin whistling and cheering you on as if they want you to break another glass. But don't, it's just an Israeli wedding tradition that Café Aromas' regulars implement to lighten the mood when customers or employees accidentally break a dish. So, instead of feeling a sense of tension and embarrassment, jollity and laughter fill the air.

This comedic scenario is one of the many memorable attributes of a visit to Aroma, all of which make the experience of dining there that much better when paired with their extensive and stupefying menu.

When customers take a seat at one of Aromas tables, an strange experience occurs. They're offered a glass of water, a set of silverware, a candlelight setting, and a novel to the side. While they wait, and wait and wait for a waitress to bring the menu, customers decide to kill time while reading the book left in your presence.

After opening the first page, though, you realize that instead of a prologue, you are met with the beginning of a 52-page menu spread.

Amit Zacks, an Aroma regular said, "They have so many menu items, that even my picky sisters can find something they like."

The Aroma menu is comprised of approximately 22 different types of salads (some served with their zesty meat and crispy fish) and other assorted items that include colossal burgers, pizzas, sandwiches, pasta, and desserts. On top of it they offer an assortment of sweet fresh juice blends to accompany any meal.

On this particular trip, I ordered the large combination plate that included a generous portion of their mouthwatering steak fries, garden-fresh salad, and savory hummus.

Before starting on the dish sitting in front of me, I closed my eyes and wished that I was living the movie "Defending Your Life," where the main character dies and enters limbo where he can eat anything he wants, and as much as he wants, without gaining a pound.

Considering that I still had the physical limitations of an everyday girl, I did the most that I could to escape into my own imaginary land of gluttony exempt of consequences. I pushed the limits of my already stuffed stomach and ordered Aroma's famous chocolate soufflé at the end of my meal.

As the waiter served the warm chocolate bliss, my heart palpitated and as my hands trembled with the tiny spoon, I thought to myself, "Why am I eating this flawless delight with silverware made for babies?"

So, having eyes bigger than my stomach, I asked the waiter for a larger utensil.

Frankly, Café Aroma isn't the cheapest eatery in town, but if you're willing to spend $8 on a substantial entrée or desert, then Aroma gratifies.

Its diverse atmosphere is perfect for casual dates, family get-togethers, and friendly rendezvous.

So don't sulk the next time you break a plate, just drive yourself over to Sunset where anything goes at Café Aroma.