Irvine >Restaurants >
Greek >Agora Churrascaria
1830 Main St, Irvine, CA | Directions 9261433.685291 -117.856319
Mon-Fri 11:30am-2pm, 5pm-10pm
Neighborhoods: Irvine Business Complex
I've been to this Churrascaria many times, and the food and the service has always been pretty good. I've even recommended and personally introduced it to many friends.
However, the last time I went to meet up with a few friends for lunch on Oct. 12, the experience left me never wanting to go back. It was a pretty hot day, in the upper 80's, so I was wearing a nice brand name shirt with cut off sleeves. I entered the restaurant, and was greeted by the hostess. I told her I'm waiting for my 2 other friends to arrive for a party of 3. Then an older guy (Giacomo Rivero was his name) in white shirt comes over, and with a very unfriendly attitude told me to leave the restaurant. I asked why, and he said my clothing is not appropriate. I was shocked. Just earlier I was walking through South Coast Mall, one of the highest end malls in the western United States, and was getting friendly service from every store I visited. "So what exactly was wrong with what I am wearing?" I asked. He says my shirt needs to have sleeves. I pointed out that nowhere on the web site nor the restaurant did it say that customers needed to wear clothing with sleeves, this isn't a church. He then pointed to a little sign, about 2 inches high and 6 inches wide, sitting on the hostess table saying something like "Appropriate Attire Required" (I can't remember the exact words). So then I argued that it didn't specify I needed sleeves, and wondered why that would be inappropriate. I was thinking to myself that after all, this is a Brazilian restaurant, and in Brazil, this rule would be INSANE for anyone to follow at a churrascaria. He replied that other guests would find it disgusting if I reached for the food in the buffet with my bare arm. I was shocked. Did not know what to say. I'm not a hairy guy at all (being Asian and all), and just the fact that he was implying that my arms are disgusting was a COMPLETE INSULT!! So then I asked him, would the rule apply to women as well? And he replied Yes, staring me in the face while the hostess was awkwardly standing right next to him wearing a dress which reveals her shoulders and arms. I was furious at this point, so I simply asked for his business card and left. I went back to my car, took off the nice shirt I was wearing, threw on a dirty t-shirt I had from my gym bag, and waited outside for my friends, not wanting to go back in.
We eventually still had lunch there that day due to everyone's time constraints, but the experience left me completely hating the place. During the meal, I noticed many female customers searing clothes that revealed the entire arms. So basically Giacomo Rivero, whatever his title at Agora is, lied straight to my face.
Being Asian and having grown up in a 99% caucasian neighborhood in Oregon, I'm not completely insensitive to situations of mis-treatment due to race, and I have to say it truly felt that way based on the way Giacomo was talking to me.
I've been busy with work since the experience, so it has taken a while for me to write this review. But the level of service and the way I was treated by Giacomo Rivero the moment I walked into Agora is something I will never forget. I am no longer a fan of the restaurant, and from now on I will go out of my way to convince anyone I know to stay away from that place.
Great Brazilian BBQ! – The service is fast, the food is incredibly high quality, and the ambiance is great. All around, eating at Agora is a very pleasurable experience. This is a great place for dinner with friends or family or work associates, and a good place for a date based on the very nice atmosphere. The servers were very friendly and accommodating. Picanha, a traditional Brazilian cut of sirloin and Costela de Carnerio (lamb chops) are my favorite here. make sure you portion control. It is very easy to overeat here.
The interior is clean, roomy and well laid out. The meats were all flavorful, tender, and plentiful. The salad bar is extensive and delicious.
Many would think it a little overpriced, but for everything I got, it is hard to compare to another restaurant. If you're looking for a place with good food, give this place a try, and come very hungry!
Incredible Service – Our service was great and the waiter was adorable. Ambiance was romantic and definitely recommended. For the music,,,I would recommend jazz or house and the people were cool. Portions were good.
Great food, great variety, good service – I went here for Valentine's day after our other plans fell through. I made reservations online and when I got there didn't have to wait even five minutes. Ordered a Brazilian cocktail and some wine and hit the salad / side dish bar. That had some salads, and great potatoes, some shrimp cocktail and smoked salmon. Great way to start, I love those roasted potatoes. Then the guy's with the skewers started coming around. To wit: Bacon wrapped chicken, chicken drummettes, parmesan tenderloan, bacon wrapped filet, top sirloin, skirt steak, rare fillet, beef ribs, salmon, and tri-tip! Everything you could want. I though the $40 or so pre-set price was fair for the amount of variety and quality of meat. My favorite was the top sirloin and the rare fillet. I imagine this is also a great place for groups. Not sure what more they would have to do to get 5 stars instead of 4 so I'll give them the full 5.
Unique Restaurant for the OC - GREAT FOOD!!! – I visited Agora with a group in December. It was a Tuesday and the service was wonderful, very friendly and prompt. The atmosphere is chic and elegant; a perfect place for a couple but also works well for group dining due to the unique style of serving. Not to mention the food was fantastic!!! I highly recommend.
Best Brazilian Taste In LA – One of my favorite spots for my brazilian food fixes. I eat here at least once a month and i don't think i will ever get tired of the food here.
Best Brazillian – I absolutely loved every bit of my visit at this restaurant. The food was prompt and yummy...fresh and the atmosphere was just perfect.
One of the top places for Meat Variety – I took my girl here on our 2 year anniv. I was lucky this place was good, not that she'd really care, but I didn't want dull food. This place was sooo good with their selection, and everything I tried was near perfect. It is kinda expensive (anticipate at least 60 per person), but worth it. I loved it, she loved it, and we can't wait to go back. they do need a little more variety in their side portions area, but customers truly only go there for the Brazillian style meat.
Way to pricey!!! – This place is okay, but way too pricey for what it is! My thought coming out of there was: "give me a freakin' break!!' Churrascarias are known for being pricier than the average dining experience, justified by 'all the food you're getting.' So even if expensive, I'd expect this place to have something else: an ambience, the service, the variety... But instead, everything was average, or less than. I thought it was nothing out of the ordinary, and the meat was not that great. There was not that much variety. I personally also like all the brazilian 'additives' to come w/ the meat: collard greens, pao de queijo, farofa,... there was nothing!!! Just some whitened salad at the bar (yuck!) There was, of course, a general 'snottiness' vibe coming from the waiters, because after all, "this is a 'schee-schee' place that it's too good for mortals." I think the churrascaria in Long Beach is WAY better (forgot the name!); and if you do want something fancy and 'schee-schee' to take guests, Fogo de Chao in LA is a much better choice b/c there, both the food and the ambience impresses. Agora needs to get over itself, or step up their game!!!
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