Who among you understands the torture of living in a perpetually grey wasteland? Cloud filled days, the sun all but a rumor for months on end, dirty slush piling high along the road and sidewalks. For all but a few of you this is but the stuff of nightmares. For those of us from Ohio, this is all too much of a reality. Winters slog into a Spring of perpetual rain followed by Summer that is a constant battle with humidity and bugs. A brief respite in Autumn (The Monster’s favorite season when leaves turn ridiculously beautiful colors and lightning bugs dot the night) and then the vicious cycle starts anew.
No wonder then that Southern California held such appeal to The Monster. Beautiful sunny days are doled out like lollipops to cute kids. And when summer comes and the sun shines it’s time to hit Cafe Brasil.
With two locations a stone’s throw from each other, these brightly decorated Brazilian restaurants are a perfect lunch spot when one wants to revel in Southern California’s best attribute, flawless weather. The Venice Boulevard location (the original) is particularly wonderful as many of its tables are outside and it has a small parking lot.
Soccer will invariably be playing on the television when you walk up to the counter and place your order. A relaxed group of dinners will mill about watching the game or happily conversing with each other. With executive lunches at $7.95 (steak, pork chop, dark meat chicken, fish or vegetarian options) that are accompanied by plaintains, black beans and salsa; you can make it in and out without worrying about the cost.
But The Monster normally chooses between the boneless, skinless white meat chicken platter or the tropical shrimp plate. Both are served with white rice, black beans, plaintains, salsa and soup (black bean) or a salad. While a touch more expensive, both prove fantastic value for the portion size and leave a happy Monster in their wake.
Empadinha’s (little pies stuff with chicken or hearts of palm) and coxinha (shredded chicken and cheese in a breaded dough then deep fried) are inexpensive yet delicious appetizers to further your education in Brazilian fare.
The desserts at Cafe Brasil are also not to be missed. Known for their passion fruit mousse (very tart, fresh), The Monster loves this but still finds himself sticking with the Brazilian candies. A darker (chocolate) and lighter (coconut) variety are both incredibly rich and out of this world.
Why go? It’s summer, we’re in LA not Ohio, and the food served is both fresh and delicious.
Monster Rating: 4/5 Monsters
10831 Venice Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90034