>> Panelas Brazil Cuisine | Eat the World Los Angeles

Friday 27 August 2021

Panelas Brazil Cuisine

Redondo Beach facade

COVID-19 UPDATE: In addition to the indoor dining, there are some nice shady tables (for lunch) just outside the restaurant.

While known for its seafood restaurants, beaches, and commercial pier, Redondo Beach's northern section is more sleepy and residential. Extending up to Lawndale and Hawthorne, it even technically jumps the 405 at one small part. It is these residential streets that you will have to navigate at 25 mph to find a somewhat surprising row of businesses in the center of it all.

It is here in between a caterer and a cafe/dessert spot that Panelas lives, a restaurant cooking sophisticated Brazilian foods in the bones of a fast-casual business. Before taking a seat, go up to the counter and select items from the menu, pay and get a number to take to your table.

Paรต de quiejo

They will take good care of you for the rest of your stay, unlike many similar counter ordering setups. This may have the more streamlined and relaxed vibes of the South Bay rather than the busy streets of Brazilian towns and cities, but the foods are similar to those eaten across the country for lunch.

If you have spent any time there you will have many food memories, including seeing salgadinhos staring at you from morning to night in their brightly lit street-facing cabinets. These fried and often cheesy goodies are perfect for quick snacks, like the paรต de queijo ($1.75, above) which could get you through at least another hour before sitting down for a proper meal.


Even more hearty and filling is the coxinha ($4.50, above and below), a teardrop shaped chicken croquette. Once you bite through the thin crispy shell and doughy skin you will find shredded chicken and plenty of spicing.

This is not the type of thing you want to eat just before a meal, as consuming an entire coxinha will definitely make you start to feel full.

Inside a coxinha

Panelas means pots in Portuguese, many of which you will see in use when ordering at their open kitchen. Some of those pots will contain different things on different days, so ask what is on special and/or available.

Usually limited to Sunday or weekend traditions, this feijoada ($20, below) was surprisingly found on a Tuesday afternoon and thoroughly enjoyed. In addition to the namesake Brazilian black bean stew, it had all its necessary components around it: white rice, couve (chopped and stir-fried collard greens), farofa (toasted cassava flour), and slices of orange to help with digestion.

Feijoada plate with all the accoutrement

The stew itself is almost always home to a nice meaty pork rib as well as other chunks of pork, beef, and sausage and this version was no disappointment. Each component allows you to alter the tastes and textures of bites, and a zippy salsa is also ready to add when needed.

While a plate like this is a bit more fancy or special than an average lunch including rice and beans, these are the familiar tastes that are part of workaday lunches in Brazil. You might also find yourself in a lanchonete, spots with "lanches" in their name usually reliable for traditional (and affordable) experiences. The word translates roughly to "snacks" and the timing of eating your snacks is not that important.

Bauru picanha

Some eat these snacks, a bit more hearty than the word in English conjures up, in the morning with coffee, some between lunch and dinner, and some grab these quick bites for a full meal or a midnight snack. The best spots are crowded and have often not changed their decor for decades. They feel honest and keep clients for a lifetime.

Inside of these, Brazilians are constantly eating beautiful sandwiches. If Subway has sandwich artists, the old-timers making fresh sandwiches in Brazil are more like Picasso and Monet. More memories eating sandwiches like this bauru picanha ($14.50, above) come to mind, surrounded by others with salgadinhas and other lanches. The bread must be fresh and delicious, and the vegetables crisp and colorful. Top it with mozzarella, mayo, and a fried egg and the artistry is clear.

๐Ÿ“ 2808 Phelan Lane, Redondo Beach, South Bay


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