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Firefly Bistro (South Pasadena) -- Review

The Oracle | Jun 9, 200608:41 PM

I want to love Firefly Bistro. I really do. It has all the elements I enjoy. A small, family run business, a cute neighborhood, easy to get to, unique setting, great service.

Went last Friday night, for the first time. We sat at a two-top kind of off to the side, not directly under the tent. It was a lovely spot to sit – definitely felt like our own private table.

I liked the fact that the tables were well spaced – not cramped at all. I liked what they did with the space – very casual, backyardish-romantic. Fun lights hanging from the tent area.

Service was very good – if not overly attentive. Toward the end of the meal, the owner came by and chatted for a while. It’s his daughter and son-in law that are the chef’s. Very friendly guy. Again, I want to love this place.

On to the chow:

Pork Dumplings and Pear Salad with bacon.
I was not anticipating what came out –very crisp (almost chip like) large empanada sized dumplings sprinkled with a lot of paprika. The pork inside was good, but the actual dumpling didn’t do anything for me. It was served over black beans and this strange green dipping sauce – I forgot what the menu said it was – but I did not like it – a very odd flavor. Can’t say I’d get them again.

The Pear salad was nice. It had bits of bacon and a wonderful vinaigrette. It was a good salad.

I had the Oxtail Risotto. I found the Oxtail very fatty. Now, the waiter warned me that the dish was rich – but, I felt like I was eating chunks of fat, instead of meat. A bit of a disappointment – I wouldn’t try it again. My dining companion had salmon – the bite I had was very good. He thoroughly enjoyed the dish.

Dessert: Crème brule (vanilla and chocolate) layered pudding served with a chocolate chip cookie. OH MY GOODNESS. It was so light and creamy – just melt in your mouth amazing. It was as dense as crème brule, yet the pudding factor is what made it so creamy. Absolutely brilliant. The best I’ve had in a very, very long time. The vanilla was on the top half, the chocolate on the bottom. I didn’t care for the chocolate (and I love chocolate) – fortunately, my dining companion did – so I scooped up all the vanilla goodness! The chocolate chip cookie was just okay – ate a small bite and didn’t want any more.

Damage: 2 appetizers, 2 mains, 1 dessert, 1 cocktail, 3 glasses of wine (they have a fantastic cabernet by the glass – James Judd, I think – YUM!), 1 glass of port… pre-tip: $123 Considering, without the drinks, the bill would have been about $70 – I did think it was decent value for what you got.

Again, not knock your socks off food – but I have faith in this little place. It has such potential. I definitely plan to try Bistro K and Bistro de la Gare (all within a stone’s throw) and see how they compare – and will return to try my luck with other dishes. It’s a great, summer night, neighborhood spot. Casual enough to gather with friends for a relaxing meal – or just romantic enough for a date night.

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