Although many folks associate Brazilian food simply with churrascarias, those smoky Brazilian steakhouses, Los Angeles actually has an eclectic mix of Brazilian cuisine that goes well beyond the basics. There's nothing wrong with an elegantly carnivorous all-you-can-eat meal at Fogo de Chao, of course, but why not let these other restaurant options expand your Brazilian food knowledge a little bit?Read More
11 Top-Notch Brazilian Restaurants in LA
Gear up for the Olympics next year.
1. Cantinho Brasileiro
Culver City, CA
A great hole-in-the-wall spot, Cantinho Brasileiro in Palms is tucked away in the Camaguey Meat Market. Known for its Brazilian street snacks, one can find pastel (similar to an empanada), and coxinhas, which are like potato croquettes with a cheese or meat filling. Food is only available to go, but it’s affordable and all homemade.
2. Bella Vista Brazilian Gourmet Pizza
Bella Vista has brought the all-you-can-eat Brazilian pizza concept to LA, with extremely interesting toppings that you won’t find at your typical slice spots. With over 20 different kinds of pizzas, options include Brazilian stroganoff pizza, calabreza pizza with hearts of palm and smoked sausage and not to mention dessert pizzas with brigadeiro (chocolate with condensed milk) and strawberries. It’s best to come with an empty belly and an open mind.
3. Cafe Brasil
You’ll feel like you’ve been transported to a little restaurant in Brazil here. The colorful interior is cozy and has a lot of character. Traditionally, on Sundays, it’s customary to eat feijoada, a hearty and flavorful black bean stew with beef and pork accompanied by rice, collard greens, and oranges to help with post meal digestion. And the passion fruit juice pairs well with the whole meal.
4. Mesa Brazilian Eatery
Los Angeles, CA 90024
Mesa Brazilian Eatery in Westwood is a casual and very minimalistic space. It’s like the Brazilian version of Chipotle (but way better), where you order a protein like grilled chicken or picanha (the flavorful rump cap steak) and it comes with black beans, rice, collard greens and plantains. Don’t forget the Brazilian cheese bread (pao de queijo) or a cheesy pastel and leave completely satisfied.
5. TA BOM TRUCK
For more gourmet Brazilian food, the Ta Bom food truck has some of the best in the city. Track them on Twitter and grab the beef stroganoff with braised beef slow-cooked in a creamy sauce served with rice and potato sticks. Guzzle it all down with Guarana, a Brazilian soda, and don’t forget a brigadeiro (chocolate truffle) for dessert.
6. Fogo de Chão
Fogo De Chao is still the place to go for the ultimate churrascaria experience, especially during special occasions, when servers dressed as gauchos bring a variety of different all-you-can-eat quality meats to your table, cutting you the best piece. The salad and hot food buffet is perfect for the indecisive, with many options ranging from cold cuts to rice and beans to fruit. When you’re full, there’s an item on your table that you switch to the color red and voila, no more food. Until dessert comes out.
7. Pampas Grill Farmers Market
Pampas Grill inside the Farmer’s Market at The Grove is a popular fast-casual Brazilian eatery, where you wait in line and order cafeteria-style. The best part is that you put what you want on your plate and pay by weight, like at Yogurtland. You can add Brazilian barbecue, like at a steakhouse, if you’re craving the whole experience, minus the all-you-can-eat.
8. Bossa Nova Brazilian Cuisine
With a wide-ranging offering of traditional and not-so-traditional menu items, plus late night hours, Bossa Nova offers something for everybody. Along with the usual Brazilian beef and chicken dishes, there is a large salad menu, tons of pizzas and pastas, and many delicious appetizers. Even those new to Brazilian cuisine or nervous about trying new foods are taken care of here.
9. M Grill
Next time you want barbecued meats in Koreatown, mix it up and try M Grill for delicious Brazilian churrasco. Keeping up with Fogo de Chao as the best in LA, M Grill gives diners the ultimate Brazilian churrascaria experience, with a buffet of Brazilian favorites and some of the finest cuts of beef, lamb, chicken and pork served at your table. Savory favorites include the filet mignon, lamb, and the garlic or Parmesan picanha (Brazils most prized cut of beef, taken from the “rump cover” or “rump cap” of the cow).
Tropicalia’s cuisine offers a fusion of traditional Brazilian culture and foreign influences, making it a great spot for an unpretentious Brazilian meal. On a menu boasting a diverse collection of meat, fish and vegetable options, one dish stands out most of all: the Bife Tropicalia Molhado, which stars a delicious grilled beefsteak served with Brazilian Malagueta (cilantro pepper sauce) and Farofa (Brazilian breadcrumbs).
11. Wood Spoon
Wood Spoon is a bright and cozy restaurant Downtown, where Chef Natalia pours her heart into her cooking. With many stand out dishes, the chicken pot pie can’t be missed. It’s, buttery, flaky and creamy with hearts of palm, corn and olives that balance out nicely. And with influences from other parts of the world, the Portuguese pastel with shrimp and a coconut sauce shouldn’t be passed up either.