Thursday, November 13, 2014

Rate-A-Restaurant #333: Rivera

Rivera

Restaurant: Rivera Restaurant

Location: 1050 S. Flower St. (Downtown)

Type of restaurant: Latin

Rivera

We stipulated: For our anniversary, Maria and I wanted to try a new (for us) spot, but we also had time constraints: Both a sitter and a date with KCRW's Masquerade Ball. Rivera worked out timing-wise, looked tasty and was the mid-way point between home and the Park Plaza Hotel (where the ball was located).
Rivera


They stipulated: John Rivera Sedlar: "When I opened Rivera in 2009, my culinary quest was to reexamine and redefine the five-millennia-deep Latin roots of modern Los Angeles cuisine. We traced those roots across three continents, each of which had a dedicated menu in one of Rivera’s three dining rooms: Sangre (Spain), Samba (Central and South America), and Playa Bar (Mexico). So much has changed in half a decade. I’ve seen Latin food inundate L.A. like a tsunami. Meanwhile, the city’s pace has grown more frenetic and mobile than ever. In this exhilarating food climate, we now offer you loncheras, a procession of rolling service carts and hand-carried trays that deliver directly to you an array of small plates that our kitchen brigade has infused with the vital spirit of New Latin Cuisine."
Rivera

Rivera

What we ordered: Chilean sea bass ($17); flan de elite (corn custard, black quinoa, squash blossom sauce, $11); Maize cake po'boy ($11); Tokyo chile relleno (green chile, goat cheese, nori, $12); black quinoa y espinacha (Peruvian black quinoa, spinach, olive oil, $5); olive oil cake, creme fraiche, strawberry sorbet, xerez vinegar ($8). Cocktails included BARBACOA (tequila, chipotle, ginger, lime, beef jerky)

Rivera

Rivera

High point:  The small plates allowed us to try a wide variety of items -- some bigger hits than others.

Low point:  The dim sum-style food sales in addition to the menu is a bit confusing. We already ordered so many things, why top it off with even more items? We chose a unconventional chip/blue potato "guacamole," which was fine, but overpriced for a few chips.

Rivera

Rivera

Overall impression: Great space, great cocktails, good food.

Rivera

Will we return: It's not an everyday restaurant, but I would definitely recommend it when you wanted to go a bit more upscale.

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