Cuisine Type: Brazilian-American
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Number of Tables: 5?10
Parking: Free street parking
Most popular offering: Feijoada
Delivery / Take-out Available: Takeout Only
Outdoor Seating: No
Samba Cafe's owner Paulo champions the regional dishes of Southeast Brazil. The crown jewel of the menu is the "National Brazilian Dish," Feijoada. Though the stew started its life as a Portuguese import, the Brazilian version took on a life of its own. Samba Cafe's take on the dish incorporates black beans and a trio of meats?pork, beef, and sausage?and tops it off with saut?ed garlic collard greens, an orange slice, and farofa. "[Customers] are always surprised by the flavors," he says. In addition to other Brazilian specialties, including the Farofa da Serra?scrambled eggs, bananas, and spices?the restaurant also serves up a handful of American favorites, including wraps, panini, and burritos.
The first IHOP—the dream of founders Al and Jerry Lapin—opened in 1958 in Toluca Lake, California, and was originally dubbed the International House of Pancakes. Since then, rapid expansion has led to myriad milestones across the company's colorful history, from introducing its modern IHOP acronym in 1973 to its 1,000th restaurant opening in Layton, Utah, in 2001.
Today, the company stands strong with around 1,500 locations across North and Central America, each one an enthusiastic dispenser of pancakes, french toast, and tables constructed entirely out of bacon. Though IHOP is known as a bastion of breakfast, it also stays open during the day and into the evening, delivering lunch and dinner as well.
Start off your flavor excursion into the Sunrise menu with a traditional appetizer such as the age tofu, fried and served with ginger sauce ($3.99), or the negimaki beef rolled with fresh scallions ($5.99). For the main event, showcase your stomach's love of other cultures with an Angry Dragon specialty roll (shrimp tempura, spicy tuna, and sliced papaya topped with specialty king-crab salad, $13.99) or a hibachi-grilled order of sukiyaki steak, served with a house soup, a side salad, mixed vegetables, and fried rice ($16). Janus-faced eaters who hate making tough decisions and love harmonious pairings can try a hibachi combo such as the filet and lobster ($28), or declare themselves Lords of Appetite with an Emperor's Dinner, such as the steak, chicken, and shrimp ($28).
Eat Like a Brazilian Cowboy
The history of Espada Brazilian Steak's churrascaria cuisine stretches back centuries, to the gauchos of southern Brazil. After a long day of saying "Get along, little doggies" in Portuguese, these cattle-herding cowboys would skewer choice cuts of beef and roast them over an open fire. Here, diners experience a luxurious version of the gauchos' rugged cooking style, relaxing with caipirinhas and other drinks as chefs present them with the succulent grilled meats.
Know Your Cut
First-timers may not recognize certain churrascaria meats. Here's a quick rundown: * Lingui?a sausage: This mild, flavorful sausage is the result of a recipe made exclusively for Espada. It's best served right off the grill, or added to the restaurant's traditional black bean stew to make a dish called feijoada. * Picanha: This top sirloin steak is the restaurant's signature cut. It's specially trimmed to create a lean steak with a thin cap of fat for flavor. * Fraldinha: Although fraldinha is carved from the bottom tip of the sirloin, it shouldn't be confused with flank or skirt steak. The main difference is its supreme tenderness.
A Fusion of Old and New
A churrascaria menu isn't the only thing that ties Espada Brazilian Steak to Brazil; guests literally touch a piece of South America while sitting in chairs made with wood reclaimed from an old Brazilian ship. But while much of the decor at Espada Brazilian Steak is traditional, the restaurant's deeper infrastructure couldn't be more modern: it runs entirely on renewable solar, wind, and hydro energy.
At Sogo Sushi and Hibachi, it's hard to miss the filet mignon. Or the shrimp and chicken, for that matter. The proteins are vocal presences, sizzling on the eatery's hibachi grill before they arrive, piping hot, at diners' tables. The culinary team crafts cooler dishes, too, hand rolling sushi and prepping sashimi. They also stock bento boxes with sushi rolls, miso soup, and proteins such as teriyaki salmon, creating classic samplers of Japanese dishes. Bartenders craft cocktails at a full, neon-lit bar, too, rather than asking patrons to just drink their sushi rice through extra-wide straws.