Hear the word "brunch" and you're likely to think of a favorite, must-have dish, a specialty associated to that particular mid-morning-ish, early-afternoon-ish meal.
It might be quiche, or a bacon scramble, or a waffle, or the libation side of brunchery, meaning, most likely, something from the mimosa or Bloody Mary families.
But perhaps you think not of a libation, but a location, when pondering "brunch," a particular restaurant that's known for lavish buffet spreads and special weekend occasions for decades.
If so, and if you grew up in or near Burbank, then Castaway might naturally spring to mind when brunch-based topics are raised. For the mid-century, hillside, view-max'd venue became synonymous with the eggy occasion, as well as special, pop-the-question dinners backed by all of the glittering lights of the Valley.
But the Verdugo Hills eatery, which first opened in 1963, shuttered in August 2017 for an extensive renovation (an all-day brunch beforehand served as a celebratory farewell party). Brunches ceased, as did all dining, for a good, long stretch.
Now Castaway will reopen "in late April," with new, well, everything, following the multi-million-dollar update.
Well, almost everything.
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The exterior walls remain, and the roof, but the interior has received a true top-to-bottom refresh, with just-erected interior walls, multi-level seating, an "unparalleled patio experience" (also with multi-level seating), and secret rooms, too.
The views? They're still there. The menu? Executive Chef Perry Pollaci, who worked on teams overseen by Michael Mina and Geoffrey Zakarian, is helming the menu, which boasts "a steak-forward focus." There is, in fact, a meat-aging room on the premises, in addition to a "... floor-to-ceiling wine cellar."
A Chef's Table and wrap-around bar are other features in the soon-to-reopen landmark.
And, you bet, brunch is still on, every Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 in the afternoon.
Mid-century venues have a way of leaving us, permanently, far too often. But Castaway will be back, before April 2018 wraps, bringing with it fine chops, extravagant brunch dishes, and all of those vistas, the kind of sights that go well with a mimosa-filled flute.