So I must begin by saying how excited I was to stumble across this place as I was surfing the interwebz for cafes in the SGV. I’ve been wishing for some time now for a place within a 10 minute driving distance from home in terms of cute cafes and a new study spot. They say that when you study in different places, it helps you remember certain material better because you correlate the memory of what you were studying to where you were at that place in time. Not sure how much of that holds true, but I digress…
Night Owl Cafe recently opened up a couple of weeks ago, if I’m not mistaken. It’s less than a 10 minute driving distance from where I live. If you’re familiar with the Arcadia/Temple City area, this is located in the newly built plaza adjacent to CVS on Las Tunas Drive. There’s a good amount of parking due to the existing CVS. The facilities are nice and new. At the moment, there’s no sign outside the establishment yet with the cafe’s name, so you’ll have to look for the chalkboard they place outside the front door.
Right when the boyfriend and I walked through the doors, we were greeted by the friendly staff. Even before we got to tackle their menu, we were offered a small cup to sample their Royal Milk Tea (yes, it was delicious). I always appreciate when restaurants or cafes offer free samples to gain feedback from customers about their products. Anyhoo, we browsed through the menu, unsure of what drinks and/or waffles to order. The young miss at the register promptly flipped the ipad at the counter around and showed us pictures of the different types of waffles they serve. Looking at the pictures in high resolution sealed the deal for us, so we ordered peanut butter & jelly waffles, strawberry cafe au lait, and green tea with red bean au lait. They take your order on their iPad btw! I thought it was nice… it seems like more cafes are starting to use this system.
There are about 5 tables or so available for use, however all were occupied when we arrived. This cafe is on the smaller side, but they do know how to utilize their space very well in my opinion! They have bar-like tables established on two separate walls, with about 5 bar stools accompanying each one. There are outlets beneath, which is always a plus. So I settled into a corner, whipped out my laptop and got down to business.
There were people coming in and out the entire time I was there. The cafe was well staffed, so we didn’t wait too long for our orders.
So how were the drinks?
The green tea with red bean cafe au lait had a nice green tea flavor. Boyfriend commented that he appreciated the fact that it wasn’t watered down like other places we’ve been to. It had a nice flavor and it wasn’t too sweet–a good balance. My strawberry au lait tasted like strawberries and creme, however, again it wasn’t too sweet (a big plus for me). The only bone I have to pick with this drink is the strawberry drizzle over the top. The strawberry drizzle reminds me of the strawberry jelly frosting that Asian bakeries use to write “happy birthday” on cakes. It’s not the most appetizing for me, and I could definitely do without it. I almost wished that they had used either white chocolate or strawberry chocolate shavings over the top instead, but that’s just me.
Yes, waffles…guh, I don’t know why I love waffles so much. I didn’t really grow up eating homemade waffles at all. We always had a huge stash of eggo waffles in the freezer, for a quick breakfast before school, but other than that my mom rarely used the waffle iron. The only thing I do remember is that I grew up eating the green pandan waffles that they would serve at Vietnamese bakeries. Yum!
The waffles here are definitely not like a liege waffle (so get that idea out of your head if that’s what you were expecting). They’re actually fluffy, similar to a pancake-like consistency, but with a nice crunchy exterior. They stuff the bottom of the bowl with waffles, then strawberries, then a layer of syrup, then corn flakes, then whipped cream, then almonds, then a scoop of ice cream, AND THEN 4 slices of waffles. *Whew* That was a lot to list out. I loved the crunch of waffle with the nice fluffy consistency on the inside. The portions may not seem like much when you take a first glance, but the boyfriend and I was able to split it between the two of us and we were pretty full shortly after. I think I was pleasantly surprised with the corn flakes. I liked the contrasting textures they had with this dessert–it was simply, delicious.
Overall, I would definitely come back to this place. I think this will become my new favorite study spot. The ambience is great, staff is friendly, and the music they play is so chill. I hate it when cafes play really loud techno or they bump hip hop. It’s definitely distracting. Anyway, give this place a try.
168 Las Tunas Dr
Arcadia, CA 91007