Brazil

Croatia

Mexico

Cameroon

By Javier Cabral

Brazil

Cafe Brasil
cafe-brasil.com
10831 Venice Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90034
(310) 837-8957

What kind of food fuels the greatest soccer nation on the planet? Step inside one of Cafe Brasil’s festive Westside eateries to find out.

In a nutshell, the country’s diet is a vastly exotic one. Filled with lots of high quality juicy beef and the tropical bounty of the Amazon (acai juice, anyone?), not to mention the Afro-cuisine influences rich with palm oil and coconut. At Cafe Brasil you can taste all these things and then more.

Start with basics: a warm piece of freshly baked pão de queijo, an addictive melty cheese bun that is made with chewy tapioca yucca root flour. Then dive right into medium-rare grilled picanha (pronounced pee-kah-nya) steak served with white rice, black beans and plantains. The cut of steak is exclusively a Brazilian one best described as “rump cap” that you just have to try to experience. If you are feeling a little more hungry and really want to eat like a soccer champion, get down on a bowl of traditional feijoada, a hearty pork and beef black bean stew that is served with tender collard greens and crispy farofa, toasted yucca flour that has the texture of toasted seasoned bread crumbs. No matter what you get, make sure to round it out with some of their passionfruit mousse for dessert. It’s silky, tart and refreshing.

Croatia

Aroma Cafe
2530 Overland Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90064
(310) 836-2919

There aren’t many places in Los Angeles where you can sample the taste of the Balkans but fortunately we have one spot: Aroma Cafe by the 10 and 405. Like most Mediterranean cuisine there are lots of grilled meats and flatbread but Aroma Cafe takes it a step further and makes their own soft and satisfying pita bread. Order some Ćevapi to experience this amazing homemade staple food. It is their version of a minced meat beef kabob and really gives you a feel of their country’s cuisine, especially when slathered with their tasty red pepper paste. If you’re in a celebratory mood, say, after your team wins a match at the World Cup, try their Mezo Platter piled with cured meats, cheeses, homemade bread and a creamy butter-like substance called Kaymak. It has the power to comfort about 3 to 4 soccer fans in style and is worth the splurge.

Mexico

Guelaguetza
ilovemole.com/
3014 W Olympic Blvd
Los Angeles, CA
(213) 427-0608

The main dining room at Guelaguetza may be the best place in Los Angeles to watch Mexico play in the World Cup.

No matter what time of day Mexico plays–whether, early morning or mid-afternoon–you can bet that every single seat in this small Oaxacan restaurant will be filled up with a mix of prideful Mexican-American families, trendy foodies, Spanish news networks and local celebrities like Matt Groening and Chef Ludo Lefebvre, all supporting Los Angeles’ unofficial home team.

Despite the games being projected on to a 100-foot digital screen and fully loaded sound system, the soulful Southern Mexican food and affordable mezcal selection is the main draw at this Koreatown Oaxacan food haven. Southern Mexican delicacies like six different varieties of full-bodied Molé; silky black beans with grilled, meaty nopales (cactus paddles); Mexican Pizza-like Clayudas topped with imported quesillo string cheese; street food treats like Molotes (torpedo-shaped fried masa pastries stuffed with house-made chorizo) and a Choco-Flan for dessert. To wash it all down, have a frosty mug filled with a dark Mexican draft seasoned into a spicy Michelada beer cocktail, or their house specialty: Oaxacan-style chilled horchata topped with red cactus fruit syrup, chopped pecans and minced cantaloupe melon.

Cameroon

Veronica’s Kitchen
528 W Manchester Blvd.
Inglewood, CA 90301
(310) 673-4890

It is difficult to find a 100% Cameroonian restaurant in Los Angeles but Veronica’s Kitchen in Inglewood specializes in West African cuisine and serves many Cameroonian dishes.

Cameroon has one of the most complex cuisines in Africa. The staple food is a ball of dough that is made out of pounded starches and has a similar texture to mashed potatoes called fufu.

It is eaten like this: you tear off a piece of the fufu with your hand, sop up a little bit of your main dish with it (which might be a tender chicken curry stew or a piece of expertly fried non-greasy fish) and then pop it in your mouth in one tasty bite.

 

 

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