Traditional Brazilian cuisine has been hard to come by in Los Angeles—many restaurants closed after the real estate market collapsed; others closed due to poor management and capitalization. These restaurants offered more or less the same menu meant especially to cater to local Brazilians: traditional appetizers, cold cans of Guaraná soda, and prato feito, or composed meals consisting of a protein, beans, rice, collard greens, plantains, and often times a fried egg, and French fries. It’s Brazilian Portuguese as the Blue Plate special.
Just when we had defaulted to the typical Brazilian steak houses, paulistas (people from São Paulo) Leticia Barth—originally from Porto Alegre—and partner Mauriem Sasaki opened Panelas Brazilian Cuisine this past March. (Panelas translates into cooking pans in Portuguese.) You’ll find this small lanchonete (luncheonette) hidden in a residential zone in Redondo Beach. The partners started out with Brazilian savories, sandwiches, exotic juices like the fragrant cupuaçú, salads, and the ubiquitous prato feito, but it’s their daily specials that have brought a special taste of Brazil to L.A.
Virado à paulista is the ultimate prato feito from São Paulo. On the plate find grilled pork chops, couve (Brazilian style collard greens), beans, rice, a fried egg, and plantains. “It’s a big hit, and we’ll doing it on Thursdays,” wrote Barth in an email.
They’ve also made bacalhaoda brasileira, a salt cod casserole with olives, peppers, hard-boiled eggs, potatoes, tomatoes, and onions. Find, too, the Brazilian version of stroganoff made with ketchup and Brazilian cream that has to be served with stick fries or Brazilians at the table will stand up and leave!
Panelas is a great lunch option for those seeking a little Brazilian comfort.
Panelas Brazilian Cuisine, 2808 Phelan Ln. Ste B, Redondo Beach, 310-214-4148.