Brazilian Beats and Eats in L.A.

Carnival (or Carnaval, as they say in Rio) may be over in Brazil, but this weekend it's heating up in Los Angeles. Where are you going to celebrate in L.A. the Brazilian way? Here are a few ideas to get you thinking about how you might have a little Sao Paulo-style fun.

Updated: February 24, 2010

Brazil Eats: Where to Dine

Picanha Churrascaria

269 E Palm Ave, Burbank, CA 91502

Looking for an an authentic Brazilian churrascaria experience? This Burbank favorite is a meat lover's paradise. Skewers of grilled meats, including garlic beef, leg of lamb, pork loin, sausages and chicken stream out of the kitchen in a festive (albeit expensive) setting.

Gauchos Village & Hookah Lounge

411 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale, CA 91203

Weekends are the best time to experience Gauchos. Pianist Marconi de Morais plays Brazilian bossa nova as authentic samba dancers perform hourly. Try the "arofa"--a tasty Brazilian specialty side dish made of yucca flour seasoned with onions and bacon.

M Grill

3832 Wilshire Blvd #202, Los Angeles, CA 90010

A churrascaria in Koreatown? Believe it. This hidden gem has been winning over fans of Brazilian buffet-style dining for years. Mashed yucca, fried banana, picanha (and all kinds of other exotic meat dishes) are all here and served up in an upscale setting.

Bossa Nova Brazilian Cuisine

7181 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90046

Not in the mood to wait in line at the Farmer's Market or pay a lot for your Brazilian eats? You could do worse than Bossa Nova. Though the entire menu is not explicitly Brazilian, in a pinch it surely suffices. This mini chain offers traditional fare such as coxinha on the (semi) cheap, and was even name-checked in a rap song by local duo LMFAO (who know all about the late hours Bossa Nova keeps ... until 4am on weekends).

Cafe Brasil

10831 Venice Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034

This casual Venice eatery is beloved for its easygoing charm and reasonable prices (for the portion sizes, that is). Try their fried plantains or Pan de Quejo at dinner or hit the restaurant for a quick lunch. As a bonus, this is one of the few Brazilian spots in L.A. open for breakfast--eggs scrambled with tomatoes and arugula is a favorite.

Tropicalia Brazilian Grill

1966 Hillhurst Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027

Looking for fresh exotic eats from Brazil? This may be your new favorite restaurant. Northern Brazilian dishes like their popular Moqueca de Peixe and their Bauru Paulista (grilled beef steak, farm fresh fried egg, sliced tomatoes, onions and lettuce) have won over the neighborhood--and then some.

Brazil Beats: Where to Dance

Club Nokia

800 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90015

Brazil comes to L.A. on Saturday, Feb. 20 when Club Nokia gets transformed by KCRW DJ Garth Trinidad (KCRW), Chris Brazil and Marlon Fuentes spinning Brazilian dance music. Now in its 10th year, the festival features a live Rio-style samba show featuring Casa do Samba and live music by The Trio Eletrico. More information and tickets available at

Aquarium of the Pacific

100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA 90802

Think Fat Tuesday is history? Not in Long Beach. The streets of the city near the Aquarium come alive Saturday, Feb. 20 as samba dancing, hurricane drinking and a parade takes place all afternoon and into the evening. Free parade begins at 3pm and the "Mardi Gras Funky Fete" starts at 6pm at the Bandshell. The Meters Experience (featuring guitarist Leo Nocentelli) plays. Get your beads ready and laissez les bon temps rouler! More information and tickets available at