Eatery - Agora Churrascaria (CA)

Agora Churrascaria on Urbanspoon

1830 Main St, Irvine, CA 92614
Pricing - $$$ | Dining - Dressy Casual | Cuisine - Brazilian

"Omg omg omg there's going to be so much meat in my mouth today." - Duc Duong

I had the fabulous opportunity (courtesy of the lovely Jane) to dine at Agora Churrascaria yesterday evening during a complimentary blogger dinner. I was so honored to be in the presence of such well-known awesome food bloggers like TheHungryDogg, MadHungryWoman, Tom's Foodie Blog, 100 Eats 100 Days, and Eating My Way Through OC. Foodies are such good company!

Anyhow, so we started off with the typical complimentary Brazilian appetizers of a cinnamon dusted plaintain and a basket of doughy cheese balls which were also apparently gluten-free. I must have missed the boat on these seeing as they were slightly cold once I got to them. Darn! Still good though. One of the neat things about Agora were the cards they had which indicated to the waiters coming around that you were either ready for more (green and with a picture of a skewer) or stuffed (red and with a picture of an overweight man on his back). They were quite cute.


So the two things to start us off were the delicious caipirinhas (sim, por favor) (the original had sagatiba, cachaca, lime, and sugar though the "skinny" version used Splenda instead) and the salad bar. They call it a "salad bar" but honestly, it was much, much more than that. Not only did it have the lettuce with toppings stations but it also had salumi, a varying range of potato and fruit salads, smoked salmon, mashed potatoes, clams, mussels, and too many other delectable desires. I filled my plate with much more than I could handle but really did enjoy the chicken salad, mashed potatoes, and hearts of palm! Just eating from that bar would've sated my needs for sure.

Anyhow, if you aren't familiar with the rodizio style of a Brazilian steakhouse, it involves various cuts of meat being taken around by gauchos on large skewers to be carved table-side. Talk about service huh? We got to try so many types.


I'd have to say that the table favorite was the picauha, a traditional Brazilian cut of sirloin with rock salt and crack cocaine (sort of). It came around quite often due to table requests so I got many shots of it, including an advertisement-like shot of our second hostess Diana. The juiciness, the tenderness, the utter magic of that sirloin was unimaginable. Loved it.


I loved how we all pulled out our cameras every time meat came out. Because we were all the same table, I snagged pictures of everyone else too. Here is Austin (TheHungryDogg) with some tri-tip and then Tom (Tom's Foodie Blog) getting excited about the "lomba de porco com queijo" (pork tenderloin roasted with Parmesan cheese). I honestly did not get too excited about these two cuts but they were still quite fantastic. That pork tenderloin made me reconsider my general snuffing of pork from my diet - I just have to have the right preparations right?


Meat meat meat. Top sirloin, more tri-tip, and filet later, I was finding it hard to breathe. Too much juicy goodness. Lamb chop, lamb leg, and chicken hearts later, I almost threw in the towel. Now I'm a slightly slow eater because I chew a lot but boy were these zooming by quickly. I was surprised at just how much I enjoyed the chicken hearts!


I needed more caipirinha so opted for the passionfruit which was a bit more bitter than I liked. Maybe it was an off-day for passionfruit? You can see how much food typically remained on my plate throughout dinner.


When I thought I could take no more, we all got the option for dessert. Well that's a second stomach, no? Bring it on! I love eating with foodies because that means that we all get to SHARE. Everything was presented in regal style. The passionfruit sorbet was pretty nice but uncomparable next to the Cabernet. Heavenly! Jane had the chocolate mousse cake which we didn't get to lunge at but a mouth-watering picture was taken just in time before it hit her mouth.


Duc ordered the Acai which I honestly wasn't too impressed with because of it was prepared similarly to other acai dishes I've had (oh granola and banana...) but it was saved by the ridiculously rich and sweet flan I got. The Brazilian style apparently has it with a more textured mouthfeel and stronger caramel. I could only take a small bite every 5 minutes or so because it coated my mouth, throat, and stomach with its smooth richness. That was okay though seeing as I was having fun conversations with those around me.

My thanks to all the bloggers who came out to make it a fun time (especially since it was Duc's first time for the rodizio style!), the restaurant for being such excellent servers and hosts, Scott the owner and Leo for having us, and to Jane and Diana for putting it all together. Cheers!