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“We were pleasantly surprised….”
Review of Cafe Aroma

Cafe Aroma
Ranked #2 of 42 Restaurants in Idyllwild
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $10 - $30
Cuisines: American, Italian, Fusion
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Local cuisine, Romantic
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, Breakfast, Reservations, Takeout
Description: TripAdvisor's #1 Rated Restaurant in Idyllwild for 2014 Working in tandem with amazing culinary talent, some of which have gone on to The Culinary Institute of America at Hyde Park, NY and Le Cordon Bleu, the Aroma kitchen team uses classic recipes infused with unique, original ingredients, to create beautiful dishes with French, Nuevo Latino, Asian and SoCal influences. Cafe Aroma proudly supports our local farmers, wineries and brewers and features fresh, organic, and sustainable products, along with vegetarian and gluten free options. A unique bistro-gallery experience, featuring some of Idyllwild's most well-known and accomplished artists, featured in two-month, rotating exhibits. Idyllwild's hippest and funkiest dining establishment, Cafe Aroma is the hot spot on "The Hill." Enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner, along with great snacks and desserts and an assortment of bottled micro-brews and local, artisan wines, indoors or out, on our free Wi-Fi enabled patio deck, the inspiration of Cafe Aroma's "accidental owner" for the last 12 years, Hubert Halkin. Hubert's list of deeds is long, including being an Idyllwild resident for many years, Professor Emeritus and Department Chair of Mathematics at UCSD, a mean bridge player, and all around groovy Frenchman. Not to mention...You won't believe what he can demonstrate table-side with a straw and your Osso Bucco bone! Music is one of the cafe's cornerstones, and features an amazing array of talented musicians, known locally, regionally and nationally. It's no wonder that, among musicians, Cafe Aroma's outdoor stage is known as the Madison Square Garden of Idyllwild! The community of Idyllwild is an eclectic collection of souls, comprised of entrepreneurs, artists of every flavor, hipsters and church-goers, authors and meditators, some really cool, old school jazz cats, and a few belly dancers and ballerinas. Cafe Aroma is the gathering place for everyone, the place to "see and be seen" and features the most dog-friendly patio around. Restaurant, Art Gallery, Social Club and a Home Away From Home...If your home was this cool!
Brea, California
Level Contributor
22 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“We were pleasantly surprised….”
Reviewed October 26, 2013

This seemed like a small, sleepy town. Who would expect a great restaurant, with fresh produce and daily specials. We set in the patio, lucky to get the last table without a wait. The service was very attentive. The food (portions, price) great. During our visit, four different people had recommended it. We can see why.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank HLCCA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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479 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    291
    121
    42
    15
    10
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Arabic first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Paso Robles, California
Level Contributor
35 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“A mixed bag”
Reviewed October 23, 2013

We were excited to have our first dinner at Café Aroma. There was a line out the door...it must be great! We were ushered in and ordered a garlic bisque and caesar salad. The bisque was flavorful but the salad dressing was more like a thin balsamic without any egg-anchovy-lemon-garlic depth of flavor. The entrees were good though the chipotle sauce on the pork shank seemed wrong.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank janosbuzmeg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SO CAL
Level Contributor
224 reviews
156 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 134 helpful votes
“BAD SERVICE!”
Reviewed October 22, 2013

Walked in around 1:30 p.m. on a sunny warm afternoon. After looking inside we elected to sit on the outdoor deck. Deck tables all taken with nice crowd, some with their dogs. A lady was playing a variety of songs next to the deck. She sounded very pleasant and her music fit in with the atmosphere.

I enjoyed a garlic soup and my husband ordered a sandwich, an IPA Beer and I a Diet Coke. Nothing spectacular just good.

Our waiter Justin was far from efficient. No smile, no welcome, no personality. When we gave him our order he began inputting it on an I-pad like device. Unfortunately he doesn't seem able to retain the order and input it at the same time. He kept verbally confirming the order which kept being wrong. Finally he "got" it and we enjoyed the sun and surroundings.

After our order came, Justin never came over to see how everything was. When he was flying by from other tables I asked him if I could get a Diet Coke refill. He said sure and that was the last I saw of him. Finally I flagged down another waitstaff who nicely brought me a refill.

We requested the check and left; not going to come back. No thank you, good-bye, etc. Nothing worse than bad service let alone non-appreciative..

Bill with tax was $30. Needless to say we saved on the tip.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank nshugg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vista, California
Level Contributor
12 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Our aroma cafe experiences”
Reviewed October 10, 2013

We have been to Aroma 6-7 times. The food is usually between excellent to outstanding. The ambiance is great, romantic and probably the best in the area. Service is usually good....but they can be very busy on weekends and holidays. If you are in a hurry and expect LA service you should go back to LA. This is a mountain retreat with fantastic food and people. Enjoy it for what it is and you will become a regular.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank joe c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami, Florida
Level Contributor
20 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Good food.”
Reviewed October 3, 2013

If you go to Idylllwild, CA everyone there will tell you that you MUST go to Cafe Aroma for breakfast, lunch or dinner! The food is fresh and original, the setting is charming and relaxed, but the best aspect is the warm and welcoming reception you get from waiters & waitresses. I thought it was somewhat overpriced - but this is a remote place; and the sourdough bread is sometimes beyond "crusty"... it's just plain hard. Nice place to meet friends and just hang for a while.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank karmapr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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