Libra’s Early Bird Special is a Meat-tastic Deal


People ask me all the time why Midtown Lunch is limited to under $10 lunches.  The answer I usually give is this: because the original goal for this site was to be a resource for people looking for something a bit more interesting out of their everyday lunches.  Not business lunches with the boss.  Not birthday party lunches for your spouse or co-workers. But a cheap lunch that could replace those cop-out meals that tons of people rely on daily- from Chipotle, California Pizza Kitchen, and {insert boring salad place here} every single day.

Sure I’ll make the occasional exception for the $11 all you can eat buffet, and once you add tax and tip a ton of the lunches I love come out to more than $10. But the rule speaks more to the heart and soul of a place than to a hard $$$ amount.  I guess what I’m saying is I will make exceptions for the extraordinary deal.  One that hits you instantly in the gut, while your brain simultaneously tries to figure out how a restaurant can stay in business and still charge these prices. Libra- a Churrascaria in Culver City- is one of those places, offering a meal which would cost $25-35+ anywhere else in L.A., for just $15.  And did I mention it’s all you can eat?


When Libra first opened last year, I have to admit I was incredibly skeptical.  They started off as a pay by the pound Brazillian churrascaria, which is an unacceptable concept for cheap fatsos like myself.  Pay what my plate weighs!  Is this some kind of sick joke?  Thankfully they realized their mistake pretty quickly, and changed to an all you can eat format where dudes walk around with skewers of assorted meats, slicing off as much as you’d like on each go around.  During the week lunch is $18 and dinner is $36, but the biggest deal at Libra is the early bird lunch special.  Anybody who gets to the restaurant before Noon gets the all you can eat salad bar and meats for just $14.95. In other words, start eating by 11:59am and your all you can eat lunch is only 15 bucks.


The salad bar is a nice size, especially considering the price.  But if the salad bar is what you’re there for, you might be a bit disappointed with the selection.  There’s no sushi, or shrimp cocktail, or any of the big money items that you’ll often see on the salad bars at churrascarias that run $35+.


Once your done with the cold “healthy” stuff, it’s time to flip your card to green and let the meat procession begin!


It smelled so good I would have just grabbed it with my teeth, but they insisted I use the tongs provided on the table.


Meat and fat, perfectly cooked.  What more could you want?  And the best part about getting there on the early side is that you pretty much always get the outer crust, which is where all the garlic and spices are.


Hello Brazilian sausages!


I believe this was the garlic picanha, but I’m not sure.  (And quite frankly, it didn’t matter.  Everything tasted great.)


Pork ribs!  Awesome…


But the big shocker of the lunch might have been garlic chicken thighs, which I would put up against any pice of roasted or rotisseried chicken in Los Angeles.  So freaking good.


Fire roasted meats not enough for you?  There is a hot portion of the “salad bar” that has a few meat stews (plus rice and black beans, which also had meat in it.)

And then they dropped these off at the table…


Ok, I see what you’re doing here.  The more delicious, fresh from the oven Pao de Queijo we eat, the less meat we can stuff into our gullets! Sadly I couldn’t resist, they were too damn good. This will be the only time you will ever hear me say it’s ok to eat bread at an all you can eat buffet.


And fried polenta sticks!? See, now you’re not playing fair. Also, too good not to eat.


Finally, for dessert (or a between meat palate cleanser) they brought around cinnamon roasted pineapple. Amazing. I will never be able to eat plain raw pineapple again.

I haven’t been to any other churrascaria’s in Los Angeles, but for the price I can’t imagine any of them are much better than Libra. You don’t get some of the more expensive dinner cuts of meat (like filet mignon or lamb chops), but all the meats they did serve were incredibly flavorful and more than tender enough for me. And the cheese bread, polenta sticks and pineapple just sealed the deal. And even though I had to pony up an extra $5 over my normal lunchtime allowance, I saved that and more by not needing to eat dinner.

Libra, 3833 Main Street (just South of Venice), Culver City, 310-202-1300


1 Comment

Leave a Reply

You must log in or register to post a comment.