/ The Los Angeles Guide
Los Angeles — By Joannaline C. Young on February 20, 2010 at 10:50 pm
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Samba Into Your Choice

Samba Table

Red means “don’t bother me”, green means “bring on the churrasco!”

After a long walk around Universal City in Studio City, my stomach rumbled for some good food. I passed by Samba restaurant and was enticed by it’s Brazilian dancing neon sign. When you first sit at a table in the Samba Restaurant, you may notice a tri-colored object which I initially assumed was a mere decoration. However, the waitress informs us that when you are eating from the salad bar, make sure the “device” has the red side faced up. When I had my fill of authentic Brazilian veggies and soups I can then flip the object over to have the green part facing up which will signal the churrasco servers to bring on the meat!

AMBIANCE

Choose Samba for an evening visit, and enjoy the dim space and eating by candlelight. The service was excellent as I was constantly asked how my meal was going. I was only greeted by smiles and that included the Brazilian dancers. Some may suggest they are scantily dressed, however, look further and appreciate the joy of the Brazilian culture. Two Brazilian dancers bring fun to the tables by dancing around the restaurant in traditional movements with their grandiose glittery feather costumes. This was a great introduction into the meal I was about to enjoy.

SALAD BAR

Salad Bar

The salad bar is set like a rustic farmer’s market with their seemingly hand written labels for the different vegetables. Items include mint beets, marinated cherry tomatoes, ceviche, coconut rice, soup, and so much more! There are servers behind the bar ready to take any questions you may have, and believe me I had many. However, be sure not to fill up on these side dishes, the best is yet to come.

CHURRASCO

My plate

You’ll enjoy about ten types of Brazilian BBQ sliced table side, and only you can say when to stop. A server I shall dub the “Churrasco Man” comes over with spits of marinated meat and gives a brief introduction. He’ll always just “suggest” that you try it, but the decision is entirely yours if you would like to pass. My favorites included the beef ribs and traditional Brazilian meats like cheese wrapped beef, bacon wrapped chicken (Frango), “Picanah”, and “Linguica” sausages. All the meats were seasoned just right and will be served to your preferences. The Churrasco man will ask you how you like your meat, and then cut it according to the doneness you prefer.

I couldn’t help but feel that this whole experience was all about me: my own pace, my own preferences. I only got what I wanted, how I wanted it, when I wanted it, and as much as I wanted. I definitely walked out satisfied.  This was one of the few times I can truly say I have had a perfect dining experience.

THE NEED TO KNOWS

Samba restaurant also has something for late nighters with their bar open until 1:30am. Or come in earlier so you can taste Brazilian cocktails in their Happy Hour from 2pm-7pm. They also have special brunch (11am-3pm) and dinner (5pm-11pm) options where you can order separate appetizers and entrees. There is also another location in Redondo Beach.

Location: Samba Universal CityWalk, 1000 Universal City Walk, #101H, Universal City, CA 91608

Price: $35 per person for the churrasco buffet.

Photo Courtesy of Luna, Ink.

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