People are singing in the kitchen. There’s raucous laughter and the scent of palm oil and coconut. Welcome to the tiny Rio Brazil Café. “People wander in and out, affectionate, informal greetings pour out in Portuguese and English, there’s none of the ‘hello my name is Jane and I will be your server tonight’ nonsense,” says Das Ubergeek. “This little slice of Rio, with its amazingly good home-cooking, its bright flavours, its welcoming atmosphere, deserves to be hopping… but it isn’t. Go enjoy this before it’s gone.”
The feijoada is legendary: smoky black beans with sausage, pork, and beef parts. It’s served traditionally, with delicious rice, toasted yuca flour, collard greens, and orange slices. “Were I to go alone to Rio Brazil, I would have feijoada,” says Das Ubergeek. And streetgourmetla says, “Luciene [the chef] makes genuine feijoada, with tender meats, homemade carne seca, luscious beans, and all the pleasing textures of a real feijoada. This is required eating.”
Bobo de camarao—translated as “silliness with shrimp” by Das Ubergeek—is a brightly colored dish of very fresh, springy large prawns, coated with a velvety sauce made of yuca and coconut milk. Escondido—“something hidden”—is house-made dried beef hidden in a casserole of mashed yuca and topped with cheese.
Moquecas (Brazilian seafood stews) of fish and hearts of palm are available on the weekends. “The sauce is properly cooked down so that flavor is optimized in every bite. This is the mark of a great moqueca,” explains streetgourmetla.
Coconut pudding topped with blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries is a sensational dessert. And passion fruit mousse is pure Brazil, says streetgourmetla—sweet, tart, and tropical.
Rio Brazil Café [Westside–Inland]
3300 Overland Avenue, Los Angeles