A Brazilian Dining Event at Fogo de Chão

It is not often that my husband and I get the chance to have a nice date night. Last night, we were invited to eat at Fogo de Chão, a Brazillian Steakhouse located in Downtown LA. If you have never eaten at a Brazillian Steakhouse, then you are in for a foodie experience.

Fogo de Chão is a Brazilian steakhouse, or churrascaria, which has specialized for more than 36 years in fire-roasting high-quality meats utilizing the centuries-old Southern Brazilian cooking technique of churrasco.

On Sunday, May 8th Fogo de Chão Brazilian Steakhouse welcomes families to celebrate Mother’s Day with a culinary journey through Southern Brazil. As a special gift, Moms who dine on Mother’s Day weekend will receive a Dining Card good for a complimentary lunch or dinner on their next visit*.

Once you sit down and hear the history of the churrascaria, you can begin the experience with a drink and these delicious, light Brazilian Cheese Bread or Pao de Queijo. As much as you don't want to fill up on these, it's hard to keep your hand out of the bowl. 

The dining experience is two parts. Fogo offers a gourmet Market Table & Feijoada Bar, which includes seasonal salads, soup, fresh vegetables, feijoada (traditional black bean stew with rice, fresh orange and yucca flour), and much more. Above you can see some of my selections, including my favorite part; shavings from the wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano. 

The side dishes are served family-style and are endless. Which means, the minute one of these plates go empty, a server will be there to bring you a fresh portion. Southern Brazilian side dishes include crispy hot polenta sprinkled with parmesan, caramelized bananas and garlic mashed potatoes.

Okay, now on to the meat. Each time I've visited Fogo, I've had a different favorite. Last night, my favorite was the lamb chops. At Fogo, they are cooked perfectly. With a delicious crisp on the outside and moist and tender on the inside, it is just perfection. 

You can smell these pork ribs coming at you from across the room. And when they arrive at your table, you can't pass these up. 

So the deal with a churrascaria is they give you a little card at your table. When you flip it to the green side, the servers will come to you and offer you the cut of meat that they are carrying. Once you've had enough options for the moment, you can flip your card over to red and they will give you a chance to catch up. 

Guests can enjoy selections such as the house specialty picanha sirloin, filet mignon, ribeye, lamb chops, center cut bone-in pork chop, and chicken wrapped in bacon. All the options are delicious and you can choose whether you want it rare, medium or medium well. 

Fogo welcomes families of all sizes to celebrate their Mothers on May 8th. 

All locations will extend their hours, opening all day with seatings from 11am to 9pm. Meals for children six years of age and under are complimentary, and children seven to 12 years of age dine at half price for the Full Churrasco Experience. For information about specific locations or regarding group and private dining, visit fogo.com.

For more information, visit Fogo.com or FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Brunching in Los Angeles at KayNDave's Cantina

Ah, brunch! Brunch used to be my very favorite meal. I used to look forward to the weekends when me and my then boyfriend would enjoy delicious food and champagne. Then babies happened and brunch became an after thought. But now, my babies are kids and I can either trust them to hang with us or leave them with their grandparents. So, brunch is back on!

Recently I attended a brunch at KayNDaves Mexican Cantina in Culver City and it was some of the best, fresh Mexican food. Before I dive into all of the delicious details of the food, I have to mention the beautiful atmosphere. Living in Los Angeles, you can pretty much always guarantee nice weather, so sitting, eating and chatting while hanging out near an outdoor fire pit really makes for an amazing meal experience. There is plenty of both outdoor and indoor seating as well as really good music playing in the background. Okay, now on to the food.  

I have to apologize in advance because these pictures you are about to see will definitely inspire hunger. You have been warned. 

Don't you just love fresh guacamole? There is almost nothing better than fresh guacamole and at KayNDave's they add a fresh pop of flavor with pomegranate seeds.

Let me tell you a little bit about the drinks you are looking at right here. From left to right: Tamarindo Margarita, made with Xicaru Mezcal served in a chili rimmed glass. Watermelon Shot, made with fresh Muddled Watermelon and tequila and a Blackberry Margarita, made with fresh muddled blackberries and mint. 

Now onto the comida. I labeled what you are looking at in the photo below and keep reading to hear the yummy descriptions. 

Everything you see here was delicious. Nothing on the menu for the day was too spicy or overwhelming and the cooks did an amazing job at making sure everything was very balanced and fresh and complimentary.  

The Chicken Mole Taco, with made from scratch Mole negro was so refreshing with cabbage and queso on top. My absolute favorite item of the day was hands down, the Squash Blossom Relleno. I had no idea what amazing flavors were coming my way when I bit into it, but oh man, I will never forget it. The fresh blossoms, jack cheese, Mexican herbs, crema and pico de gallo all made up such a delicious few bites that left me wanting at least 3 more. However, I had to move on to the Ceviche Tostada and I was not disappointed. The ceviche made with Sole marinated in lime juice, on top of a bed of guacamole, on top of a tostada had such a bright and crisp flavor, I would definitely order that again.  Last, was the mini Pibil Sope, made with Cochinita Pork Pibil oven roasted in banana leaves. The Sope had so many layers of flavors and textures and they all went so well. The mini Sope was perfectly crunchy and soft, the pork pibil had such great flavor and the radishes on top just evened out all of the textures. 

Hungry yet?

How about this for a brunch entree? Chiliquiles Verde. These chiliquiles, were made with spicy tomatillo salsa, cotija cheese, fresh herbs, avocado, and an egg on top of a bed of tortilla chips. Yup.

Oh and on to the Molcajete Azteca. This molcajete has everything you could want, grilled steak, shrimp, and chicken, slow cooked with a relleno in Guajillo sauce. The presentation alone was amazing, it came to me still bubbling in a stone molcajete. Ooh, I dove right in and it was the kind of meal where you definitely need to lick your fingers. It's okay. We were in a no judge zone. 

On to dessert... from left to right: Tres leches, banana flautas, and my favorite Coconut crusted fried ice cream.  They are all pretty self explanatory and as delicious as they sound. 

Oh and when they asked whether or not we want hot or cold coffee we were definitely not expecting to be treated to this delicious Mexican mocha complete with two shots of espresso and Abuelita chocolate! Refreshing and a nice pick me up after the tequila and food.  

KayNDave's started in 1991 when Dave, a lawyer at the time decided to buy a small Mexican Cantina on P.C.H. Dave and his wife inherited a staff and continued to open other locations in Pacific Palisades, Brentwood and the Culver City. All of the delicious food is the direct result of brothers Alejo, Roberto and Ruben (not pictured) Grijalva. Growing up on a farm in Oaxaca they learned much of what they know, including their cooking style from their great grandmother. The fresh ingredients and style that they learned in Oaxaca speaks volumes through the delicious food that they now cook at KayNDaves. When you are out and about in LA, I definitely recommend you stop in at one of the several KayNDaves locations.