Britney's friend Amy came to visit this weekend, and we thought a Sunday brunch would be nice before she had to get on the road back to Kansas City. We decided on Yaya's at the Promenade in west Little Rock and make our reservations for 10am so we could take advantage of the "early bird" special: brunch is $2 or $3 cheaper between 10am and 11am.
I had only heard the name Yaya's but knew nothing about their brunch offerings until Bee mentioned it yesterday as an option. She had heard they had a good buffet as well as a bloody mary bar, so it seemed like a good option to us.
Our first indicator that it was going to be a good morning was when we got out of the car and could smell the bacon all the way in the parking lot. Britney and I are both big fans of bacon. When we sat, our waiter informed us that in addition to the buffet and the bloody marys and mimosas, we could also order Eggs Benedict and omelettes as part of the brunch offerings [the drinks were an additional price].
Britney and I both ordered bloody marys and Eggs Benedict, and Amy ordered an omelette with mixed bell peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, and spinach. The spread on the buffet was pretty good - lots of fruits, 3 different kinds of salads, pasta salad, and pita bread and hummus on the starter table, and pasta, bacon, sausages, eggs, grits [I think], and biscuits and gravy on the main table. There was also a carving station and a dessert station as well as a little section with stuff you could add to your bloody mary - pickles, various hot sauces, and other peppers and such. It was a pretty extensive selection.
The pasta was awesome, as was the bacon. I also very much liked the biscuits and gravy. The Eggs Benedict were ok; Bee and I decided the hollandaise sauce was more lemony than usual, which made it tast a little odd. I tried one of the salads and liked it, and I definitely had a second helping of the pasta. For dessert I had the chocolate "creme brulee", although it looked and tasted more like mousse. Either way, it was good. I also had a chocolate chunk cookie - it was a bit crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, which is just the way I like 'em, so I was happy. And yes, the bloody mary was very well done. Especially with a little dash of black pepper.
Even though I normally cringe at spending so much money on a meal [brunch + bloody mary + tax and tip = $30!], it was worth the experience. The food was good, and it was fun to have a ladies brunch to see Amy off in style. It would be a really nice place for a special occasion brunch of some sort, such as Mother's Day or a parents' anniversary.
And around 10.40am, the live bluesy-jazzy music began. It was pretty epic.
[on a side note, our waiter was a bit on the odd side, making a lot of awkward jokes and lingering a lot, but we decided he liked Amy, and that's why that happened. it eased up as the restaurant got busy and his tables filled up, so the latter half of our brunch wasn't as bad as the first half]
Location: in the Promenade mall on Chenal Parkway in west Little Rock, about a mile or so past the fancy Kroger Marketplace.
Hours of operation: Lunch and Dinner, with slightly separate menus for the two, as well as a Sunday brunch from 10am-2pm. the "early bird" brunch special runs 10-11am and earns you about a $2-$3 discount off your brunch.
Method[s] of payment: accept cash and cards.
Dress code: while I don't think there's a formal dress code, it's a little bit of a nicer place. maybe don't show up in anything ripped or looking too shabby.
The food is good, but be prepared to put a serious dent in your wallet when you go there.