A Big Breakfast Buffet In A Classy Courtyard
There’s no name on the dark door and I was sort of wondering what kind of place I was wandering into at first.
But then I stepped inside and with one glance, could almost hear violins playing.
Actually, it was a cool kind of swing music, which brought a lively beat to a place. Normally, one only hears the clanking of silverware on plates and the hum of conversations at other tables while at a brunch. Here it reminded me of being in a Las Vegas casino lounge and my mood adjusted accordingly, from simply eating a big meal to putting a lively bounce in my step.
I was at Firefly, hardly a hidden gem in Studio City considering the popularity of the place, but through a somewhat hidden door it is certainly a gem. It holds a Sunday brunch each week ($30 adults, $28 kids under 10, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.) and it’s one of the best in L.A.
For starters, the food is sensational. It’s a high-quality buffet with about 30 items, including omelet, seafood, carving and dessert stations; scrambled eggs; a delicious sausage; lots of bacon for you bacon lovers; hash browns; incredible-tasting small potatoes; fantastic baked salmon, ceviche – what buffet has ceviche!? – and a huge variety of freshly-baked local breads. And I mean fresh.
There’s also lighter and healthier items like asparagus but when at a buffet, I tend to splurge rather than conserve.
The food is placed in an almost rustic setting with low lights, which makes it all that much more appealing. It looked so good that instead of sitting idly at the bar waiting for others in our group to arrive, I circled the buffet like a vulture waiting to move in on my meal.
The setting is also as satisfying as the food. Seating is in a shaded Spanish-style courtyard that looks like something you might find in Barcelona. There are also cabanas, a very nice touch that bring to mind Vegas pool parties. Without the pool, of course, but with the music they play at Firefly, the brain does tend to go into “party” mode.
At the back there’s a hillside with trees, which makes you feel you’re somewhere in the woods or mountains. Certainly not just off busy Ventura Blvd.
No brunch, of course, is complete without cocktails and Firefly has mimosas and Bloody Marys for $10 and unique cocktails such as the potent and well-presented Pineapple Express for $12.
There’s different levels of the Bloody Marys; you can get regular (my style), spicy or load it up with a heap of items such as a crab claw and bacon; the menu has a checkbox at the back where you mark the ingredients you want and you hand it to the waitress, as you do a menu in a sushi restaurant or a Keno card in Vegas. This is Firefox’s version of the Bloody Mary Bar.
When you combine all these ingredients together – the food, the atmosphere and the beautiful setting – you’ve got one of the best Sunday brunch spots in L.A.
Firefly Studio City Brunch Buffet Items
From Executive Chef Chad Mandel: cured meats, cheeses, raw bar, carving station, omelet station, eggs, bacon, potatoes, baked salmon, cured meats, house-made pastries, locally-made bread and several more side items.
Address & Map: 11720 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA
Phone: (818) 762-1833
Parking: Valet $3.50 (brunch) and $7 (dinner). Street parking also available but watch the signs, as always when parking in L.A.