There’s nothing like a good steak dinner, Brazilian style. At Fogo de Chao (133 N. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Hills, 310/289-7755, http://fogodechao.com, Mon.–Fri. 11 a.m.–2 p.m. and 5–10 p.m., Fri. until 10:30 p.m., Sat. 4:30–10:30 p.m., Sun. 4–9:30 p.m., $40–80), be prepared for an interactive dining experience. The meat is slow roasted, then skewered and cut right onto your plate by ever-moving servers.
Be sure to use the red-and-green token on your table; if you don’t turn it over to the red side occasionally, you will be continuously bombarded with the 15 different kinds of meat the restaurant offers. The fixed-price meal includes endless trips to the salad bar, fresh-cut veggies, and traditional Brazilian side dishes (fried bananas are a starch here, not a dessert).
The extensive wine list includes plenty of both California and European vintages, plus a wider-than-average selection of ports and dessert wines. While the food is fabulous, you’ll get the most out a meal here with a lively group that will enjoy the service as much as the spicy flavors.
© Liz Hamill Scott from Moon California, 2nd Edition