As we walked to Alcove on Friday, we noticed that Tropicalia, the new Brazilian grill on Hillhurst
, was open for business. The thought of grilled chicken and plantains seemed much more appetizing than having the Alcove turkey burger yet again
, so we Froggered
across Hillhurst (always a dicey proposition) and headed in.
As it turned out, Cami and I (according to the girl at the register who kinda looked like Claire
from Six Feet Under) were the first patrons, ever (presumably our credit card receipt now takes point of pride below their city business license).
The fact that we were passengers on Tropicalia's maiden voyage was evident in the staff's shaky mastery of the cash register, but having worked a restaurant
opening myself, I won't hold that against them. Besides, the people are very friendly, the owner himself served and schmoozed us, and, most importantly, the food was very good.
I tucked into the Chicken Tropicalia, a heavily-laden plate of tender deboned chicken, black beans and rice, salsa campanha, farofa
, and the salsa Tropicalia (chimichurri
), all washed down with an ice cold Brahma
Cami had the Veggie Combo, a sample platter that included servings of black beans and rice, polenta, vegetables, salsa campanha, and plantains. She chased her meal with an Anarctica Guarana
, a highly caffeinated Brazilian soda with alleged medicinal properties
, which I thought tasted kind of like Red Bull, but she seemed to enjoy.
While we ate, the small dining area began to fill up, and the place took on that pleasant buzz of a busy restaurant: kitchen noises, conversation, and an underlay of music. Soon, an adjacent wine and beer bar will be open to patrons (though separated from the dining room by glass doors, to preserve the family-friendly atmosphere), allowing the party to continue after dinner.Details: Tropicalia Brazilian Grill, 1966 Hillhurst Avenue. Phone: 323.644.1798. Open everyday from 11 a.m. - Midnight.