An old friend visiting from Brazil suggested we go to this new restaurant in Alhambra.
This is near Pho79 at the intersection of Garvey and Main - address is 28 W. Main St.
Alhambra, CA 91801, phone 626.281.1777
There were three of us, and we all had the caipirinha - Brazilian equivalent of the mojito, made with the Brazilian cane sugar rum cachaca. I had remembered drinking this at his house over 20 years ago in Pasadena, so we had to try this, even though it was lunch, and normally I don't drink alcohol with lunch. It was quite good.
One of our party ordered the Picanha off the lunch menu - described as "TOP SIRLOIN CENTER CUT. SERVED WITH RICE, BLACK BEANS, YUCCA FLOUR, VINAIGRETTE, CARAMELIZED PLAINTAINS". The service was a bit shaky, since they brought this out first. It was a pretty decent cut of meat on a sizzling platter with grilled onions, and the sides on a separate dish. We asked that it be consumed while hot, thinking that the other two orders would come soon. But it took a long time. The Brazilian friend knew the host, who came out and apologized, saying that the dish was meant for another table, since our three orders were supposed to come together. He said they would give us a second order of this complimentary, to compensate for the delay and the mixup. Our food actually still took a long time to come out. They have been open for 4 months, and have been refining the menu (fourth change apparently coming next week - where they are changing from the more heavy meat based churrascarria model to more appetizers and a good bar with happy hour) - so I am chalking the service snafu to growing pains.
I had ordered the Moqueca de Peixe - described as "SEAFOOD STEW MADE WITH COD & SHRIMP, COCONUT MILK, DENDÊ OIL AND CASHEWS. SERVED WITH RICE AND VEGETABLES". It was tasty, but not something I would go back for. I could not taste the cashew and not knowing what Dende oil is, I have no idea if this was present. It felt like a mild Thai red curry with generous portions of shrimp and cod.
Our Brazilian host ordered the Feijoada - which was not on the menu, but we were told it is on their weekend menu. It is a traditional Brazilian/Portuguese stew of black beans with different cuts of meat, though here we were told there was only one type of meat.
Since there was the extra order of the Picanha, I got to try it. The meat was succulent, but nothing that special.
Overall, an interesting new restaurant, but hopefully it will continue to polish its operations in the future.