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Restaurants & Bars 2

Bosnian delights at Aroma Cafe

Low End Theory | Feb 9, 200502:15 AM

Dear Chowhounds,

Just tried Aroma Cafe, the family-run Bosnian standout in a Westside mini-mall (2350 Overland south of Pico, east side). My friend Julia was once a restaurant critic in Prague – where bad restaurants and money-laundering go hand in hand? - and has actually spent time in Bosnia. I wanted to propagate her expert knowledge, because the meal we had was particularly fine and because PayOrPlay’s previous post linked from my ChowNews has vanished.

Some Bosnian classics:

- Burek are charmingly intestine-shaped phyllo pastries with a variety of fillings (shades of cheung fun / “intestine”-like rice noodles at dim sum). Cheese and spinach were flaky and delicious.

- Cevapi [“ch-”] are a delightful firm-textured minced sausage kebab distinguished by their dainty size and charry grilled exterior. Apparently the Bosnian equivalent to streetside tacos, with the same addictive quality – cevapi sandwich on excellent house bread has got to be a winner. Pljeskavica are patty-ized kebabs with a different ratio of grilled exterior : juicy interior. Shish kebab is much like Persian lula kebab but a little drier than say, Raffi’s Platonic ideal.

- Two stupendous housemade dips of note. Kajmak is churny soured cream in which one can stand a spoon, a miracle of controlled spoilage. Ajvar is a bright red paprika, pepper and eggplant concoction. Ask for these!

- Kefir is a yoghurt drink, the native beverage ala Persian dough or Armenian taan, sans mint.

- Stuffed cabbage contains rice and ground meat as usual. This version is substantially tastier than most, not only is it served with a healthy dollop of kajmak but there is a contrast between sour leaf and moist filling that beats the squishy Eastern European stereotype. Stuffed pepper is also exemplary.

- Rotating dessert selection guarantees future visit, as the waitress’ favourite krempita (creamy pastry thing) was unavailable. Baklava is well above average and strudel-style apple pie is fine.

This is just the sort of restaurant I love, it’s priced for the people and the quality is uncompromising (plus I can add another single-restaurant category to my blog, matching “Uzbeki”...).

Happy eating,

Low End Theory

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