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The Find: Rio Brazil Cafe in Palms

September 9, 2009 |  6:30 pm
The-Find-blog The menu at Rio Brazil Café seems a relic of restaurant protocol, a vestigial document that exists only to fulfill standard expectations. There has to be a menu, right?

But on it are dishes that are hardly reflective of the Palms restaurant's best offerings. Rio Brazil Café is governed by the caprices of the kitchen, run by chef-owner Luciene Peck, who deftly cooks her way through Brazil's regional recipes. These don't always show up on the menu.

As a result, Rio Brazil Café can feel in flux. Even the restaurant's name is up for revision, as a recent change is yet to be reflected on the sign, cards and website that are all still emblazoned with the old Brazilian Exotic Foods moniker.

The only constant is the cafe itself: half a dozen tables, lime-green walls and a flat-screen TV broadcasting high-definition diversions.

There is a regular lineup of salads, sandwiches and wraps, but those only obscure Peck's Rio-bred talent. And though the menu lays out a schedule of daily specials, in reality, they may or may not be available -- each day's dishes can be confirmed only by asking.

To read the rest of Miles Clements story, click here.

Photo: This hearts of palm moqueca includes tomatoes, onions, peppers and coconut milk. Credit: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times