by Stephen Volkamer
Last Wednesday evening we enjoyed an authentic taste of Carnaval, sans the plane tickets to Brazil, at the grand opening night of Samba Brazilian Steakhouse & Lounge at Universal CityWalk. When we got there, we saw a lively parade of samba dancers—clad in glittering bikinis and colorful feathers—shaking to the beat of booming drums.
Then, literally kicking off the restaurant’s official opening was a Capoeira (Brazilian martial arts) champion, who went for an upward “kick for the moon” record, which set off streamers over the crowd. Inside, a DJ, girls on stilts and a variety of hors d’oeuvres entertained the event’s many guests.
We sampled several trays of churrascaria (grilled meats on skewers) including flavorful and tender lamb, pork and chicken. Samba’s patio was a quieter counterpoint to the energy inside, with soothing bossa nova-inspired tunes and low-sitting lounge couches and tables.
The bartender at the dedicated Caipirinha bar served us two of the establishment’s many variations of Brazil’s national drink, a delicious Blackberry & Basil Caipirinha as well one with strawberry and mint. We’ll definitely come back here, or drop by their other Samba in Redondo Beach soon, to enjoy the cocktails, marinated meats and nightly entertainment.
You can click on each photo to enlarge.