Firefly Cafe: Eclectic World Cuisine

I can barely see the entry way as I walk past Firefly.  Its entryway is surrounded by geraniums, bay trees, and lemon plants.  It's in interior peaks through the green to invite guests.  The main dining area is really a large tent decorated nicely with the requisite tasteful and casual furnishings.  It's an understated, elegant environment.  Firefly opened in July 2002 and is set up under canvas and has neighborly warmth.  At night sparkly small lights set the mood for a romantic dinner.  In the summer, when it's warm, the tent sides are rolled up to reveal ivy meandering up brick walls with nicely trimmed shrubbery and delicate whispy flowers.  The ambient light gives a cool glow under the canopy.  At night clear Christmas lights swirling in the greenery and under the tent light up the interior, casting a magical spell.


This ambient backdrop lends itself nicely to the fare that's offered at

Firefly. From 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday Firefly hosts tapas night, offering superbly made renditions of classic appetizers and some wonderful concoctions.


The tapas changes from week to week depending on what's available at the bustling Farmers' Market that happens outside its doors.  These "small plates with big flavors" and can be handled with liberal doses of  Sangria. 


If tapas won't do it for you, a sample dinner selection that  makes the palate dance  is as follows:



Grilled Romaine Hearts with crispy butternut squash, green beans, marinated onions and b.b.q.vinaigrette



Sautéed Duck Breast and Chicken Fried Duck Leg with roasted peaches, braised maui onions and housemade tabasco sauce 19.00



Hazelnut Brown Butter Cake

with burnt orange ice cream and orange caramel 6.00




Mas Cristine Late Harvest Grenache, 1998


It's good to have such a place to enjoy with friends and family on a lazy evening.  Firefly is a  gem that fits in well with the eccentricities of South Pasadena that is both old and new, familiar and mysterious.


Location: Address: 1009 El Centro Avenue, South Pasadena, (626) 441-2443.

Vibe: casual-romantic.

Service: gracious but unpretentious.

Price: appetizers $7.50-$9.00; soups and salads $6.50-$7.50; entrees $14.50-$22.  Desserts, $6.00-$6.50.  Tapas, $2.50-$5.


Tuesday through Saturday, 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; Dinner: 5:30 p.m. - 9 p.m.,

Thurs. 5:00 p.m. - 9 p.m.

Fri.-Sat. 5 p.m. - 10 p.m.

Brunch: Sunday from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Closed Mondays.

Credit Cards Accepted are: MasterCard, Visa and American Express.

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