Richard Sandoval’s Toro Toro Opens in Washington, D.C.

Pan-latin steakhouse offers tapas-style dining
Kruti Ravaliya

New York restaurateur Richard Sandoval's pan-Latin steakhouse Toro Toro opened a location in Washington, D.C. on March 31. Pictured above is Toro Toro's Pan de Bolo with Oaxaca Cheese.

Diners should look forward to Brazilian-style picanha steak, ribeye, beef tenderloin, Australian lamb chop, chorizo sausage, chicken thighs, and prawns–there’s a wide range of meats, playing on the surf and turf concept—all carved tableside. Toro Toro’s churrasco meats are lightly marinated allowing for the full flavor of the meat to come through (according to my boyfriend). An entire table has to order The Rodízio experience, so make sure everyone comes hungry.

Toro Toro’s cocktail list offers many of the usual Latin-inspired drinks, including a pisco sour and a margarita, but there are a couple of unexpected ones. The Prickly Pear Chilcano stood out to me, with pisco capel (a Peruvian grape brandy) and prickly pear puree, bitters, ginger ale, and fresh lime juice. The drink was spicy, slightly sweet and delicious – definitely my favorite.  If you’re in the mood for a stronger libation, the Carnaval, with rye whiskey, cherry liquer, lillet blanc, and orange bitters might suit your fancy.  Toro Toro also offers a couple of barrel-aged cocktails, featuring mezcal and bourbon and an extensive wine and beer selection.

Toro Toro, with its animalistic theme, both on the walls and plates, serves lunch and dinner, and provides a unique twist on a traditional genre of restaurants.  It appeals to a wider audience by providing many dining options, no matter the time of the day (with dining and drinks till 1 am on the weekdays, and 2 am on the weekends). 

Even though I’m not a meat-eater, I enjoyed the vegetarian small plates, and how Sandoval takes standard menu items (like the Toro Toro Salad) and twists them slightly.  My boyfriend really enjoyed savoring the full flavor of the meats, without any superfluous seasoning. All in all, it made for an unforgettable churrascaria experience.