June 26, 2011

CiCi's Cafe

 I love brunch.
Not only are brunch foods delicious and appetizing at all times of the day/ night, but the mere idea of brunch translates into pleasant leisure and general happiness.  Don't you agree?

Having heard quite an earful about CiCi's, I had to check it out and dragged by dear friend with me.  (Thanks, T!) :)  All things considered, I give it a 4.5/5.

First, I have to admit that I had a little trouble finding it -- Ventura Blvd. can be a bit intimidating to an unfamiliar visitor -- but then, I spotted the crowd of patient patrons congregating in a small plaza parking lot.  Oh hello there, CiCi's.  My, what a crowd you turn up on a Saturday morning.  Long lines could be good (awesome food) or bad (terrible service).  Thankfully, CiCi's was all about the former.

Secondly, after a very brief wait (they must have liked me), we were seated and given a voluminous menu.  I'm talking pages and pages of yummy-sounding foods from their famous pancakes (Sweet Chow) to eggs, eggs, eggs (A Touch of Sunshine, A Little More Sunshine, and Make it Your Way) to more traditional bfast dishes (In the Farm).  Plus another five pages of sandwiches, burgers, salads and pasta.  Seriously, intense.

But thankfully, it didn't take long for us to whittle our choices to the final four: CiCi's Benedict or Salmon Benedict for our egg dish and Say Trick or Treat (pumpkin) or Night Rider (nutella) for our pancakes.  After consulting with our knowledgeable and kind waitress, we finally opted for Cici's Benedict and pumpkin pancakes. 

HALF order of Cici's Benedict - as you can see, big portions here!  Holla.
Cici's Benedict includes two poached eggs, a large pesto portobello mushroom and buffalo mozzarella on an English muffin, topped with homemade hollandaise sauce and served open-faced.  Scalloped potatoes on the side, for the win!

I liked the unique ingredients and flavors in this otherwise conventional breakfast item.  However, I think the mushroom could have been more thoroughly softened given the tougher texture of the portobello (or maybe I just like my portobellos on the softer side).

Say Trick or Treat pumpkin pancakes

To sweeten the palate, we shared the humungous portion of pumpkin pancakes.  This was practically Griddle Cafe status!  Ridiculous...ly good.  The pumpkin pancake batter shared a great balance of sugars and spices and the pumpkin whipped cream marmalade at the top was also quite scrumptious.

HALF of the pumpkin pancakes

This institution has made quite a name for itself in the Valley and now I can understand why.  You will understand too after one meal there.  Make it happen and make it happen soon.

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cuisine: American Brunch
location: Tarzana
website: { CC | yelp }
attire: Casual 
parking: street, front lot or back lot
note: Get some pancakes, get some eggs; share.