Gamela Grill's cadre of steakhouse savants prepares a traditional menu of authentic cuisine from Brazil’s southeastern gold-mining region of Minas Gerais. Sate carnivorous hankerings with a combination of churrasco (barbecued meats) ($13.50/lb), including sirloin cap, brazilian sausage, and chicken breast wrapped in bacon. Meaty meals can be augmented with the salad bar’s veritable arsenal of veggies and other herbivorous delights, or a bevy of hot dishes, such as fried yuca, plantains, and banana squash ($8.65/lb). Keeping true to the tradition of the mining region, meals are cooked in wood-burning stoves and served in cast-iron or stone pots on the outstretched wings of a condor.
Fusion steakhouse Kravings channels Brazilian rodizio-style cooking with an unlimited supply of fire-roasted meat served tableside. Order the rodizio special and display nondiscriminatory nibbling practices on up to 12 premium meat cuts, such as steaks, chicken, pork, and seafood, presented on giant skewers or cedar planks and carved at the table ($16.95 for lunch, $37.95–$39.95 for dinner). Unlimited helpings of flame-licked meats—including tequila-lime chicken, leg of lamb, and filet mignon wrapped in bacon—test stomach storage space, and à la carte dinner entrees, such as lamb chops seasoned with mint-chardonnay sauce ($33.95), set a finite finish on jaw calisthenics. All rodizio specials come with a side and salad buffet that purveys more than 30 mammal-free and seasonal options, including soups, salads, sushi, and smoked salmon.
In addition to its azure waters and its intoxicating climate, the Mediterranean is known for the rich variety of herbs and spices that populate the cuisines of its people. Steeped in this tradition themselves, the cooks at Eilat Grill season their meat, seafood, and vegetarian dishes with the same flavors found in bustling markets and cozy kitchens throughout the region. Their menu is packed with traditional favorites such as hummus plates, kabobs, and grill plates piled high with chicken, beef, and lamb, as well as four salmon entrees prepared with different international twists. Diners can also sample exotic breakfasts such as shakshuka, a poached egg dish soaked in a homemade spicy tomato sauce, or stick with familiar favorites such as classic American burgers. No matter what they order, guests take their meals in a romantic dining room featuring accents such as Jerusalem stone columns, tiled arches, and statues of Cupid updating his LiveJournal. This scene is occasionally joined by visions of colorful cakes and tarts, which make their home in the displays of the restaurant’s bakery.
In Gaucho Grill's kitchen, juicy steaks and marinated poultry sizzle on grills, sending the rich aroma of Argentine cuisine drifting through the restaurant's rustic interior. Savory mushrooms and veggies garnish meats on intimate lamp-lit tables surrounded by knotty timber walls, rough slate arches, and lariat-hurling ranchers. Dulcet treats of flan, mousse, and crepes cap South American feasts with notes of sweetness, and glasses of fruit-packed Argentine wines tastefully complement choice selections from the grill.
The edible delights at Enoteca radiate rustic authenticity from the comprehensive menu. Antipasti anchor the easy vibes, so dive finger-first into platters of grilled polenta and wild mushrooms ($13), or beef carpaccio with foie gras ($15). The usual suspects done creatively are all present during subsequent courses, including napoletana pizza heavy with anchovies and garlic ($13), seafood and squid ink risotto ($17), veal scallopine ($27), and the meatless burrata salad with mozzarella, green lentils, roasted beets, and asparagus ($13). Complement the edibles with sippables comprising more than 250 bottles of wine from the 20 regions of Italy in glasses, flights, and quartinos.
The Grill on the Alley recaptures a bygone era; one of crisp white linens, impeccable service, and steaks as big as your head. Inspired by the steakhouses of San Francisco and New York, The Grill’s founders replicated the American tradition in L.A. The first location, which opened in Beverly Hills in 1984, still sits mere steps from Rodeo Drive (four Californian branches now exist, along with ones in Chicago, Dallas, and Aventura, Florida). Though its menu might match Rodeo in sophistication—order the 8-ounce filet mignon, ahi tuna, or a sip of spirits for proof—the staff works hard to maintain a distinctly welcoming, unpretentious atmosphere. And if a constant stream of good press is any indication, they succeed.