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FOGO de CHAO BRINGS THE TASTE OF SOUTHERN BRAZIL

By Michael Hepworth

This review is for the benefit for those of you who have never been to this most unusual of restaurants, for it is the kind of place once visited, never forgotten. I do not consider myself an expert at all in Brazilian food, but if this is a prime example, then more of these types of restaurants please.  It is billed as “the gaucho way of preparing meat, “and since it is also an “all you can eat” establishment, I will be better prepared the next time now that I understand the rules of engagement of pacing oneself to try all the different entrees. The food is from the Southern part of Brazil , and frankly I have no idea how authentic it is, but it must be pretty close judging by all the attention and success the restaurant has been having.  There are some serious looking eaters at Fogo de Chao, and most of them start at the 40 plate selection salad bar, that has to be one of the best in the city. Anything you can imagine here is available, and it is so good that many diners just go for the salad bar alone. Another interesting concept here is the cheese bread that is baked for 15 minutes. This is so good, that even if you are not into cheese that much, this bread is quite special. 

The service here is super fast ensuring a reasonably fast turnover of tables, and once the meat starts coming, that is when the fun begins.  Each meat has its own server who strides around the restaurant in smart looking Cossack style pants, and cut strips from the skewer onto your plate.  There are fifteen choices of beef, pork, lamb and chicken to select from, and a carefully selected assortment of side dishes to complement the main courses.  These include black beans & rice, garlic mashed potatoes and polenta.  It took me a while to understand the concept here of the small green and red-sided chip on each table.  The green side indicates to the roving waiters to keep bringing on the meats, and the red side indicates “I’ve had enough for now.”

A trip to the kitchen reveals massive grills where the meats are cooked and then placed on the skewers to the delight of the carnivorous patrons.  There are too many types to describe in detail, but the most recent is the Beef Ancho, the prime part of the rib-eye, and one of the elite cuts.  Only top meats are purchased here, and another hot item is The Picanha, the prime part of the sirloin served seasoned with sea salt or flavored with garlic.  Next time I will save some room for the Linguica, robust looking pork sausages that are seasoned and slow roasted, or the Costelo de Porco, tender pork ribs that are also slow roasted and looked delicious on the skewer.

The Beverly Hills location has been open three years, but there are nine others dotted around the USA , and five in Brazil in Sao Paulo , Belo Horizonte and Brasilia.  Business initially was a bit slow, but now the place is booming and reservations are strongly advised.

Fact Sheet  

Address:           133 N.La Cienaga Blvd ,

Beverly Hills , CA

90211

 

Phone: 310-289-7755

 

Fixed price menu per person plus tips, taxes and drinks

Dinner ($52.50)

Lunch ($32.50)

 

Valet $5.50

 

Take Out-strictly forbidden

 

Website: www.fogodechao.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© Rich Journey  Inc.
287 S. Robertson Blvd., Beverly Hills, California, 90211