Coral Tree Cafe
In the middle of quite possibly the busiest boulevard in the San Fernando Valley, there is a rustic building that resembles an old wooden shack. Surrounded by freeways on all sides, the roads are filled with loud traffic every morning, but once inside, the hominess of a nostalgic western American cabin sets in.
Built with large open windows, the inside of the restaurant is illuminated by a natural sunlight that adds to the welcoming and cozy atmosphere. The interior consists of wooden walls, tables, and floors. Barrels and tools adorn the inside and tie together the cabin-shed theme.
Walking into the restaurant, the first thing many notice are the pastries prettily displayed in the shelves at the register.
Fresh-baked cookies, brownies, tarts, cakes and pies entice one as they walk up to sizeable chalk menus which reveal that this cafe is more than tea and crumpets.
Though the restaurant also serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, and even has a happy hour bar, the cafe is such a substantial highlight, enough to be the main draw that brings in the morning crowd on an early Thursday.
For a quick and sweet, but not saccharine, waker-upper, the lattes sure do the job for a reasonable price. The big portions are served in white teacups and are available in vanilla and caramel flavors, and to brighten up the morning even more, they are specially decorated in a style known as “latte art.” One 00particular latte had the cream taking the form of a happy Despicable Me minion surrounded by daisy flowers.
This is the kind of food that makes one feel guilty to eat, for consuming it destroys the beauty and artistry that went into making it, but the great taste absolves that guilt pretty quickly.
Sometimes eating something very sweet completely eliminates the flavor of the next food item that is consumed. Well, that’s not the case at the Coral Tree Cafe. Because the sweetness of the caffeine beverages is so subdued, adding a pastry to morning coffee won’t be too taxing on the taste buds.
On top of a crumbly crust foundation, fresh slices of banana are stacked and smothered by a swirly mountain of whipped cream. Chocolate and caramel sauce and small peanut chunks are delicately drizzled on top. What would otherwise be a too sweet treat, is balanced by the healthy tastiness of the banana, and the neutralizing sweetness of the crust.
For those looking for something healthier, or something that appears to be healthier, the fruit tart is as aesthetically pleasing as it is tasty. Served on a crust similar to that of the banana cream pie, a variety of fruits are piled on top and coated with a caramel glaze. Fresh strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and mango look as if they were polished and hand-selected based on their visual appeal.
A day could be had at the Coral Cafe; it caters to all meals of the day. The cafe is pricier than most, but there are some very affordable items on the menu–such as the under $10 pastries.
The cafe is located on the corner of Ventura and Encino boulevards. They are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Breakfast is served on weekdays until 11 a.m. and until 3 p.m. on weekends.