It only seems appropriate that the last post of the year focuses on Rivera Restaurant. Rivera Restaurant is one of the cornerstones in the revitalization of fine dining in Downtown LA that started at the beginning of 2009.
- Bar (Julian Cox)
- Food (John Rivera Sedlar)
- Space and Location (DTLA)
Rivera masterfully wraps it all together into one clean package, setting the right tone, whether its lunch, dinner, or a just a drink. Working in Downtown LA affords me easy access to Rivera, which seems to be a perfectly good problem for my friends when they visit. The restaurant is split into three sections: a communal dining area and kitchen on one end, the sleek, modern bar/back wall in the center, and a more formal dining room on the other end. Choose wisely depending on the type of atmosphere you are looking for.
Rivera's menu is split in to snacks, small plates, and entrees, which makes it easy to share amongst a group.
Before we get to lunch and dinner though, a few drinks.
You're not having a proper meal at Rivera if you aren't going to have one, maybe two, of Julian Cox's cocktails. You can learn more about Julian Cox through FoodGPS' interview.
Fresh tortillas and fancy guacamole. We can count the flower as a vegetable right?
I always enjoy drinking out of a beaker. Reminds me of college, if this was a fancy schmancy college like Williams.
A really fancy quesadilla. I actually prefer my quesadillas ghetto, like Taco Bell/Del Taco ghetto.
Proof that I eat vegetables.
ALL of Rivera's dishes are plated beautifully. The choros al vapor is no exception.
I wasn't a fan the first time around, but the second time was much more flavorful. The "stimulus package" for my stomach might have had something to do with it.
I've yet to encounter a meat dish that I haven't liked at Rivera. The meat was fall off the bone tender.
It's not an odd looking sea creature, but rather blue corn tortillas, smothered in rioja wine and cascabel wine sauce.
I wanted to take the basket home. Not sure why.
Normally a skull would be a bad warning, but the warning here is: "be warned, this pork chop is damn good." The Mole was rich and earthy.
I wasn't sure what to expect, but the sous vide preparation of the pork shoulder was excellent. Like I said, Rivera is on point with the proteins.
Both desserts were good, but everyone loved the bizcocho de avellana. The sorbet was a perfect contrast to the hazelnut-chocolate.
The whole post actually consisted of two meals, one lunch and one dinner. This just goes to show you that whether it's lunch, dinner, or a drink, it's hard to go wrong at Rivera Restaurant.
1050 S. Flower St. #102
Los Angeles, CA 90015