Portuguese food is exceedingly hard to find in Los Angeles, but streetgourmetla found some. It’s on a secret menu at Alexis Greek, and it’s all because of Fatima.
See, Alexis Kavvadias is the proprietor of Alexis Greek and the chef for all things Greek. But his wife, Fatima, is Portuguese, and responsible for the secret Portuguese menu. “She’s a force of nature,” says streetgourmetla. “Fatima has enough energy to light a small city. She’s a culinary historian, cookbook author, sommelier, chef extraordinaire, entertainer, prolific conversationalist, and a fitness babe.” And she’s an extraordinary cook. Everything is “seasoned and balanced with expertise, made from scratch, and plated with love.”
Fatima is a master of bacalhau—Portuguese salted cod. Bacalhau a braz is bacalhau sautéed with olive oil, onions, potato, eggs, and fresh herbs. “Put this on your comfort food ‘best of’ list,” says streetgourmetla. “Salted cod is not easy to pull off for even the most experienced cook, but Fatima coaxes tenderness and heavenly flavor with ease.”
Chicken piri-piri is perfectly broiled chicken, primarily flavored with Brazilian malagueta pepper. It’s delicious, and mildly spicy. “Malagueta is such a pleasing chile, a remarkable surprise to even the most ardent chile lover,” says streetgourmetla. Lula Lisboa is squid baked in a crock with fresh tomatoes, pine huts, and herbs and “cooked in a light wine sauce yielding a sweetness born from the chef’s craft,” says streetgourmetla.
Coelho estufado—rabbit stew—is amazing, says Depage. And, says Depage, “Fatima is a lovely lady, and makes everyone’s experience there nice. I have gone alone, and she kept me company!”
There’s also “luscious caldo verde, a potato puree with collard greens and a little surprise on the bottom, a chouriço. The chouriço accented the soup with gentle yet deep pork flavor,” says streetgourmetla. And dessert is “nothing short of transcendent,” continues streetgourmetla: quinces from Fatima’s own tree, poached in port wine.
For the full treatment, call ahead and try to arrange a special dinner with Fatima.
Alexis Greek [San Fernando Valley–West]
9034 Tampa Avenue, Northridge