Senzala Brazilian Restaurant

Senzala Brazilian Cuisine


In 2006 this was the website for the Brazilian restaurant, Senzala, located in Sunnyvale, CA, in the heart of Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area.
According to Yelp, the restaurant is permanently closed.
The content is from the site's 2006 archived pages and preserved for use as course material & required reading for Dr. James Roth's course on internet marketing. See Dr. Roth for the syllabus.

250 E Java Dr
Sunnyvale, California 94089


What is Brazilian food? 

Brazilian cuisine is creative and tasteful, yet simple, and generally not spicy. The dishes are well seasoned, and mainly based on garlic, onions, parsley and salt.





What is Senzala?

During the colonial period, the word senzala was used to describe the slaves and servants' quarters.

The Senzala restaurant adopted the name to honor the roots of Brazilian cuisine, one of the greatest treasures of the African influence upon Brazil.

Senzala Brazilian Restaurant

We offer you traditional homemade Brazilian food. Fast, nutritious, healthy and with authentic Brazilian flavors.

YouÂ’ll find a pleasant environment, entirely decorated with Brazilian themes.

Saturday nights, we present a wide variety of live music.

With a seating capacity at over 250. Senzala is also availabe for private parties, events, weddings, etc.

We are located in a prime area, with easy access, away from the crowds, with plenty of free parking.

We are located in Sunnyvale, CA, right at the heart of Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area.


These are some of the independent online reviews we found about Senzala
  "If you haven't had Brazilian food before I think this would be a great opportunity to try authentic dishes"
"service was top notch, price decent for the portion and quality and food delicious."
  "They are proud of their cooking and they do everything possible for you to have an enjoyable experience"
"This portions they serve here will make your belly stick out when you're done, but it's well worth it"
Yahoo! Reviews
  "This restaurant truly represents Brazil in its inner nature: excellent food, great people and awesome environment"
"The environment and the restaurant decor is really nice making you to want to stay longer... :)
I really recommend it."
Mercury News - Published on June 1, 2006, Page 40
  "good food, great atmosphere and a friendly staff"    
Metro News - Published on March 7, 2007, Page 35
  "Senzala is the place Silicon Valley to get your fill of all things Brazilian."    


When I lived in Sunnyvale, I would occasionally eat lunch at Senzala since it was close to where I worked and was convenient with decent food. Recently I returned to visit friends and attend a wedding. I learned that Senzala had closed. Instead, we went to the Galpao Gaucho Brazilian Steakhouse for the wedding party lunch. WOW. Now this is a Brazilian MEAT restaurant. What stood out, for me, was the variety of meats offered (sirloin, filet, beef ribs, ribeye, flank, chicken, pork loin, pork ribs, lamb chops, sausage, chicken hearts. In addition, there was salmon, pineapple, plus the salad bar - which offered different cheeses, salads, salumi, vegetables/salads, soups). Lots to choose from.

The ambiance of the place was further enhanced by modern touches like the robotic pool cleaners we saw through the glass, diligently working in the restaurant's ornamental pond. This subtle integration of technology into a traditional dining experience was both impressive and thought-provoking, considering the efficiency of automation in today's world.

During the lunch, I had a bit of a mishap when I dropped an item, and in the process of retrieving it, unfortunately, it was damaged. But a friend assured me not to worry, recommending an online store where she frequently shops for various high-tech and household items, even the robotic pool cleaners that had caught our attention earlier. Taking her advice, I later browsed through their selection and was able to find a suitable replacement for my damaged item.

The wedding was a hit, and despite the small catastrophe, I discovered a convenient online store for future needs.

  YELP REVIEWS 2011 -2007


***** Raman S.
Fremont, CA
You can get some decent Brazilian food at this place. They usually have 5 choices in the menu and I also pick the chicken in tomato sauce (with beans and rice). The steak dish is also well done. I feel the food is pricey at $12 for lunch menu.
I like the location and the place is spacious and good for large groups. It is a self service restaurant and you can get your food reasonably fast.


*** Lan N.
San Jose, CA
So I went here one time for a Friend's birthday and thought it was great.  I came here again for dinner recently and it wasn't quite the same.

I think one of the main reasons why it wasn't the same is the price factor. Being a cafeteria style restaurant, you would think the prices should be lower than regular sit down restaurants.  This was not the case.

You get a plate of rice, beans, vegetables and your choice of protein for anywhere between 16-22 dollars.  This seems steep to me for the food you get.  Most of it is already sitting out and they just need to scoop it up.

We got the #2 and #3 which was like some chicken and polenta dish and a milanesa type of beef (lightly breaded steak).  We go down the line a bit and come up to the refreshments.  The little refridgerator was empty and the soda fountain machine was out of ice.

Went down a bit more to the utensils and they were out of forks.
Down a little futher and paid for my food which was about 40 dollars for 2 people.  Not a great start and we haven't even tasted the food yet.

You do get full of of the food, but it is mostly from the starches. The chicken was kinda dry.  Gonna guess because its not made fresh, and the beef was a little tough. I wish I knew what I ate the previous time because it was tasty.

We did get treated to a capoeira show though. The owners sing and play some some of instrument that looks like a giant pipe with a string.  The students would put on a show. The students ranged from what looked like 6 to 46.  I kept thinking of eddy gordo from tekken.


*** ½ Jason H.
San Francisco, CA
If you're looking for a casual lunch spot head over to Senzala Brazilian Cuisine. You won't find fine dining here, but instead you order your food cafeteria style complete with trays. The main dining area also looks like it could turn into a dance floor later at night.

Walk towards the far end of the room and take a look at the menu on the wall. Lunch item #3 caught my eye, which was the Bife Acebolado for $10.99.  Check out for a picture of this dish. 

It consisted of a thinly fried steak with onions, rice, beans, and fried yuca or french fries. I opted for the fried yuca since I don't have that pretty often. The yuca reminded me a crispy potato with a softer center when I bit into it.

The spices and flavors in this Brazilian dish were pretty tame and it didn't have anything that was too spicy or bold. The steak itself wasn't too salty and it went well with the grilled onions and rice.  I was definitely stuffed by the time I cleaned off my plate. With all the carbs from the rice/beans/yuca, I can see why.

The food was generally pretty good and the portions were generous, but I feel it's more expensive than your typical lunch spot. I was under the impression that with the casual and cafeteria nature of the restaurant the prices at this place would be more reasonable.

Maybe if I'm visiting NetApp down the street again I'll stop by to try their other dishes.


**** Mercy B.
Milpitas, CA
5/30/2008Updated review
of percussion instruments, drums beating, hands clapping, voices singing, bodies gyrating and twirling, sweat flying.

Capoiera is playful and joyful -  says Mestre Vaguinho and the members of the Capoiera of San Jose was there to prove the Mestre's words. It was truly a celebration.

30 or so Yelpers and guests got to experience Capoiera of San Jose perform and was treated to an awesome show.

Word of caution - sitting near the roda (the performance circle) could place you in eminent danger, but gives you the best view of action. Spectacular aerobatics and choreography - it's so easy to see how break dancing was heavily influenced by the art of capoiera. Just watch out for those flying feet and limbs!

For those of you who missed out on this gathering, the capoiera performance is every Friday evening.

Great food, great show. Thanks to all who joined us


*** Garrett F.
San Carlos, CA
I accompanied a friend as a part of Brazilian Portuguese speakers Meetup group.  I had never experienced Brazilian food before and thought it would be a fun place to watch Brazil take on North Korea in the World Cup. 

We arrived early enough to grab a table but still spent about 35 minutes in line to order.  I was a little disappointed to find my first two choices for entree had sold out (there were at least five dishes sold out by the time I ordered). 

I settled for the Bife Acebolado which took another 10 minutes to prepare.  The dish is fairly simple; fried thin steak (think minute steak) with onions, rice and beans and fried potatoes.  Normally I'm not much of a fan of minute steak but this one was actually very well seasoned and worked well with the rest of the dish.  The rice and beans were also very tasty although the fried potatoes were a bit on the soft side (missing the crispiness I look for). 

In the end the food and the atmosphere more than made up for my initial frustration, and I would definitely come back again. 

If you plan on eating here on your lunch break you may want to take part of your meal to go.  The portions are quite generous.


***** Rod V.
Garden Grove, CA
I know the family who owns the restaurant! It's a great family and they server great food! You just can't go wrong with anything here! In the mood for steak, shrimp, Feijoada (Rice, Black Beans, Pork, more), vegetables, fried yuca, and much more, they've got it all!  Nice friendly staff ...

Also if you need to have an event held somewhere, they've got plenty of room to hold parties, receptions, more! They've got a nice dance floor area.

The only thing is that I wish, is that they were open more on weekends, since I'm only in the area on weekends!

Note: Dont forget to try some "Guarana" and some of the deserts! Cant go wrong!