Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.


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

Local Deals: 120 * 90

Lunch Mon.-Fri., Dinner nightly

* Click here for rating key

Dining room at 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.

User Ratings & Reviews for Pampas
San Francisco Top 10 Restaurant Lists

Discover the top restaurants in the San Francisco/Bay Area for various cuisines and categories like sushi, steakhouses, happy hours, romantic dining and even gourmet food trucks. Find the best restaurants in SF here!

Discover the best restaurants in San Francisco for sushi, steak, a romantic night out and more


Check out the 2014 edition of GAYOT's Annual Restaurant Issue, which features the Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S., Rising Chefs and more.