Although World Cup 2014 has concluded in Brazil, there are several things Brazilians can be happy about: the World Cup was a successful event, the Argentinians didn't win, and Brazilian BBQ received a bit more attention worldwide. The latter is probably the best news because Brazil has long had a thriving culture of food not known to many outside of South America. Luckily, within Redondo Beach exists a Brazilian churrascaria where tropical sunsets can be seen and the fragrant aromas of charred meats can be smelt at every table. The restaurant is called Samba Brazilian Steakhouse & Bar.
The deco is hard to beat considering the location. Located right off the beach, their dining room has a panoramic view of the ocean bluffs outside. As the sun slowly sets and the violet melts into orange, the view is stunning. The interior is a mix between lounge and restaurant, with black being the prominent color. High seats and high table tops make up the booths. Though there really is only one walkway between all the tables, the layout is rather simple as opposed to a maze.
The servers are very pleasant. Almost all have great personalities, willing to share laughs and witty comments. As each server carries around a sword of hot, juicy meat, they're probably the best smelling people anyone will smell. Some of the hostesses in front come off a bit blasé, having an air of arrogance that seeps from their pores as they speak. Though the intensity of the World Cup might be the cause, it doesn't seem like the best way to welcome diners to a restaurant.
At a churrascaria, the food has to be the star. After all, the servers even come and present you the food like it's the most amazing thing in the world (which it is). When you see a crackling, sultry sword of meat dripping its flavors in front of you, it really feels like nothing can be better; however, when such eye candy ends up being less than normal for your tastes, the hanger (hungry and angry) arrives.
Though there are some delicious exceptions like the bacon wrapped turkey or sausages, most of the meats have this lack of flavor. Some offerings of tri-tip end up being bland or the sirloin steak comes out being mostly medium-well. Medium-well and well done aren't awful in food, but for anyone who knows how to eat steak, it should be closer to medium/medium-rare for true satisfaction. At medium to medium rare, the meat is succulent and glides gently down your throat instead of endless chewing and chomping of overcooked meat.
The salad bar has a large selection of different sides and vegetables. There are some clear standouts like the basil garlic tomatoes taste which like bruschetta or the melody of sweet mushrooms that are a delightful potpourri of flavors. However, most items in the salad bar are either bland or disappointing. The most tragic of the items is the tough, dry cheese balls that should be gooey and glutinous. Overall, the food comes off a tease.
Although Samba Brazilian Steakhouse & Bar isn't a bad place to dine, the quality of the food just isn't there yet. The service is great, the view is wonderful, but the food needs refinement. Not the best place to experience a high quality Brazlian churrascaria, but definitely a great start to your journey into Brazilian culinary exploration.
Samba Brazilian Steakhouse & Bar
207 N Harbor Drive
Redondo Beach, CA 90277