(Cafe Toros is closed - Jan. 08)
Though I generally like to report on my own food finds, I happen to be a fan of LA Weekly critic Jonathan Gold and when something gets his stamp of approval I'm there. So today I headed to Cafe Toros which happened to be within walking distance from me in Palms. It's a Brazilian restaurant/take out joint specializing in homestyle dishes like frango assado (roasted chicken with baked tomato and onion), frango na cerveja (chicken in black beer) and beef stroganoff with tomato cream and mushroom sauce (shown in the background above).
I had a slow-simmered stroganoff which he mixed with Pik-Nik potato chips. I was shocked when I saw him adding that to the plate but when you mix the crunchy chips with hot creamy stew, it's excellent!
The little stuffed tater in the foreground is a coxhina--one of Gold's recommendations. It's a bit heavy but still tasty and small enough for the stomach to manage. (fyi: that dude sitting on the left side of the picture in last week's Counter Intelligence is JG himself. I guess he's not an overweight man afterall.)
I chatted with the owner, a cheery elderly man named Jose, who was more than willing to hand me samples of everything he had as I waited for the stroganff to cook. It kinda got ridiculous cause at one point I was holding 5 spoons in my hand but it only makes you realize how much he stands by his food.
I admit, the food in the above isn't exactly photogenic, but that's the thing... should good homestyle food be necessarily pretty? Why couldn't you have taken the picture before digging in, you ask? I just wanted to show how I was taught to eat Brazilian food, which is to mix everything on your plate into one big mess. It just tastes good that way.