By Lindsay Tavarozzi & Taylor Salvato – 1851 Staff
Think of L’Aroma Cafe & Bakery as your new home away from home. It’s located on 15 Spencer Street in West Newton, about a mile from campus, and tucked directly behind West Newton Cinema. Cozy seating, faint
café music, and mouth-watering food prepared in-house will make you fall in love with this secluded cafe.
L’Aroma first opened in September 2009, and offers a variety of teas from Sri Lanka, as well as specialty coffee and espresso. The cafe also serves an array of sandwiches, salads, and daily specials, alongside their bakery items.
Sri Lankan owners Haleema and Ysuff Salie do the cooking, their son Afkham manages the business, and their grandson Sinan operates the register.
“Very few cafes make their own food. Everything that we serve is made here and that’s what makes us unique,” said Haleema. The cafe has an entire shelf dedicated to gluten-free baked goods, which often sell first.
L’Aroma serves hot drinks in ceramic cups with saucers. When Afkham or Sinan are making drinks, the espresso is deco- rated with a signature feather latte art. We had the pleasure of sampling a small hot cortado ($2.50) made by Afkham. The petite espresso has an enticing scent in every sip. The cortado was unlike anything we had ordered before, the rich aftertaste left our taste buds wanting more.
As for food, the cafe has a variety of options. We tried the Asian chicken salad ($8.50), which quickly took place as one of the best salads we’ve ever had. The greens are adorned with slices of grilled chicken mixed with barbecue sauce, red and yellow bell peppers, black sesame seeds, and crunchy wonton strips. The honey ginger dressing is the finishing touch for this sweet and crunchy salad.
According to Haleema, spinach and eggs is their best-seller. L’Aroma offers other delicious treats such as lemon bars, banana walnut bread, scones, and fresh fruit smoothies.
L’Aroma also offers the option to order half-sized sandwiches and salads, which cuts the price in half.
The second floor is reserved for electronic use accompanied by cushioned seating and strong Wi-Fi. The first floor is more of a meeting space where cus- tomers can read, eat, and relax.
Throughout L’Aroma, paintings and work from local artists decorate the walls, which are sold to help promote the local community. The café also has a newly ren- ovated events room, which can be rented out for meetings and parties.