From Friday, July 14th – Friday, July 28th, many of the best LA restaurants will be participating in dineL.A. with set pre fixe menus. dineL.A is very dear to my heart; it’s a great way for Angeleno epicureans to dine at higher end restaurants on a smaller budget. For someone like myself, who has champagne taste a beer budget, these two weeks are a gift from the gods. In addition to fine dining, a lot of the local/family owned restaurants participate as well, which allows you to taste more of their options as well. These menus vary in timing, prices, and number of courses depending on location, so be sure to do your research here before making a reservation.
When GOF blogger Christina and I were invited to Firefly in Studio City for a preview of the dineL.A. menu, I immediately jumped at the chance to go. It’s been on my bucket list for a while, since I knew of Firefly’s Executive Chef Perry Pollaci from his stint at The Royce in Pasadena. The Royce is one of the best fine dining steakhouses in LA, so I was excited to see what he would bring to an established modern American bistro setting.
11720 Ventura Blvd, Studio City CA 91604
When I first entered Firefly, it has a very dark, somewhat brooding atmosphere at the bar. It’s the kind of spot perfect for a date but not so perfect for a photographer. Luckily, as you make your way in, there’s an old school library-themed lounge with a lighter disposition. Then when you make your way to the patio, it’s suddenly Instagram-friendly with lots of natural lighting and spacious seating. There are even a few private booths that would be fun to have a party in.
The Firefly dineL.A. pre fixe menu, priced at $49 per customer, starts with the best kind of Amuse Bouche – Sparkling Rosé! These sweet bubbles are served in the most adorable vintage looking flute.
For the First Course, guests select from a choice of:
Heirloom Tomato – local strawberries, chia seeds and basil whipped goat cheese
Charred Peach Gazpacho – steamed prawn, avocado, yuzu and chili oil
Steak Tartare – béarnaise, Tabasco vinaigrette and frisee salad
For the Second Course, guest select from a choice of:
Marinated Skirt Steak – pomme aligot, garlic braised broccoli rabe and salsa verde
Steelhead Salmon – Brentwood corn, roasted piquillo peppers, honey and jalapeño cornbread
Mushroom Pappardelle – maitake & oyster mushrooms, ricotta, and black truffle butter
Third Course is dessert; guests select from a choice of:
Coconut Panna Cotta – local strawberries and basil
Warm Chocolate Cake – marshmallow, crème anglaise and salted vanilla ice cream
So, what makes for the perfect dineL.A. dinner according to Christina and me? It was such a tough decision for us to make! But here are our recommendations for a plan of attack:
Julianne: For the first course, I would choose the Heirloom Tomato. In addition to the plump, juicy tomatoes, I love the combination of basil and strawberries. Add that to the creaminess of the goat cheese, and you have a fantastic way to start dinner.
Christina: My favorite first-course option was the Charred Peach Gazpacho. The flavors are so refreshing on a hot summer night!
Julianne: All of the second courses were fabulous. Usually, I would select a protein-packed option, but I couldn’t stop sneaking bites of the Mushroom Pappardelle from the other guests! It’s such a rich pasta dish, especially with the ricotta cheese blended in. It may not be ideal for the summer but I couldn’t enough of it.
Christina: The Steelhead Salmon is my choice for the main entrée. Not only is the presentation unique, the combination of the salmon with the corn was so yummy. The cornbread muffins were also not only cute but delicious.
Julianne and Christina: The desserts were both fantastic, but we both were in love with the Warm Chocolate Cake. The panna cotta does have that creamy, strawberries and basil combo I love, but the sweet and savory ice cream that comes with the cake pushed it into the top spot for me. Christina could also not stop eating the decadent chocolate cake. She actually described it as “bomb.com.” How very FatboiTendencies of her.
For those of you making your dineL.A. lists, be sure to add Firefly to it! At $49, it’s one of the less expensive but high-quality meals for restaurant week!
*Special thanks to Platform Media Group for inviting us to this event. This meal was comped but all thoughts and opinions expressed are our own.