"You probably have been to a Brazilian barbecue place, where they keep bringing you all kinds of meat. We do the same with pizza in Brazil, and there, it's not considered junk food," says Marcelo Gomez, co-owner of the Brazilian Mall in Culver City, where his new restaurant, an all-you-can-eat pizza joint is set to open in a month.The new restaurant, Bella Vista, is named after the official Italian neighborhood, or bairro, in São Paulo. "Bairro is what we call an area or neighborhood of the city, such as Mar Vista or Venice Beach," says Gomez. All-you-can-eat pizza, or rodizio de pizza, might sound more like an American invention than a Brazilian one, but Gomez seems to be one of the first to introduce it to Los Angeles.
"Brazil has received more Italian immigrants than the U.S., and we make a very special gourmet pizza," says Gomez. When it opens , Bella Vista will serve 35 different types of Italian and Brazilian-inspired pizza (including some dessert flavors), salads, soups, and other Brazilian specialties.
Gomez also owns Brazil Explore Magazine and Supermercado Brazil (located in the Brazilian Mall), and and he's confident that Bella Vista will be welcomed by his customer base, but questions whether or not it will draw diners from outside the local Brazilian scene. "The challenge will be to be approved by Americans, who are used to a different type of pizza," he says. Either way you slice it, Culver City better start stretching its stomach, or at least practicing capoeira, to get in shape for the buffet.
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Bella Vista: 10826 Venice Blvd., Culver City.