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529 Alma St. (Hamilton Ave.) Send to Phone
650-327-1323 | Make Restaurant Reservations | Order Now! | Menu
This luxe Brazilian-style steakhouse presents an edible carnival for carnivores, and redefines the concept of meat on a stick.

Lunch Mon.-Fri., Dinner nightly

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Pampas, Palo Alto, CA

Pampas Restaurant Review

: A modern presentation of Brazil's "churrasco" dining, Pampas' lofty 8,000-plus square-foot space avoids an airplane hangar-esque feel due to the warmth of a walnut-lined cocktail bar, a lounge accented with earthy furnishings such as acacia wood stools, and a cleverly designed tri-level dining area. The restaurant's impressively executed "rodizio" menu offers diners unlimited quantities of more than a dozen meats slow-roasted on giant skewers. Well-informed servers explain the process and a small army of "pasadores" (literal translation, passers) unobtrusively proffer meat selections with butler-like grace. Stand-out meats include the lamb chop with subtle hints of garlic and ginger; the dry-spiced pork tenderloin; and a tri-tip seasoned simply with rock salt and olive oil. A selection of gourmet salads, artisan cheeses, roasted vegetables and traditional Brazilian side dishes accompany the meats---but some diners may be a little unnerved by the self-service, buffet-style presentation. While the meat takes center stage, executive chef John Karbowski's talents truly shine in the entrées, which include a pan-seared duck breast with orange and star-anise glaze, served with the well-balanced flavors of a dried cherry risotto. Desserts include a dish of raspberry-hibiscus and mango sorbets, and a chocolate torte garnished with bacon and Brazil nut toffee.
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