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Five Vibrant Brazilian Spots to Try in Los Angeles

Although Brazilian cuisine has struggled to gain widespread culinary recognition in Los Angeles, these five restaurants more than makeup for it with big flavors, comforting classics, and unforgettable dining experiences.

Los Angeles isn’t particularly known for its Brazilian food despite boasting the largest Brazilian-American population on the West Coast. 

On the Westside, Culver City and Palms serve as an unofficial “Little Brazil,” a nickname from the mid-80s and 90s when a string of Brazilian-owned restaurants began popping up along Venice Boulevard.

The South Bay, including parts of Torrance, Lawndale, and Redondo Beach, is also home to a small but thriving Brazilian population. Although Brazilian cuisine has struggled to gain widespread culinary recognition in Los Angeles, these five restaurants more than makeup for it with big flavors, comforting classics, and unforgettable dining experiences.

Photo via @m.grill/Instagram.
Photo via @m.grill/Instagram.

M Grill ~ Koreatown

M Grill is a modern Koreatown churrascaria that gives the vastly more famous Fogo de Chão a run for its money. Though it's slightly less extravagant than Fogo, the sleek, all-you-can-eat steakhouse still offers guests an elevated dining experience for large and small groups. M Grill still has the edge on Fogo with its selection of meats and gooey pão de queijo (Brazilian cheese bread with tapioca flour), as well as its service. The menu boasts 14 different meat selections, including traditional picanha, ribeye, Brazilian sausage, and a rack of lamb, grilled pineapple, and chicken hearts (available upon request). M Grill is an eat-until-you’re-nearly-sick experience—in the best way possible.

3832 Wilshire Blvd. Fl. 2, Ste. 202 Los Angeles, CA 90010. Closest Metro lines and stop: Metro D Line or Bus Lines 18, 20, 66, 207, 210, and 720 - "Wilshire/Western Station."

Photo via @cafebrasil0/Instagram.
Photo via @cafebrasil0/Instagram.

Cafe Brasil ~ Culver City

With its brightly painted exterior and bold signage, Cafe Brasil is nearly impossible to miss. First opened in 1991, the vibrant restaurant is a Culver City mainstay. Cafe Brasil serves all-day breakfast, hot sandwiches, pasta, grilled meats and fish, and Brazilian empanadas. The Brazilian sausage plate has a hearty serving of black beans, rice, salad, fried plantains, and a side of sauteed collard greens and pão de queijo. Eating all my favorite comfort foods on one plate reminded me of my dad’s home cooking, and the portions are large enough to have leftovers the next day (but, of course, YMMV).

11736 W. Washington Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90066. Closest transit line and stop: Culver CityBus Line 1 - "Washington/East."

Photo via Fodo de Chāo.

Fogo de Chão ~ Beverly Hills

A favorite among many Brazilian Angelenos, Fogo de Chão is the true churrasco experience, offering an unlimited selection of premium, fire-roasted meats served rodízio style on metal skewers and carved tableside. Fogo’s Market Table features a huge selection of seasonal salads, aged cheeses, fruit and veggies, and cured meats. 

Their feijoada bar, which includes the namesake, velvety black bean stew with sausage, white rice, fresh orange slices, and toasted farofa, was to die for. Servers also come around with baskets of pão de queijo for the table, in addition to crispy fried polenta, decadent garlic mashed potatoes, and caramelized bananas. The only thing I was missing when I went for lunch was Couve à Mineira, a classic Brazilian dish of collard greens cut into thin strips and flash-fried with olive oil and garlic, commonly served alongside feijoada and rice.

133 N. La Cienega Blvd. Beverly Hills, CA 90211. Closest Metro lines and stop: Bus Line 105 - "La Cienega/Colgate" or Bus Lines 14, 16, 218, and 617 - "3rd/La Cienega." (Fogo de Chão has locations in DTLA, Pasadena, El Segundo, Woodland Hills, and Thousand Oaks)

Photo via @PedrocasBurguer/Instagram.
Photo via @PedrocasBurguer/Instagram.

Pedroca’s Burguer ~ Lawndale

Born out of the pandemic, Pedroca’s serves up Brazilian-style burgers—a difficult-to-find offering outside of Brazil. The massive burgers are “X-tudo” style, which means “cheese with everything.” And by “everything,” they mean everything. Pedroca’s X Burger is stacked high with mozzarella cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, corn, matchstick potatoes, and a special sauce. Extra adventurous eaters can add even more toppings, which include everything from bacon, fried eggs, hot dogs, picanha, sausage, and chicken hearts.

14405 Prairie Ave. Unit D Lawndale, CA 90260. Closest Metro lines and stop: Bus Lines 125 and 211 - "Prairie/Rosecrans" or Bus Line 40 - "Hawthorne/Rosecrans."

Photo via @WSteakLA/Instagram.

W Brazilian Steakhouse ~ Koreatown

If you want the churrasco experience and don’t mind compromising on the atmosphere, W Brazilian Steakhouse is perhaps the city's most cost-friendly but still tasty option. The tiny, all-you-can-eat shop in K-town sprang up during the pandemic. W offers a tableside salad bar service and a condensed churrasco menu for only $34.99 for lunch and $44.99 at dinner (a steal compared to the $65 to $80 price tag of more elevated experiences like Fogo and M Grill.) Shortly after they reopened for dinner, I went on a weeknight, so the meat was fresh, and the service was fast. I would have liked W’s black beans to resemble something closer to a true feijoada, but the waffle cheese bread (their take on pão de queijo) was innovative and bursting with gooey cheese. My favorite selections from their BBQ menu were the baby beef, picanha, and Brazilian sausage.

147 N. Western Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90004. Closest Metro lines and stop: Bus Lines 207 and 210 - "Western/1st" or Bus Line 14 - "Beverly/Western."

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