A Storied São Paulo Chef is Opening a Brazilian Restaurant in the Arts District

The first international restaurant for Brazil's Rodrigo Oliveira will feature caipirinhas, twists on traditional Brazilian cuisine and plenty of yuca.
A Storied São Paulo Chef is Opening a Brazilian Restaurant in the Arts District
Photo: Official

Chef and restaurateur Rodrigo Oliveira—a Brazil native behind two Michelin-accoladed São Paulo restaurants—will open his first international restaurant Caboco on Wednesday, Sept. 8 in the former location of Church and State in the Arts District. Oliveira is launching Caboco alongside fellow chef and business partner Victor Vasconcellos and L.A. restauranteur and current Tartine President Bill Chait, who was behind the development of Bestia, Petty Cash, Republique, Otium and Tesse.

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Oliveira chose Los Angeles as the location for his first international restaurant on account of L.A.’s impressive food scene and its similarities to São Paulo.

“It just felt right. I realized that we could bring something new to the scene, but we could also learn a lot from all of its incredible chefs,” Oliveira said in a statement. “So here we are, after a lot of learnings, new friends, upside downs and a pandemic, with a restaurant that is just like we dreamed about it: just the right size, location and, most important, at the right time.”

Back in São Paulo, Oliveira is best known for helping his father, Zé Almeida, transform a neighborhood pub, Mocotó, into a dining destination that has earned a Bib Gourmand from the Michelin Guide, held a spot on San Pelligrino’s Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurant’s list and won praise from the late food documentarian Anthony Bourdain. His second São Paulo restaurant, Balaio IMS, also earned a Michelin Bib Gourmand. Mocotó in particular is known for its exceptional cuisine, like its dadinhos de tapioca, cubed cheese with tapioca flour, and mocofava, a calf’s foot stew with beans.

Both dadinhos de tapioca and mocofava will make their way onto Caboco’s menu, as will new dishes he and Vasconcellos developed: vegetarian moqueca de caju, or cashew fruit stew; pirarucu, an Amazonian fish cooked in cassava juice; and housemade carne de sol, salt-cured beef with roasted garlic and biquinho peppers. Olivera also will include many dishes involving Brazilian manioc, or yuca, be it in the form of flour, sauces or fries. Amazonian fruit and wild vegetables from the southeastern part of the country, like the ora-pro-nobis plant, will also appear on the menu.

Caboco also will have a bar centered around artisanal cachaça—a spicy, sweet liquor made from fermented sugarcane juice—and caipirinha, Brazil’s national cocktail made of cachaça, sugar, and lime. It will be headed by Marcus Ragas, best known for his work at Santa Monica’s The Chestnut Club. Libations will include takes on classic Brazilian cocktails and caipirinhas made with various fruits like citrus, passionfruit and grapes.

Caboco is taking reservations through OpenTable and is sharing updates on its Instagram page.

Helen Floersh

Helen Floersh

Helen Floersh is a writer based in Los Angeles. She previously was a staff reporter at the San Fernando Valley Business Journal, where she covered retail, hospitality, health care and biotechnology.
Helen Floersh

Helen Floersh

Helen Floersh is a writer based in Los Angeles. She previously was a staff reporter at the San Fernando Valley Business Journal, where she covered retail, hospitality, health care and biotechnology.

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