julius c. - Hancock Park, CA - 04/18/2007
There was a long line, but once I got to the front I was greeted with kindness, something I'm still getting used to as a New Yorker. I ordered the special salad - apparently it came from their garden - which was semi-tasty but tiny. For $1.50 extra they added two miniscule chicken slices on top. The best/worst part were all the squawking peacocks hanging around on the patio. I sat inside, where I could view all the action without worrying about my lunch getting abducted. They also use recyclable/biodegradable utensils, so pat the Peacock Cafe on the back for that one.
David C. - Pasadena, CA - 04/02/2007
There are numerous ways to work up an appetite. I have listed a few of my favorites:
Trekking the Sahara on foot
Swimming to Catalina Island
Working on the chain gang
Visiting The Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanical Garden (aka The Arboretum)
True, a few items on my list are not so pleasurable. Visiting The Arboretum surely is. Anyway you add it up; sunshine + 127 acres + the burden of blissful leisure = rumbly in the tumbly. Fortunately, inside the oasis that is The Arboretum lays an inner sanctum known as the Peacock Cafe.
As outside food and beverage is not allowed inside The Arboretum (sneaking in bottled water isn't so hard) a visit to the Peacock Cafe is always in order. Don't let the site of a single cash register and as little as one visible employee frighten you away. There is obviously a staff of Peafowl slaving away in the back. The cafe itself can go from empty to full in the blink of eye depending on the time and day of your visit. Thankfully, the service is consistently good and the wait time far from extreme. The only bit of sour news is the establishment is cash only. Still, it's not enough to affect their rating (at least not for me).
Although the menu is not extensive, what it lacks in quantity it makes up for in quality. Time after time, it never fails to hit the spot. On this day, I opted for a chicken salad sandwich, Hansen's Soda and what was without a doubt one of the most delicious apples I have come across in recent memory. What made the apple so succulent I know not. What I do know is that at 50 cents that apple was worth 10x as much. The sammy didn't disappoint either. Fresh bread and ingredients were abundant in every bite. Though some will choose a heartier fare, I prefer something a little lighter when I'm here. The sights are so good at The Arboretum that all I can think about is getting back to them. With nature's beauty abundant in every direction food loses it immediacy (hard to believe but true).
If you're as fortunate as I, one of the many celebrity Peafowl will stop by for an impromptu photo op. It's cool to see the pandemonium these type of celebrity sightings cause.
Even though there is a ban on outside food and drink and the conditions are ripe for price gouging, the integrity of nature is true as the value and service remain fair.
What truly set's this place apart from most anywhere else is the ability to escape once you arrive.