Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Brasa Brasil Grill...stuffing our faces with some of the best meat in Culver City

10022 Venice Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232
Lunch: Mon-Fri 11AM-3PM
Dinner Daily 5PM-10PM

First things first, sorry about the delay in posting. Sometimes you get a string of restaurants that suck and therefore can't be posted about. I had a sizable run of "wow...that was a waste of time and money and I feel tainted for going here". Some people may say, " but you can still write about other places?" My answer? Yes I can, but pictures convey so much in telling stories, and if I'm posting about some place I really like, I want to do it justice. So, when I have pauses from posting, you can be assured it's due to lack of pictures.

The second order of business is about this brand spanking new place (and that's "new" as of October) on Venice in Culver City called Brasa Brasil Grill. Bring your massive appetite to this spot! As many Brazilian eateries do, they concentrate heavily on meats. This has got some of the best meat going on in Culver City (which is saying a lot considering it's the mecca of mastication at the moment and shows no sign of stopping thanks to Sony).

The interior is pretty chill and please don't think it's messy cause the picture shows all the chairs wacked out, there was good size party there for a birthday party. The eating style is buffet and yes there is a buffet bar, and no I didn't grab a picture of it. Rest assured the buffet bar is not the main attraction here, though it sports all the sides you'd want for your meal such as garlic rice, beans, plantains, poached salmon, Brazilian potato salad, cucumber and tomato salad, black eyed pea salad, farofa, fresh greens and even boiled quail eggs. The place was spotless and the buffet bar was a reflection of that as well the fact that everything that we had from it was fresh.

Notice the object I took a picture of. This red and green wood dowel looking thing rules your meal. When you get there they tell you how it works, "When you want us to bring out more meat turn this so the green side is up. We'll bring out whatever you want from our meat menu and we'll keep on bringing out meat until you turn this so that the red is facing up". Sounds simple enough. It happened 3 times at least that we forgot to flip back over and they kept bringing meat (though you can decline it when it comes out...just made for a funny times is all). The best thing is that it's all you can eat and your choice of which meat or meats you want.

Salad (that's right...from the buffet) , as stated, was fresh and the boiled quail eggs were a pleasant surprise. Celeste topped her spring greens with the black eyed pea salad (firm but smooth) and the cucumber and tomato salad (crisp and almost sweet) as well.

Their garlic rice, black beans and plantains were superb. If you had nothing else from the buffet bar this would be more than excellent to accompany any of the meats. The beans were marinating in meat making their flavor more pronounced, the rice hinted at the garlic and the plantains were perfectly ripe and made to perfection (as you can see).

We tried ALL the meats they had which would be quite the feat for some people (and was actually for Celeste) . Did I mention that after having this we've realized we really need to lose some weight haha? Shown up above is a piece their bacon wrapped chicken and one Brazilian sausage. The bacon wrapped chicken was succulent and glistened with bacon juice. The sausage packed a huge flavor that was gentle on the salty side. As for the rest of the meats (except for the Spicy Chicken...sorry about that) take a look...

Tri Tip (not to be confused with their Picanha)...it tasted even better than it looked. Super moist and great marbling in the meat with an outstanding spice blend that complemented it well.

Their garlic beef was super tender and packed a wallop of spices, and oddly, it is called Garlic Beef but it's richness wasn't from the garlic.

Here's their Picanha which is their creme de la creme meat. Picanha is technically tri-tip (or sirloin), and is, to date, now in our top five for that cut of meat. The slight garlic char on the outside sealed in the wonderful juices inside. Just a mighty fine piece of meat.

Their lamb was almost perfect (Celeste's piece had a little bit of fat, but it's not hard to see). Slightly sweet on the outside with a perfectly done inside. And, if you do get a bit that has a good sized piece of fat, that's the beauty of the place...you just get another piece. I personally loved their lamb. It was nice having lamb a little nontraditional to me.

The only thing that wasn't all that happening, and unfortunately goes with the territory, was their pork. All their meats are on open fire on a spit and while all the other meats have a lot leniency when it comes to keeping them warm, the pork has to be very precise. Once you go passed that temperature you start to lose moisture inside the meat. While the outside of the pork was wonderful the inside was a bit on the tough side for lack for juice. That said, based on everything else, it might have just been an unlucky fluke.

The restaurant itself could seat about 50 or so and is in a small strip mall that has about 15 spaces and 4 other restaurants, but thankfully, street parking is abundant in that area. Pedro the owner is a totally sweet guy and was eager to please (no he didn't know who I was and from what I could tell never saw me taking a pic of anything) . This restaurant is definitely for those who can put it away, but make sure you sure you only eat what you can as they have a policy to charge additionally the full meal price if more than 1/2 a pound of edible food is left on your plate...though if you're like me, once you taste it, you'll totally stuff yourself.


Free refills: yes on Soda only
Entree Price ranges: Buffet and BBQ combo dinner is $23 for dinner and $15 for lunch (you can have the BBQ meats only for $16 or the buffet only for $15 but hey go for both and be happy).

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Blogger H. C. said...

Haha, I'm eye-ing the potential giveaway ;) ... and all those yummy Brazilian foods. Not good when lunchtime is so near...

October 17, 2007 at 11:47 AM  
Blogger Aubrey said...

I'd love to post a give away but blogger won't let post any pics right now. Sigh. I am at their mercy.

October 17, 2007 at 12:13 PM  
Blogger DJ said...

Agreed! I tried Brasa the 2nd day they were open, and I've since been back twice. The staff is outstanding, the meat is melt-in-your-mouth good. But yes, definitely come HUNGRY.

October 17, 2007 at 1:59 PM  
Anonymous FattyTommy said...

I have been here a few times before, the price is very reasonable and the food is good. I have always been impressed with the buffet bar of side dishes, especially the different type of vegetables. The meats are well prepared and who can ever go wrong with picanha and bacon wrapped chicken.

A group of us went last night but this last trip left a pretty disgusting taste in my mouth. While I expect things to be salty, it was WAY over done this time. We found out that they would charge $2.50 for each beer we brought in. (They do not serve alcohol so it's BYOB with a corking fee.) And the worst has got to be that they charge $1.50 for hot water.

While $1.50 really is not a big deal, it's the lack of foresight and lack of insight about good business practices that ruins the dining experience for me. When we pointed out the $1.50 charge listed as "MISC. FOOD" on the bill, the head waiter proceeded to argue that most restaurants charge for hot water and we should check in the restaurant next door. He explained that in his MANY years of experience working in Beverly Hills, this was common practice. At the end, he refused to take off the $1.50.

While I love the food, I just cannot imagine going back there. I really hope that this is not indicative of the way this restaurant takes feedback.

January 3, 2009 at 4:54 AM  

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