Sunday, December 09, 2007

Fogo de Chao * * * * */ + + + + + $$$$$

Who? Themos, Stavros
Who? Themos, Andrew, Dora, Demitris
Where? Restaurant Row, Beverly Hills
How much? $70
Zagat: 23, $63

Themo's Take: This all you can eat Brazilian steakhouse is kind of like the iPhone: expensive, polished, must-have, and once you try it you never look back again. There is a choice of 15 types of meats, which includes some gems like bacon-wrapped filet mignon and parmesan pork. Once you sit down and turn the green light on, the servers keep firing at will bringing all kinds of meats at a very fast pace. The service is flawless with several people coming by every once a while to make sure that you get the type of meat you like best. You can even ask for a specific cooking level - if the meat is too raw, they just bring another one that is medium cooked. The salad bar is crazy, yet the meat quality is out of this world - probably the best meats I have tried anywhere in the US, since no two are alike and every type has its own distinct flavor. The design is also great with high ceilings and a huge wall of wine bottles as their main entrance. Valet parking is $5 or look around for street parking. Please come with an empty stomach to get your money's worth.

Andrew's Take: Agreed. Although this is definitely not a date spot, it is a place to commit unadulterated sinful gluttony. Every cut of meat is fantastic and cooked the way you want it - from red rare to well done. I was partial to the lamb chops and any undercooked top sirlion or ribeye. The cheese-stuffed bread balls were also amazing. The salad bar is very fresh and varied, providing lightness and sweetness to offset the mountains of meat. Fried yucca and plantains also join the fray. Coupled with a bottle of wine, one will leave Fogo satisfied and ready to sit in coma for a few hours on the couch. The molten chocolate cake is a great (yet heavy) way to top off the meal. Alternatively, the papaya cream dessert, and it's digesting enzymes, is the simple and refreshing choice to finish. Loud, busy atmosphere - go once for the experience. Thumbs up.

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