Court and I met up for lunch a couple Saturdays ago, and I wanted something chic, so I suggested Aroma in La Jolla because I loved their soup, salad, and crepe combo, and I knew I could get a vegetarian spin there; however, I hadn’t been there in almost a year, and it wasn’t quite the same as I remember.
When we got there around 2:00, Aroma was packed, which is fine, so we waited at the front desk, but as the hostess came and went and came and went, it took longer than it should to even be acknowledged. Once she finally recognized us, she informed us of how busy the restaurant was and offered to seat us in the accompanying sports baresque restaurant next door (“night club” at night), BarFly. We were cool with that and sat next door in a booth in the back of the empty room. Without getting into every second, I will just say service was poor. Our waiter was nice enough, but everything took forever, and as far as we could tell, he was only waiting in BarFly, which only included us and two other tables on the back patio (although, all the food was likely coming from the same kitchen as Aroma, so I’ll give him that). Wait time is a big deal, though. Waiting to be seated at a busy restaurant when you don’t have a reservation is expected, but waiting to be served is not. Service – start to finish: not so good at Aroma or BarFly.
Menu. The crepes are gone! They were really good, and every time my girlfriend, Tammy, and I would meet up there on our lunch breaks, we both would get them, and we both loved them. I searched the menu over several times. No crepes. Megabummed, I moved onto to the vegetarian scan, and I went for a classic, Margherita pizza for $10.95. It may have taken a long time to get to me, but in a redemptive turn, the pizza came out hot and cheesy with a chewy dough and crispy edges. Margherita is favorite pizza, but there are two ways to mess it up: not enough tomatoes and not enough basil. Usually, the tomatoes are okay – I mean, if you are ordering a Margherita, they should assume you want tomatoes on it, right? Cooks, however, seem to have different opinions on basil. Some go for it, and some put tow leaves in the center of your pie and call it a day. Barfly hit it right, liberally sprinkling basil over the well-distributed romas. The pizza is big enough that you’ll be taking half of it home for lunch the next day, and who doesn’t love that? Food: quite good.
If I’m in the area and need to eat, I might go back to Aroma or BarFly, but I don’t think I’ll be going out of my way to head over there again. I will say, though, that there are a good amount of vegetarian options. I hope it was just an off day because I used to really like this place, and the food has always been good, so maybe I’ll give it another shot sometime.