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Audacious Brazilian Restaurant Caboco Has Flown the Coop in the Arts District

Rodrigo Oliveira’s first U.S. restaurant has folded after a year, with promises to reopen elsewhere

Caboco Arts District with mural by Speto.
Caboco restaurant in the Arts District.
Dylan + Jeni
Matthew Kang is the Lead Editor of Eater LA. He has covered dining, restaurants, food culture, and nightlife in Los Angeles since 2008. He's the host of K-Town, a YouTube series covering Korean food in America, and has been featured in Netflix's Street Food show.

Despite being heralded as one of the country’s newest modern Brazilian restaurants, Caboco has closed in the Arts District as of October 30. Helmed by celebrated São Paulo chef Rodrigo Oliveira of Mocoto and opened with restaurateur Bill Chait and chef de cuisine Victor Vasconcellos in September 2021, Caboco was one of the most ambitious restaurants in Los Angeles to serve updated takes on Brazilian drinking fare, like crispy pork belly torresmo and fried tapioca cubes. Caboco’s other notable dishes included a vegetable moqueca and a terrific weekend all-you-can-eat feijoada feast. The bar also crafted some of the more interesting drinks in town, which paired fresh tropical fruits with hard-to-find cachaca bottles.

The restaurant announced on Instagram that it was actively looking for a new location, while still holding private events and parties at the Arts District space (as well as at other venues). Eater reached out to Chait for further comment on the closure but has not heard back. While Caboco’s shutter is a setback for the greater Brazilian food scene in Los Angeles, it could indicate that Angelenos just weren’t ready for the restaurant’s updated (and ultimately pricier) takes on Brazilian dishes. Oliveira, who comes with Latin America 50 Best accolades and other international acclaim, still seems to see potential in opening elsewhere in LA.

Interestingly enough, there’s already a full commercial real estate ad for the Caboco space, offering the entire contents of the restaurant, liquor license, and a long-term lease that expires in seven years (plus two five-year options), all for a tidy asking price of $450,000. The rent, including NNN expenses, amounts to about $13,000 a month, plus a percentage of gross sales on top of that. This could be a chance for any other aspiring restaurateurs to land in the Arts District. However, after a one-year tenure from a world-famous chef and short stints by other Bill Chait-affiliated ventures, one wonders how challenging it would be to operate in the once-bustling Church & State space in the post-pandemic era, especially with a potential recession in the horizon.


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