By Lindenberg Junior
Just grab a tray pile on the salads, entrees and meats. It may just be the world’s best fast food for the hungry, the health conscious and the indecisive – at least in the Los Angeles area. The original Pampas Grill was opened years ago inside the famous “Farmers Market” on Fairfax and Third street, and set up as a semi-open air stall.
But does not matter if you are at the Farmers Market or in Culver City – the second, located in a plaza on Overland Blvd with Venice Blvd) you grab a plate or to-go container and run the self-serve gauntlet piling up plenty of salad bar options like hearts of palm or marinated eggplant with olives and potatoes then move onto the hot items including friend yucca, sweet fried plantains, cheesy bread, creamy chicken stroganoff, garlic collard greens, stewed fish, chicken stroganoff, black beans and garlic toast.
Just about the time you realize you’ve finished and reach the end of the line, you are faced with white-clad gauchos serving up your requests for hot “churrascaria” style meat (Brazilian BBQ). There’s crispy skinned garlic and spicy chicken, bacon wrapped brochettes, chunks of seasoned beef filet, thin sliced beef tenderloin and buttery flavorful lamb you can request rare. It’s a carnivore’s paradise and cooked over open flame, relatively healthy since most of the fats sear and drip away ensuring juicy delicious meat.
The whole shebang goes on to a scale and you pay what you get! Average plates seem to run from $12 to $20 depending how hungry you are – remember, here you pay “by the pound!”. The Pampas Grill 1 (inside the Farmers Market) does not serve alcohol, but the Pampas Grill 2 (Culver City) has a full bar and inclusive live Brazilian music on weekends