At all you can eat Brazilian churrascaria (grill) restaurants, servers rove among the tables carrying skewers of meat to slice for you. Bella Vista, in the little Brazilian stretch of Venice Boulevard in West Los Angeles, applies the same formula to, of all things, pizza.
The style of service (called rodizio) is only part of the fun. The other is the unusual flavors, over two dozen of them. Some pizzas are meals on a crust, like beef Stroganoff topped with potato sticks, or Peruana (mozzarella, tuna, green peas, hearts of palm and green olives, which reminded me of salade nicoise with a Brazilian twist). Other signature pizzas like frango com caupiry (chicken with creamy Brazilian catupiry cheese and corn) and Cilantro’s BBQ chicken.
Other toppings run from zucchini and pesto to spicy calabreza sausage and malagueta peppers, and more conventional fare (at least for LA) like dried tomato and arugula, zucchini, anchovies and grilled eggplant.
There are even dessert pizzas – among the friends I went with, favorites included brigadeiro com morango (chocolate and condensed milk with strawberries and chocolate shots), banana com canela (bananas and cinnamon) and Romeu e Julieta (mozzarella with guava paste).
Our server was quick to point out that it’s all served on thin crust, so you’re eating more topping than bread. Still, with so many pizza choices – plus pastas and salads, all circulated by the attractive staff – I didn’t even try to eat all of everything. Here was my pile of crusts:
…which was actually a lot smaller than some I saw on other tables.