Libra Brazilian BBQ in Culver City - Better than expected!
Libra hasn't gotten a lot of love on this board, but I went there anyway because I had relatives in town who wanted Brazilian BBQ and didn't want to spend the cash for Fogo de Chao. I was agreeably surprised by the variety of salads, the quality and variety of the meat, and the fact that they use several different marinades instead of one big stockpot the way many places do. At Libra the beef, pork, and chicken are cooked separately, so someone with an allergy or religious reason for avoiding one meat may dine knowing that their meat has not touched or shared a marinade with others. Unlike some places, the marinades were not over-salted, which I appreciated.
The service was just OK - waiter was friendly and fluent but got into an animated conversation in Portuguese with people at a neighboring table and forgot us for a while, and later he forgot a caiprinha we had ordered from the bar. (To his credit, when he finally brought it, it was comped.) Other staff members kept water glasses refilled and kept the meats, cheese rolls, and fried polenta coming.
Wine prices are on the high side, selection is heavy on South American wines of course - we had a decent Argentine Malbec for about $35.00.
Overall it's a find - if you arrive for dinner before 6:30 PM midweek it's $34.00 for AYCE, after that it's $44.00. That's more expensive than Samba or By Brazil, but worth it, and about $20.00 cheaper than Fogo. It's worth a trip.