Brazilian Steak House | Award-Winning Churrasco | Hot-Food Buffet | Caipirinha Cocktails | Fixed-Price Menu
How it Works: During this all-you-can-eat fine-dining experience, customers are first seated at tables bedecked with white linens. Then, a server parades out a selection of 16 churrascaria meats, carving off a portion of skewered beef, lamb, pork, or chicken. A two-sided, colored coaster—green for "keep it coming," red for "I'm stuffed"—lets the staff know if you'd like seconds or thirds. Diners can also help themselves to the buffet of salad fixings and side dishes.
Inside Tip: Vegetarians can skip out on the meat and pay a reduced price for the salad and sides buffets. The extensive salad bar is filled with traditional choices as well as tabbouleh and pickled shiitake, and the hot side dishes include a "mashed potato so smooth it could pass for crème fraîche," according to OC Weekly.
Caipirinha: a Brazilian cocktail made with the sugarcane-based spirit cachaça and lime juice
If You Can’t Make It, Try This: Amazon Churrascaria BBQ Buffet (1445 S. Lemon Street, Fullerton), more casual—but no less authentic—spot for Brazilian cuisine according to the Los Angeles Times.
Skewered cuts of sirloin, brazilian sausage, and pork ribs rotate slowly over a sweltering grill, their savory juices producing a rhythmic hiss as each drop hits the metal. This is churrasco, Xodó Grill's specialty. Once the traditional Brazilian barbecue has roasted to a tender finish, the staff slices off juicy morsels for customers to pair with 12 types of salads and a slate of hot dishes from the colorful buffet. Heaping plates of fried yucca, picanha, and cheese bread await the scales, which customers use to pay by the pound and Lady Justice uses to smuggle extra cuts of steak.
Brazilian churrascarias—a kind of Portuguese barbeque joint—have their roots in traditional celebrations of a successful harvest. At modern churrascarias, waiters walk around with skewers or roasted meat, cutting off all-you-can-eat portions of steak, pork, and chicken directly onto your plate. Diners interested in rounding out a years' worth of protein can find endless accompaniments at the salad bar and buffet of Brazilian hot dishes or try traditional drinks such as caipirinha or guarana, a Brazilian soda.
Although Gulliver’s Restaurant’s name comes from the writing of Jonathan Swift, its menu draws inspiration from inns and pubs throughout the England countryside. Gayot praised the eatery’s commitment to hearty comfort food, claiming that “the steaks are thick and juicy, and the Yorkshire pudding adds just the right authentic Olde English touch.” This British influence appears throughout the menu, from the fish ‘n’ chips to the sweet english trifle. Prime rib slow roasts inside a specially designed oven, and cuts of prime steak age in-house, leaving ample time for the chefs to forge a variety of new American cuisine, which demonstrates a similar commitment to satisfying, homestyle flavors. In addition to baby-back ribs and crab cakes with honey mustard, the menu also includes decadent options such as Maine lobster tails in molten gold.
Even the Zagat-rated eatery’s ambiance manages to evoke the feel of a roadside cottage. Lit by a row of electric chandeliers, the main dining room’s wood-paneled walls feature an astonishingly vast collection of framed pictures, mounted tankards, decorative plates, long-stemmed pipes, and prints by illustrators of Gulliver’s Travels. The lobby area’s fireplace contributes to this cozy ambiance, although patio seating is also available for alfresco dining.
There’s no better place to have a good time than at Paul Martin’s house, and in this case, house actually refers to a contemporary restaurant better known as Paul Martin’s American Grill. With eight locations and counting, Paul Martin’s is quickly becoming the neighborhood hangout in many areas. Guests who come to the Irvine location will find the homemade meals made from scratch that the restaurants are known for. Make your reservation online today, and enjoy lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch meals. The dinner menu features chef’s specials that include three courses for a complete meal; if in the mood for chicken, try the Fried Chicken meal starting with an organic green salad followed by free-range buttermilk fried chicken and ending with homemade ice cream for dessert. Diners will enjoy the mesquite grill menu options as well as the perfectly cooked seafood. Guests will be interested to know that Paul Martin’s does note gluten free and heart healthy options on their menus. Valet parking is available for in-house diners, and takeout is also available for those who wish to remain home in their comfy pajamas.
Beautiful architecture and artistic cuisine are staples at Houston’s Restaurant in Irvine. Dig in for lunch with a hearty cheeseburger or the veggie burger. House specialties include the Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes, Hawaiian Rib-Eye, Rotisserie Chicken and Roasted Prime Rib. For a real treat, guests should try the Loup De Mer which encompasses grilled sea bass, roasted Marcona almonds, mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables. Wine connoisseurs will appreciate the extensive list available featuring Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Zinfandel and Pinot Noir. Houston’s is concerned about the safety of their guests, so please have them call you a cab if needed. Guests should call to inquire about catering services. Reservations are accepted, and valet parking is available.