Restaurant Review #130: Cafe Brasil, Culver City

Outdoor/Indoor dining area

Cafe Brasil is casual and low-key, with wooden benches and tables that remind me of a barbeque restaurant (but nicer) and do-it-yourself counter ordering and pickup. Vegans and vegetarians alike enjoy Cafe Brasil because they can eat the veggie platter; others may enjoy the many meat dishes, and everyone is sure to delight in the fried plantains and the best rice I've ever had (and this is coming from someone who doesn't even like rice! I think they spike the rice with butter). There are cushions to make your bench seats more comfy if you can manage to snag one, and the prices are very reasonable. Yet my favorite thing about Cafe Brasil is how its atmosphere transports me out of Los Angeles altogether and into a more laid-back city.

Vegetarian plate (it's vegan, too!)

The vegetarian plate consists of zucchini, tomatoes, and broccoli. I'm an avid broccoli hater, but the sauce it's cooked in here disguises the flavor so well that I'll actually eat it. All the platters come with rice, plantains, black bean soup, and a small salad with a unique tangy dressing.


I wasn't impressed with the steak--it was too chewy and I had to trim around some fatty areas. The fresh mango juice was excellent, however, and there's no doubt that it's fresh--you can see the mangos and the juicer right behind the counter.

You can choose between valet for $6.75 and fighting for street parking with nearby residents and other diners. Parking myself on a Friday night was difficult, and on a Sunday night visit, it was no easier. Being able to bring your own wine or beer with no corkage fee will make up for any parking stress, however. Almost all of the seats are on the heated outdoor patio, where the lighting is low and there are candles and fresh, fragrant flowers on every table. Two tables of last resort are located inside near the kitchen and ordering area.

TV's detract somewhat from the otherwise strangely romantic ambience--I hear that Cafe Brasil is a great place to watch a soccer game (and maybe not the best place to be if you aren't into the sport--you know how intense soccer fans are!).

Entrees are about $10-15.

If you've been to Cafe Brasil, how was your experience? Leave a comment!

Cafe Brasil

10831 Venice Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90034-7109
(310) 837-8957
Open daily, 11am-10pm
Takeout available
Cafe Brasil Menu

Second location:
11736 West Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA


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joanh said...

I wasn't that impressed with the steak either.. I think the churrasco steak at the next-door Bamboo is a lot better in flavor and tenderness.. If you go to Bamboo instead, you have to pay for the parking, but you get free warm bread and more romantic ambience.

RobySue said...

I miss Cafe Brasil. I used to live half a block away... The chicken is their best meat dish. The plantains are always yummy. Go ahead and pass on the pao de quejo, though. It's not good unless it's really fresh (and I'm pretty sure they only cook theirs once a day).

colin said...

i really like the rice & beans here; but i think it's a bit pricy...i spent like $23 on lunch here just for myself. the lemonade is great though.