You've been lied to for a long time about how cafes should be. With the death of many mom-and-pop coffee shops falling to the quick pace growth of commercial cafes, you've been conditioned to think there are no longer any real cafes anymore. Luckily, the veil has been lifted and at least one place still welcomes patrons to come sit and enjoy the sunset with your loved ones or your study buddies. You are an invited guest at Cafe 7th Home.
The entrance to this cafe might be one of the most jarring and stunning you've seen from a coffee shop. The cafe looks indeed like a home. The entrance has small palm trees and an emerald green lawn neatly trimmed to the side of the front doors. Wood and stone is the predominant theme of this exterior and the dark wooden porch lining the entrance would be a perfect escape to relax, even if one of the busiest streets in all of Buena Park is only a hundred feet away. In fact, what makes this place so surprising is the fact this elegant cafe is juxtaposed next to the grim and wear of industrial buildings and shops right next to it. It's a welcoming sight in an unexpected place.
The interior is broken down into two sides. Like a large home, the easiest way to describe it would be like wings of a house. One side is lavishly decorated as a cafe meant for lovers and friends to meet, mingle, and flirt. The lights are low, with sometimes the brightest light source being the sun beaming through the large windows that make up one of the walls. However, slowly make your way to the other side of the hallway and you are invited to private booths and a communal room meant for studying. The rooms are much more illuminated and the atmosphere is hushed, quiet. Simplicity would be the key to the design of the interior with colors adding atmosphere without distraction. Cafe 7th Home is a dream location for any student who's sick of staring at the bland walls of libraries, listening to the loud machines of commercial cafes, and those who can't concentrate at home.
With Cafe 7th Home being a Korean owned cafe, the menu reveals much of what Korean culture looks for in their cafe menus. The food is a mix between Italian and Korean. Items such as seafood fettuccine in a white sauce can be found. At the same time, so can classic Korean dishes such as ome rice or donkatsu (a tenderized pork loin breaded in panko and deep fried). They even serve fondue dishes and the type of sandwiches you would expect at a cafe. Their menu is quite diverse and filled with options. There is also a large diversity of desserts that are easily share-able such as shaved snow (a Taiwanese dessert). The drink selection is also huge, ranging from hot drinks such as coffee and chai lattes to cold drink specialties such as smoothies or fresh fruit juices. It will take some time and experimenting to find the perfect choice, but trying a diversity of good food is one adventure most will find easy taking.
If there is one stain in this immaculately prepared product, it would be the price. Yes, Cafe 7th Home has a great ambiance and great selection in food, but for the quality of the food, which is average, the price is not appropriate. When a cup of coffee can cost you $5 or a soda costs $3.25, the price is indeed too steep to pay to enjoy this place properly. What's even worse, because this space is yearning for studying to be had, it creates this strange catch 22 feeling if you are a student. Most students aren't rolling in money so to find a perfect spot for studying but being unable to afford a drink is heartbreaking. Perhaps the menu is catered more for the patrons who come to dine and drink in the dining wing of the cafe, but the price for students will make Cafe 7th Home a place to visit once a week instead of three or four times.
To call Cafe 7th Home a gem would really be appropriate. This place shines in a location where not much glimmers. The atmosphere is wonderful and inviting, like a friend welcoming you to their home for some drinks and conversation. The studying wing is genius and more cafes should really follow this type of accommodation; however, the pricing is horrendous and the service leaves much to be desired. The last two elements really holds Cafe 7th Home back from becoming perfect. If the pricing lowers and service improves, Cafe 7th Home will become a household name and bustling with customers. Until then, this great but flawed cafe will be remain a coffee shop to visit only once in a while.
Cafe 7th Home
6291 Homewood Ave
Buena Park, CA 90621