One of the more fun, celebratory meals you can experience around town would be excellent Churrascaria (or Brazilian Barbecue) at Fogo de Chao, with multiple locations, but their local flagship is the Beverly Hills branch, which is where we stopped by.
For those that may not know, Churrascaria / Brazilian BBQ, involves a large variety of various meats grilled over open flame & charcoal, and then gauchos (specialized meat cutters) will bring out a massive skewer from the flames to serve you a cut if you’re interested. You can politely decline that particular cut of meat if you’re looking for something else, and they will move on, and soon, another gaucho will show up with a different large skewer fresh off the flames, to offer you something else. Or, as Fogo de Chao states it: “Continuous tableside service of signature cuts of fire-roasted meat,” which is pretty accurate.
One very interesting note: Fogo de Chao is the only restaurant we know of since COVID-19 that has lowered their price since the pandemic started! Before COVID-19, Fogo de Chao’s Lunch Brazilian BBQ (All-You-Can-Eat) hit ~$52.95 per person, IIRC (it was north of $50). They were hit with the lockdown and didn’t open for awhile. Currently, their Lunch Churrascaria offering is now only $44.95 per person! With supply chain issues and everything being more expensive, that’s noteworthy! (@ipsedixit @paranoidgarliclover @chienrouge @BradFord @A5KOBE @Sgee and all.)
(Also, for the Churrasco, Continuous Tableside, All-You-Can-Eat Option, Kids 6 and Under eat FREE, and Kids 7 - 12 are Half Price - A nice touch for families looking to balance their budget.)
Before getting started with the meat bonanza, many of the better Churrascaria around town will also have a self-serve, All-You-Can-Eat Salad / Side Dishes Bar. Fogo de Chao Beverly Hills’ branch offers the best one we’ve seen Stateside.
Besides being visually stunning, the actual Market Table (All-You-Can-Eat Salad / Side Dishes Bar) has high quality, tasty dishes, not the throwaway stuff seen at far too many Buffets where it’s just stuff meant to fill you up cheaply.
Roasted Artichokes, Mixed Olives with Citrus Herbs, Peppadew Peppers, Marinated Mushrooms, Grilled Asparagus (delicious!), Roasted Zucchini, Roasted Eggplant, Tri-Bean Salada, Seasonal Apple Salad, Citrus Chicken Salad, Brazilian Potato Salad, Quinoa Tabouleh, Smoked Salmon(!), the list goes on.
It is very impressive and the Salads were tasty and fresh (and a necessary counterpoint to the Meat Onslaught you are about to face).
Feijoada (Brazilian Bean and Meat Stew):
One item that you should not overlook is Fogo de Chao’s Feijoada, which is a Brazilian Stew of Beans and various cuts of meat (usually some Pork Ribs, various Sausages, Beef and more). Having tried a variety of Feijoada across So Cal, it is safe to say Fogo de Chao’s version is excellent! The Black Beans are stewed down to a beautiful consistency, it’s earthy, savory and rich, with the multiple cuts of meat inside as well. Be sure to ask your server for some Farofa (Toasted Cassava Flour) that you sprinkle on top as you eat it, and you have one of the best Feijoada locally!
Pão de Queijo (Warm Cheese Rolls):
Fogo de Chao starts you off with their Pão de Queijo, served warm-hot, these classic Brazilian “Dinner Rolls” are infused with Cheese and are airy, fluffy and so delicious!
Bacon Wrapped Chicken:
Excellent. Moist, juicy Grilled Dark Meat Chicken, crisped Bacon on the outside.
Bone-In Beef Ancho (Bone-In Ribeye Steak):
I distinctly remember being only really in love with a few specific cuts of their grilled meats before COVID-19, but on this most recent visit, the Churrascaria experience improved greatly. Take this Bone-In Beef Ancho (or Ribeye Steak):
This was served a juicy medium-rare, perfectly grilled over their open fire, and it was incredibly beefy, moist, and standout!
Picanha (Prime Part of the Top Sirloin):
My favorite cut at most Brazilian BBQ’s, the Picanha (Prime Part of the Top Sirloin) was again a beautiful medium-rare, even more beefy, luscious, rich than the Ancho, and one of the highlights of the meal!
Costela de Porco (Pork Ribs):
Fire-Roasted Pork Ribs were lightly smoky, super tender, fall-off-the-bone tenderness. Very good.
Alcatra (Top Sirloin):
This was fine. Nicely grilled Top Sirloin over charcoal, nicely meaty, but a bit chewy.
Fraldinha (Bottom Sirloin):
The Fraldinha (Bottom Sirloin) was leaner, meatier, not too tough, but just an inherently leaner cut of Beef, so it wasn’t as lush and bursting with flavor as the Ancho or Picanha. Solid, but not my favorite.
Cordeiro (Lamb Picanha, Chops):
Their Grilled Lamb Chops, or Cordeiro, were very good. They give you a Double Lamb Chop per “slice” (instead of slicing a piece of a larger block of meat). Juicy, lightly gamy, nice grilling and medium-rare doneness.
Bone-In Beef Ancho (Bone-In Ribeye Steak):
The gaucho server stopped by with another large skewer of their Bone-In Beef Ancho (Bone-In Ribeye Steak), so I had to get another slice. It was as beefy, tender and standout as the first piece I had, maybe even a touch juicier and fattier on this cut.
Costela (Beef Ribs):
- Tip: If you don’t see the cut of meat that you’re waiting for, you can ask a gaucho or a server directly to bring it out.
This was the case for their Costela (Beef Ribs). And you definitely want to ask for that. Not only is it one of their pricier menu items, it is their best menu item. They bring out a giant rack of Grilled Beef Ribs, and slice off as much as you want.
Filet Mignon (Tenderloin):
This particular cut was on the medium to medium-well side. (Note: You can ask for doneness and the gaucho will try and cut you a piece to accommodate - we forgot to ask on this one.) True to its inherent nature, the Filet Mignon, even though it was a bit more on the medium-well side was still quite tender, more tender than the other steaks. But it just didn’t sing like the Ancho or Picanha.
Bisteca de Porco (Double Bone-In Pork Chop):
Good. A textbook, nicely grilled Bone-In Pork Chop over charcoal / open fire. Meaty, lean, but tender Pork Chop meat.
They still had quite a few more cuts of meat, but I had to stop at this point.
In the end, Fogo de Chao (Beverly Hills) has emerged from the 2020 shutdown with an improved menu, as there were more cuts of meat during the tableside experience that stood out than before COVID-19. The Ancho (Bone-In Ribeye) was beefier and more enjoyable. The Picanha (Prime Part of the Top Sirloin) is still the standout and fatty and lean and just so good! Be sure to ask for their Costela (huge racks of Grilled Beef Ribs) if you don’t see it brought around, and dig into the best item on the menu.
Add in the excellent, All-You-Can-Eat Market Table (quality Salads (multiple types), Grilled Vegetables, Smoked Salmon, Charcuterie and more, and one of the best Feijoada in Southern California, and a lower price for Lunch now, and you have one of the best special occasion Lunches for meat lovers.
Fogo de Chão Brazilian Steakhouse (Beverly Hills)
133 N. La Cienega Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA 90211
Tel: (310) 289-7755