Om My! Peace, Love, Unity at Rumi Café

Rumi Cafe offers earthy fare in a ‘60s throwback atmosphere.

Rumi Café owner Alex insists that his 3-year-old Sherman Oaks establishment (slightly off Ventura Boulevard around the corner from The Great Greek) has no connection with an adjacent yoga studio. Still, a visit to Rumi provides a similarly enlightened experience.

Manager Alex at Rumi

In fact, The Sauce is here right now (although by the time you read this, it will be next week). But don't worry—time is relative at Rumi, which feels like a campus coffee house from, say, the 1960s crossed with a meditation sanctuary. Alex tries to create a “place of peace and love” in which you are encouraged to avail yourself of free Wi-Fi, borrow a book from the shelf, play a game of backgammon or study an impressive wall of portraits of dozens of spiritual leaders including the restaurant’s namesake, the Persian poet Rumi.

Veggie breakfast burrito (meats optional)

No one’s rushing you out at Rumi. In fact, you might have to go in search of your check when you are finally ready to leave. The menu, with most items under $10, blends lunch-counter-style dishes like club sandwiches or grilled cheese with vegetarian fare including a very flavorful grilled breakfast burrito stuffed with smoky mushrooms, spinach, cheddar and assorted veggies and a design-your-own smoothie of five items, give or take ($5.95). The official Sauce smoothie was not too sweet and contained a mud-colored but refreshing combo of celery, cucumber, ginger, spinach and apple.

We tried one dessert, a red velvet cake that was clearly taken from the freezer and reheated. There are certainly better places to find fresh bakery treats nearby on Ventura Boulevard. But if you stick to smoothies, soups and veggie dishes and plan to stay for a while, you might agree with one visitor who left this personal note on one of the tables: Rumi feels like “a spiritual cove carved out by the creator of the Universe.”

13368 Ventura Blvd., 818-208-9181

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