We recently had a chance to check out Brasa, the new, fast-casual replacement for eVe in Berkeley from the same couple who opened eVe, Christopher and Veronica Laramie. The Laramies have another, bigger project in the works, which sounds like an expanded version of eVe in an as-yet-undisclosed location. But for now they decided to concentrate on a Peruvian chicken joint that pays tribute to Veronica’s heritage, and which will hopefully run itself once they begin work on the new project. And if the chicken we tasted is any indication, we think Brasa will be there for a long time.
It’s everything you want in rotisserie chicken — juicy, tender, well browned and well seasoned, with a little hint of spice on the skin. But what makes this place special are the sides and dipping sauces, aji amarillo, rocoto and huacatay, which are all delicious and homemade — and we’d argue are more flavorful and fresh tasting than the similar versions served at Limon Rotisserie. Our favorite was definitely the vegetal, green huacatay, which was just slightly less spicy than the other two, although all three were pretty close in terms of heat.
Also, they’re doing an excellent salad of fresh beets, carrots, perfectly crisp green beans, and avocado that you can order alongside the chicken.
Our only complaint: the fries. They’re passable, sure, but we suspect they came out of a freezer bag and some fresh-cut fries would push this place over the top.
Brasa - 1960 University Avenue, Berkeley - 510.868.0735 - Open Monday through Saturday, 11:30 a.m. until close.
Earlier on Actually Pretty Awesome:
Green Garlic Bread at State Bird Provisions
A Dinner of Small Plates and the Duck Confit Salad at Frances
Duck Fat Chex Mix at Truck Stop Café
The Lamb Tongue Salad at Txoko
The Branzino at AQ
Dinner at Local Mission Eatery
Suckling Pig Sandwich at Sweet Woodruff
Crudités at Saison
The Roasted Broccoli Sandwich at Split Pea Seduction
George Mendes’s Partridge in a Pear Tree
The Buffalo Burger at Double Decker
A Preview of Dishes at Haven
Alicia’s Tamales Los Mayas
The Cocktails at Outerlands
The Meatball Gigante and the Honey Pie at Tony’s Pizza
Three New Gins from St. George Spirits
The Date Night at Sneaky’s BBQ
Crab and Dumplings at Pican
The Fried-Chicken Sliders at The Lookout
The Tripe and the Pickles at Bar Tartine
Fried Chicken and Cornmeal Doughnuts at Beast & the Hare