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Apr 4, 2010 11:17 AM

Rio Brasil Cafe - Don't you love how every Brazilian place has Carnival on TV when there's no live soccor AND no live Carnival!

After reading streetgourmet la and exile kiss's Feijoada Throwdown I was all set to go try Nalva's version at Zabumba. Well, DON'T BOTHER -- she's gone. So, after taking a look at Zabumba (and not feeling any chow-y vibes at all from the staff and Latin dance teachers) my friends and I high-tailed it over to Rio Brasil Cafe. We stopped and bought cachaca so they could make caipirinhas for us.
Sadly (for them) - Happily (for us) it was empty at 8 on a Saturday. There were 7 of us and we had not made a reservation. A server had just left: no matter, a single woman/waitress/bartender/chef/busgirl/owner(?) served us very well, albeit slowly. But slow was fine as we were lovin' her pitchers of caipirinhas. She ran out of lime by the third pitcher. Next time, I really need to let her know we are coming so she can be more prepared.

But WOW, the feijoada was truly excellent! The cheese bread and emanapda-type appetizers were only so-so, my friends felt that they may not be house made, just heated up).

With Chego (the Kogi dude's new rice bowl concept) in the same minimall maybe their biz will improve: they (maybe I should say "she"!) could use - and deserve - some chow-love.

10717 Venice Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034

Los Angeles, CA, Los Angeles, CA

Rio Brazil Cafe
3300 Overland Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90034

3300 Overland Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90034

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  1. Hi Ciao Bob,

    Nice report! :) I'm glad to hear their Feijoada is still as amazing as before. I'm sorry to hear Chef Nalva has left Zabumba! :( Thanks for the update.

    10717 Venice Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034

    1. Hey CiaoBob, doesn't everyone have Carnaval on DVD. I need to get the 2010 Carnaval soon. Luciene is a one woman show. You had the right spirit about the place, service is slow and they are trying to stay afloat like everyone else in this economy.

      Do call in advance if you're bringing a group and bring your cachaca. I have a bottle stashed there, anyone can join the cachaca club, just have Luciene mark your bottle and leave it behind.

      Now you can call yourself TchauBob.

      3 Replies
        1. re: streetgourmetla

          which bottle of cachacha do you have on hand there?

          Will Lucienne be down to whip up some carpinharias?

          I may have to try again for the Moqueca.

          The last time i was there possibly about 3 months back it was painfully slow.

          1. re: kevin

            I have either a bottle of 51 or Ypioca there. I use Ypioca, 51, or Velho Barreiro exclusively for caipirinhas here in the US. They are legit well cachacas. Leblon, Sagatiba, and Cabana are triple distilled cachacas stripped of the wonderful characters of cachaca. The bottles I recommend are all available at most larger liquor stores, best at Beverage Warehouse.

            Luciene will make caipirinhas with your cachaca, her ingredients for $3 a pop. Bring a bottle of Germana or Weber Haus and you can sip away like a true carioca.

            The service is slow folks, bring friends and cachaca, relax and enjoy the moments.

            Beverage Warehouse
            4935 McConnell Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90066

        2. Finally had a chance to try this place - I had wanted to try their feijoada, and was very happy I did. I met a couple friends there at 7pm, and brought some beers to drink as well (I was going to bring a bottle of cachaca, but I figured with just the 3 of us, we might get too buzzed to drive afterwards). I went with the feijoada, but my friends went with the picanha (I tried to convince them to get the feijoada). We also got some pao de queijo. The pao de queijo was freshly made and delicious. The feijoada was very good, with plenty of porky goodness inside. It only came with a little pile of farofa, which I could have used more of though. My friends really liked their picanha too.

          Service was very Brazilian (slow and laid-back), which I didn't mind at all, but I did have to warn my friends about. There was even a young lady that came by and offered us some Capirinhas and was helping out the owner. She was just eating there, but seemed to be friend's with her too. Very friendly and kind.

          I was glad I was able to finally try some feijoada here in the States. It wasn't quite up to par with the feijoada I had in Brazil (but almost nothing is as good as it is in its native country), but it was still very good. Do yourself a favor and stop in for a traditional Carioca dinner, you'll be glad you did.