I was invited to try Venezuelan food by the PR company which represents Coupa Café and I was intrigued enough to venture out to "exotic" Beverly Hills to this beautifully appointed and easily accessible home away from home for many South American expats. One of the tell tale signs that a restaurant is serving authentic cuisine is that expats eat there. Another tell tale sign is that the restaurant actually has a branch in their home country, and Coupa Café has a branch in Caracas! And the third sign of authentic cuisine is when they source their ingredients from natives; the cheese that they use in the restaurant is flown in from Miami where it is made by Venezuelans!
Since I was invited, my meal was fully comped, and they knew that I would be writing this post. Having worked in the industry and written many reviews, I know when good service and food are consistent and when they are not. It is definitely consistent here as I watched the reactions from other diners who were equally happy with their meals (if anything changes on a subsequent visit, it will be noted here).
The outdoor patio is a wonderful place to eat if the weather in Los Angeles is as balmy as it usually is, even in the winter.
umami combination of salty cheese with crispy fried dough and a sweet and sour guava jam that was so addictive I ate two! The home made jam was so good I asked Nicky if they had any for sale; unfortunately they do not sell it, but he offered to pack some to go for me :)
The rice was fabulously done with a vegetable stock that sang out "eat me", and the beans were a good starch without much spice for those who prefer their beans plain. The arepitas are a crunchy fried cornmeal accompaniment which some people will adore and others will find bland, but like the beans, it will all depend on your preference.
PMBC Group for the invitation, thanks to Nicky for your wonderful service, and thank-you Camelia Coupal for creating such a wonderful space with delectable dishes to introduce those of us who live in Southern California to Venezuelan cuisine.