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Restaurants & Bars 34

Brasa - Peruvian chicken (and more) in Berkeley

flavorenhancer | Feb 27, 201210:00 AM

Brasa, a new Peruvian style rotisserie chicken is open in the space that was eVe. The same couple that ran eVe are still in charge here, but the new restaurant is much more in tune with the neighborhood and the small space than the previous incarnation. Gone are the dark tones and low lighting. Now the space is bright and airy. Order at the front off a menu displayed on a wall mounted flat screen monitor, take a number and find a seat. The food comes out fast. Beyond rotisserie chicken in various sizes (whole chickens, half chickens, quarter chickens, chicken sandwich, chicken rice bowl) they serve some other Peruvian style meats like chicharrones (pork) and lomo saltado (beef), shrimp and also tofu in the same sandwich/rice bowl style. Sides include fries, a few salads and rice which come with the chicken meals.
The chicken rice bowl ($7.50) is pulled roast chicken mixed with a creamy sauce served over lettuce, tomato and rice (essentially the sandwich with rice instead of bread). It was tasty, quite salty and mildly spicy.
Last night we got a whole chicken with rice and salad to go ($19.50). The chicken is more than enough for two hungry eaters. Crisp skin, moist meat and light spice rub make for a mighty tasty bird. A trio of thick, creamy sauces are included in the deal, including a white one that was what came with the rice bowl chicken as well as a green one and a spicy red one. The sauces are well flavored but sort of mayonnaise textured and overpowering if used in too large quantities. The same thick, creamy texture is found in the salad dressing.
The house made alfajores (cookies) look fabulous but will have to wait until next time.
Considering what it would cost (time & money) to make an equivalent meal at home, the value of the whole chicken dinner is really good.
Oh, they also have wine on tap priced by the ounce. One red, one white. Order as much or as little as you want. What a great idea!

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