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Rivera Restaurant
Rivera Restaurant

Rivera Restaurant Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://riverarestaurant.com
  • Phone: (213) 749-1460
  • Hours of Operation: Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:30am - 2:00pm; Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 5:30pm - 10:00pm,
    Dinner: Friday & Saturday: 5:30pm - 10:30pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Latin / Spanish, Tapas / Small Plates
  • Executive Chef: John Rivera Sedlar
  • Dress Code: Business Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Special Events & Promotions: Rivera's Sangre room is available for private use for special engagements and group luncheons/ dinners. Contact the Special Events Manager at LucyC@riverarestaurant.com

Getting there

  • Cross Street: 11th ST
  • Public Transit: Easy transportation options, rare in Los Angeles, make the experience still more stress-free. The Metro Blue Line Pico stop is literally a jalapeño's throw from the entrance of RIVERA, and the restaurant offers the city’s “Hail A Taxi” service, conveniently bringing additional fleets of cabs into the proximity of burgeoning L.A. Live venues.
  • Parking: Valet
  • Parking Details: The valet parking service engaged by RIVERA extends a special courtesy to diners who park at the restaurant, then walk to nearby venues at Staples Center and LA Live for an evening event. As the guests leave the arena, they are able to call the RIVERA valet from their mobile phones and their automobiles are collected and returned to the restaurant as guests return to RIVERA.
A word from Rivera Restaurant
Best New LA Restaurant 2009"
John Mariani -Esquire


“I ate at Rivera more times than I really needed to. I couldn’t help myself.”
S.Irene Virbila -Los Angeles Times


“Sedlar has been exploring the culinary relationship between Spain and the Americas for his entire professional life.”
Patric Kuh -Los Angeles Magazine


“The tequilas, infused with vanilla, passion fruit, or rose blossom, are irresistible.”
Best of LA 2009 -Los Angeles Magazine



Chef John Rivera Sedlar celebrates Latin food in all its diverse varieties. RIVERA’s menu reflects decades of Sedlar's passion for Latin culinary history and gives new relevance and relish to familiar foods from the sultriest of latitudes: tamales, mole, ceviche, feijoadas, fideos and jamones. The restaurant offers a unique tequila program, mixology by innovator Julian Cox and wines from the regions of Spain, Portugal, Madeira, and more
Continued
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
Diner Reviews
  • "Wait staff did a great job of explaining the many food options. The tequila mixed drinks were superb."
    Dined on 7/10/2014
  • "We opted to try this restaurant based upon reviews and were delighted to find it met our expectations. Though the menu is limited, the specials offered on roving carts turned out to be the highlights of our meal. All of the wines were European or South American, so we asked for help in choosing a good red to enjoy with our meal. The staff asked us about our preferences then proceeded to choose a very nice Malbec. Be sure to try a glass of Tequila de Mujer!"
    Dined on 7/9/2014
  • "One of the best dining experiences ever, and the staff was excellent, I can't think there would have been a better place to celebrate our 27th wedding anniversary."
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "On high recommendation tried RIvera before Staples Center Concert, entering at once could see staff extremely warm and professional making this guest feel very comfortable...wine choices excellent with tasty appetizers but portions way too small, expected a Rib-eye Steak Dinner to be a Steak Dinner, not a small spot of beef on the plate the size of a Silver Dollar! Again everything was tasty but being a total foodie this one didn't do it for me..."
    Dined on 7/7/2014
  • "Very cool and creative food, but the whole time we were interrupted by a person with a cart trying to get us to take more food. This was after the server insisted we get more initial plates than we wanted to begin with. Rivera staff: relax and trust the food and your customers. No need to push things."
    Dined on 6/26/2014
  • "Was not busy at all for lunch. Presentation of the plates and the food seems less formal during the day--no spice messages. So a little less impressive. Food was excellent and the service spot on."
    Dined on 6/26/2014
  • "The many little dishes plus the rolling cart with specials was a treat."
    Dined on 6/22/2014
  • "The good was excellent, though if the lonchera has showed up earlier, we probably would have skipped menu first courses. Service started out very strong and sort of disappeared. Not even asked if we wanted dessert."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "Service mediocre; wine service worst I've ever seen in 40 years of dining out. Food good but catering to the jeans and tee-shirt crowd. Won't be back soon."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "Park at LA Live. Even though I used valet parking one of my tires was slashed open requiring replacement."
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "This is a very unusual restaurant with an interesting and very tasty menu. You can order small plates and entres from the menu. The selections are unique - flan egg custard with quinoa, pastrami taco - and delicious. But don't order too much and save room for the roving cart (dim sum like) with special unusual dishes (stuffed whole squash with goat cheese, uni with chips, ceviche with finely sliced radishes on the side). I am not a good reviewer because I cannot remember all of the dishes and ingredients but I can tell you that I enjoyed the evening and found the food and service to be excellent!"
    Dined on 6/18/2014
  • "The rolling carts are filled with amazing small plates but no one discusses the price per plate (only when the tequila cart came by did the server say "3 shots for $9). Plus the very nice waiter gave us bad ordering advice - no one needed an entree after all the appetizers and little plates. But if money is no object OR if you are extremely disciplined, the cocktails are wonderful and the food is out of this world."
    Dined on 6/15/2014
  • "Pleasantly casual early on the weekends and a good spot for Father's Day (or weekday lunch). Although not ideal for kids, we had the little one in tow, and she enjoyed the food."
    Dined on 6/15/2014
  • "most interesting menu in LA, great drinks. overall great."
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "We liked the cart. The tacos where excellent. One dish, the duck, was overwhelmed by the sauce."
    Dined on 6/5/2014
  • "Rivera was so much fun! They have a cart that goes around with small dishes that you can grab (similar to dim sum). The food was delicious. This is a must try!"
    Dined on 6/5/2014
  • "It's been several years, since I visited Rivera. The first time the service was welcoming and impeccable. This time although the waiter was friendly and personable, the service was poor. Long waits between courses, course did not come at the same time so many guest were left waiting for their food. This happened not just once but several times. If you are going to have "latin dim sum" the choice of two dishes on a cart doesn't cut the mustard. How does one share a fried oyster after being told ahead of time that the cart dishes are good to share. Presentations are delightful and the flavors are good but portions and service leave a lot to be desired. It's too precious for the price point. Tapas bars do better."
    Dined on 6/4/2014
  • "Excellent service, great food and knowledgable staff."
    Dined on 6/3/2014
  • "I have dined at Rivera 5 times now, and each time it has been nothing less than stunning. Now that they've added the rolling tapas carts, the experience is even more spectacular. The service was impeccable from the waiter recommending drinks specific to our "taste description" to his descriptions of the food to his salesmanship in steering us to the very best. Each plate we had was surprising, innovative and nothing short of exciting. I held each bite in my mouth a bit longer than usual just to savor the unique combinations of flavors. Everything at Rivera is top notch. I cannot recommend it highly enough."
    Dined on 5/31/2014
  • "We came to LA for the food on a weekend trip from Seattle and although Rivera wasn't initially on our destination list, we ended up there through some online review research and it ended up being far and away the highlight of our "foodcation". The restaurant décor is cool and modern, the wait staff are not only incredibly friendly and accommodating but intensely knowledgeable about a fairly complicated menu. Our server made cocktail suggestions based on traits like "refreshing" or "savory" and was right on the money with what we selected. The menu was very modern and creative latin food and everything we had was a home run. If we were local, we'd be at Rivera every weekend. I fully recommend with no reservations."
    Dined on 5/31/2014
  • "It's such a pity that a restaurant with such great food has such terrible service. We enjoyed everything we ate, but the inattentive, careless and slow service really ruined the experience to the point that I would never recommend Rivera to anyone. We decided to enjoy a few small plates to share and just ordered one at a time to give us time to see what was available on the tapas carts. This backfired when it took a minimum of 20 minutes for each dish to arrive. We would have ordered and enjoyed several more dishes if we hadn't been so frustrated with the interminable waits and being continually ignored by our waiter. I've never seen such lazy service at a fine dining restaurant."
    Dined on 5/31/2014
  • "I would suggest Rivera make some changes before they fall by the wayside. The menu gives no clue whatsoever as to what you'll receive and the wait staff do nothing to help explain it. Waiter was completely unprofessional--too vague with descriptions and too jokey. They recommend a few appetizers and then a cart comes round with more. The noise level was such when the cart arrived that we couldn't hear what was being described and were annoyed that the wait person just interrupted our discussion. One entree (of 4) came 20 minutes after the 1st 3 so 3 were cold by the time the 4th arrived. No explanation and no apology. I used to love Rivera but won't be back any time soon."
    Dined on 5/30/2014
  • "Many of the food-spice combinations described on the menu sounded contradictory, if not just WRONG; yet they worked! The use of fearlessly assertive spice combinations is what sets Rivera apart. All of the food and cocktails were ridiculously delicious, but a special call out for the squash tamal - a mixture of corn masa, squash, spicy braised pork and goat cheese baked in a whole squash gourd. Amazing. I could eat one every day and never tire of it. Very pleased we sat in the comfortable and quiet dining room rather than the busy, noisier bar area. We had a great dinner and will definitely return!"
    Dined on 5/29/2014
  • "I loved Rivera but don't get downtown all that frequently so was totally surprised by the new menu concept. From cocktails (I had whiskey and honey but it wasn't called Miel Ticket) to the desert I was delighted. There were 3 of us and we had the pastrami tacos, pulled pork and the flan. The flan de elote was so good we should have ordered 2. Savory and sweet with a tiny bit of crunch....brilliant. Then they bring around a tray...call it Latin dim sum and we had a salad and one or two treats. We then shared the loup de mer....the whole fish. I would have loved to have someone serve us but we actually were able to pull enough fish off the bones without making too much of a mess. It was perfectly grilled. Desert was the olive oil cake"
    Dined on 5/25/2014
  • "I made a reservation at Rivera to celebrate my girlfriend's birthday. From the hostess taking us to the table until we left the restaurant, everything was perfect. Our waiter was excellent. He recommended custom drinks for each of us, and he was right on the mark as to what we were looking for. He was great the whole night and extremely knowledgeable about the dishes and drinks. We were both impressed with the variety of items on the food menu as well as the wine list. The items brought by on the lonchera carts are presented elegantly. I am very happy I chose this restaurant for her birthday dinner. We were treated to such great service and great food. Thank you Rivera for a perfect evening. "
    Dined on 5/23/2014
  • "Excellent food. Love the dim sum style small plates. Waiter was knowledgeable about the food and drinks and made great cocktail recommendations based on what we said we liked. Between the two of us we tried four different cocktails and each was amazing. They were better than the food and that's saying a lot because the food was very good. If you interesting food, you will not be disappointed."
    Dined on 5/7/2014
  • "We have enjoyed dinners with our family many times at Rivera. It's most all small plates and hardly ever is there something that I would cook for myself. Love the adventure. "
    Dined on 5/16/2014
  • "We went were with a group after USC graduation and had a fantastic meal. The corn tortilla, shrimp and mussels plates were excellent. Guacamole is a bit spicy as we had ordered some fish tacos. Excellent for sharing."
    Dined on 5/16/2014
  • "The food is fabulous. Unfortunately, although the staff is friendly, the service is terrible. Took about 10 minutes to get the cocktail waitress to take a drink order. Once we were seated at our table (we had arrived about 30 minutes early for our reservation), it took easily 5 minutes before anyone came by our table. The restaurant was not exceedingly busy. Our waiter did not know much of the current special "Loncheras" promotions. Service was slow, and we would not hear from our waiter for 10 minutes at a time. So forget water, extra wine, more cocktails, quick return on the orders. Too bad really, because the food is different, excellent quality, and overall, just wonderfully prepared."
    Dined on 5/16/2014
  • "Food was terrible...as though they were more focused on presentation vs taste. Service was bad. We were attending the Opera and after an hour and 10min still had not received our entree. I left starving after dining on an appetizer only. The cocktails were good. That would be the only reason to go. "
    Dined on 5/17/2014
  • "Had a terrible server to start. I waited tables for 15 years and this guy wasn't helpful at all with explanation of the menu or drinks. I complained to another server who actually came over and was extremely helpful(Julie). She must've told the manager because a new waiter Morgan came over and completely turned our experience around. Drinks and food were fantastic. Don't get intimidated by the menu it is small and confusing but it really isn't. The waiter if good. Will go thru it and let you know there are tapas carts that also cone thru with other goodies. Enjoy "
    Dined on 5/9/2014
  • "Awesome interesting food with a great presentation. "
    Dined on 5/6/2014
  • "This is the 2nd time I have been to Rivera. The first time was for a business lunch and everything was fantastic and that was the reason I selected it for dinner. Service was great and the food we ordered was great however there was party of women not too far from our table that were a little on the loud side and not really appropriate for the atmosphere of the place. So that leaves me a little concern about coming back if I am looking for a quiet dinner. "
    Dined on 12/20/2013
  • "We went to this place because of the LA Magazine review as being one of the best 25 restaurants in LA. My opinion....too expensive and they give you very little food. The waiter keeps on pushing for you to order more food, and also more cocktails using really expensive drinks. The plates were interesting but very skimpy. The drinks had too much ice and little alcohol. The Loncheras were just a hype with a few items in it."
    Dined on 4/29/2014
  • "Outstanding! The food was amazing and the service was great. I have already planned my trip back to this fabulous restaurant."
    Dined on 5/2/2014
  • "The cuisine is really wonderful and love the cocktails. This is my second time and both times I've been disappointed by the service. I've worked as a server and manager in restaurants for the past twenty years so I expect the type of service I provided to people. The server disappeared for long periods even though the restaurant wasn't very busy. However, the bussers were very attentive and knowledgable. "
    Dined on 5/2/2014
  • "Rivera was top notch. Terrific menu. Cool, knowledgeable, fun staff. Great cocktails. Fantastic food. The small plate menu is superb."
    Dined on 4/29/2014
  • "As a foodie, finding a great meal before or after a game at Staples Center is a challenge... and although this restaurant was busy, I'm constantly shocked (given the high quality of food), that it often isn't jam-packed before games. I've eaten at Rivera many times and always liked it - but a couple of new menu items really wowed me this time. The service was (as always) impeccable, informative and speedy. A necessity for pregame noshing. And it's right across the street from Figueroa parking. Perfect spot for a before or after-game meal. Highly recommended!!!"
    Dined on 4/22/2014
  • "Two items on a limited menu were unavailable at 6.30 pm on a Tuesday. Service was slow and inattentive. We had to ask for everything."
    Dined on 4/22/2014
  • "Thinking that the menu should be more descriptive. I was surprised when I received the entree...the sides it mentioned were quite small and I left feeling like I didn't have enough food. Also, the server was great; however, he had to keep returning to the kitchen to ask my questions that I had about the menu and the items listed on there. It was my first time having lunch there, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect."
    Dined on 4/18/2014