Rivera Restaurant
Rivera Restaurant

Rivera Restaurant

  • 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: 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
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked 1000-Point Tables
Rivera Restaurant reviews from OpenTable diners
117 reviews since July 31, 2014
Overall Rating4
  • Food4.1
    Service3.9
  • Ambiance4
    Noise LevelModerate
82% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (84)special occasion (47)hot spot (35)neighborhood gem (27)good for groups (26)notable wine list (25)romantic (23)vibrant bar scene (18)great for lunch (17)late-night find (8)great for brunch (4)Show More
  • I asked for food recommendation not HOT/Chile
    FridayatROYsVIP
    Dined on 11/24/2014
    I asked for recommendation for food that was not spicy and the fish tacos were so spicy I could not eat them. Them they lost my Chase credit card after I got very up set it finally reappeared. The check took for ever to get. The whole experience was very bad.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Fun Restaurant
    Chris100VIP
    Dined on 11/22/2014
    This is a fun place to go for either lunch or dinner. Creative food combinations, most of which work. The setting is young and sophisticated. Service is generally good.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Hidden Treasure
    FredandAlma
    Dined on 11/21/2014
    Exquisite menu truly a delight of dishes which I could not choose which one was the best. Cocktails were delicious with great creations. I loved the elegant sofistication scene. Staff was great. At the end my hats off to the chef!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Rivera is good
    Leslie
    Dined on 11/21/2014
    My husband and I enjoyed our dinner. It wasn't anything to write home about but we still had a nice evening. The cocktails were our favorite. We ate PIQUILLOS RELLENOS, ENFRIJOLADAS DE (duck), Scallop & Acorn Squash. Our fav was the Piqullos. We could have ordered one each. Enjoy!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Food is great, service is terrible
    Laura
    Dined on 11/18/2014
    No one at the host station when we arrived so we kept looking around for a table. A drink ordered straight up arrived with ice cubes. The server had nothing to say about menu choices - just seemed clueless. Our dinner arrived before the appetizer. Server again unconcerned. Just all very odd as this is usually a professionally run restaurant in the front of the house. Food is as good as ever though. Kitchen needs support from the front of the house. Resting on their laurels? Too much competition now for that.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great Evening
    Tequilaformi
    Dined on 11/10/2014
    Its my 5 or 6th time at Rivera and Ive yet to be disapointed ! great place, great food, great fun !
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 11/10/2014
    Food was excellent but the service over lunch was a little slow. Would give another try.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fantastic Food/Beautiful Atmosphere
    JulieHerm
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    I had loved Rivera when it first opened but then it had dropped off of my radar amidst all of the other restaurants that have opened downtown subsequently. I heard that they were introducing a new Asian/Latin fusion menu and was intrigued. It completely delivered on the concept in ways both delicious and surprising. Every dish was flavorful and unique. The service was attentive and friendly. I highly recommend the experience to anyone that's looking for a memorable dinner in LA
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Share delicous & Creative Food
    foodlover
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    We were a group of four celebrating our friendship. We had an amazing well paced, three hour evening of terrific food to share and delicious cocktails. We think sharing tastes of the creative menu is the way to go. Think of this as the entertainment of the evening. Best not to plan to go somewhere afterwards - just enjoy Rivera!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 11/6/2014
    Excellent food. We had 5 appetizers and the duck entree. Amal were very good and some were outstanding.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Most than surprisingly fabulous
    mary
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    My husband and I were on our way to a concert so we didn't have a lot of time. There were several things that stood out to us and our experience. We found wonderful options for appetizers, main course and dessert. The staff is impeccable and very professional. They described everything we ate. So we knew we were eating something special.. The presentation was crafty and unique. The taste of the food left us wanting more...Need I say more?! The exciting part of our short evening there was the push carts with various and creative appetizers and desserts. I usually don't have dessert, but everything we saw we wanted to taste because of its artistic appearance! Love it all.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • drinks. drinks. DRINKS.
    SacksVIP
    Dined on 10/29/2014
    We go to Rivera for their Latin-infused drinks. They are unique, memorable, and complex; spicy/sweet/salty blends with unexpected touches like Beef Jerky & Mezcal keep your taste buds delightfully intrigued. The BARBACOA is a must!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Time
    JRC211
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    Great food, great atmosphere, they accommodate serving family style. Played are not large, so might be a bit pricey for some. We chose to do this as there were so many yummy items on the menu we all wanted to share even if we had to order more then one to be able share.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A good choice in DTLA
    dmr1
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    We were just in town for an event and decided to go to Rivera for dinner. The staff were friendly, and our server was very knowledgeable about the menu and very attentive to our needs. I had duck enfrijolado and it was very good. There are plenty of other choices, depending on what you're in the mood for.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Outstanding Meal!!
    UVAparentVIP
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    Every dish from the tapas appetizers to the entrees to the table side cart items were excellent. Dessert was also excellent. Can't go wrong across the board.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Very good and creative!
    Fridaydiner
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    Very creative menu and first-rate service, although like so many places they seemed to forget about us after the dishes were cleared but before the bill was delivered. Piquillos Rellenos were amazing, pork shoulder was tender and flavorful and the lobster was unexpected and delicious. The scallop inside crisp potato didn't work as well for me - scallop was good but the potato crust was flavorless (though of course, tastes vary.) Overall, well worth going!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Strange Experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    My wife and I go to all of the nice restaurants and understand good service. Rivera was not that, at least not for a while. The valet told me parking would be $15, then $10, then $5, and refused to give me a ticket. When we finally resolved that, we got into Rivera, and there was no receptionist. For 10 minutes. We just stood there until a waiter finally told us our table was ready, but tried to seat us at an empty sushi-looking bar. We refused. Our table materialized 5 minutes later. One of many empty tables. Then, no waiter for 10 minutes. The waiter shows up and cannot tell us what dishes do not have cilantro in them, which my mother (who was joining us) hates. Eventually drinks and food showed up and they were good.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Over the Hill
    FrequentDinerVIP
    Dined on 10/22/2014
    I hate L.A.'s quick rejection of restaurants, but the desertion of this prior hotspot appears deserved. The food remains good -- though not nearly as impressive as many other more recent fusion places -- but the service was inattentative and unhelpful. They've added tequila carts and dim sum-like specials carts, but don't even mention the carts' existence or offer their wares until after having taken your food and drink order making the purpose of these carts unclear. The restaurant was half empty and for good reason. I don't think I'll be back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Rivera
    Finediner
    Dined on 10/12/2014
    Food was not exceptional as we had hoped. Server led us to order more items than we could eat saying they were small plates. The cart was disappointing with selections. The artichoke was only a holder for some corn and lobster and totally inedible. Very over-rated in every respect and far to pricey for what we were served. Notable dishes: peppers and tacos - both excellent
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great pre-concert dinner!
    wineanddine
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    We enjoyed a delicious meal here before a concert at the Staples center. The location makes it an easy choice and the food is well worth it. I was eyeing the Jane's Addiction cocktail, but everyone at my table ordered it, so I asked the bartender to make something else for me. He made a delicious, vodka, cucumber, citrusy concoction. So tasty, and not too sweet. The food was outstanding as well. We shared the fried oyster po-boy and the seared scallops. Would definitely order both again. Our table really enjoyed the tortillas florales with fresh guacamole! Yum!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food & drinks!!!
    Southbayfoodie90717
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    Enjoyed the attention to detail to all the dishes yet the food was flavorful as well!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • SUSHI-MEXI BR
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    The fish was so fresh...we ordered "everything" off the menu! Affordable and delectable too.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Poor Service but Great Food
    Brad
    Dined on 10/5/2014
    We had a reservation for a table at 6PM and they did not have a table for us. The only thing they had available was counter seating in the back of the restaurant which made us feel like we were sitting at a sushi bar, since there were refrigerated glass cabinets in front of us that contained various vegetables. Although the reviews were good for the Rivera, they did not seem to care that we were celebrating my wife's birthday which I had listed in the reservation and mentioned to the hostess. Although the seating and service was disappointing, the food from the kitchen was outstanding. I was disappointed by the restaurant management but I might try it again when they are not so busy since the food was great.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Better two years ago...
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    First, we ordered cocktails, and one out of 4 of us doesn't drink, but the waiter kept insisting that he add a shot to his diet coke. Really? Then, one of our party of 4 was a first timer, so he asked the waiter for a recommendation, and the waiter said "the ham is the finest in the country" (at $44 for an appetizer!) and when we said is there any other recommendation, he read down the entire menu. We can read the menu, we just wanted to know if there are any standouts. We asked a different way, "what are some of your more popular appetizers?" - he replied "everything is good." After we got our drinks, he asked if we wanted extra shots to add to the drinks. (Do they purposely make the drinks weak so we buy another shot?)
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Tastes Exploding in My Mouth
    LynnVIP
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    We had a great time at Rivera on Saturday night. We sat in a quiet dining room with great ambience. Our waiter was quite helpful and reasonably attentive. Cocktails were fun and included flights of mezcal. Four of us shared delicious appetizers from the menu and the cart. The best was flan de elote--heavenly. Scallops may have been the best entree, but the pork cooked sous vide and the duck were also very good. The tortillas florales were gorgeous and very tasty with the avocado spread. The Spanish olive oil cake with vanilla ice cream and strawberry sorbet was fantastic. Note: Rivera has more than one dining room. The others are more "lively". Ask to see the cart before you order appetizers as it may change your mind.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Latin fusion.
    ReyReyLA19
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    The food was very good and very well presented. Very creative and delicious. everything that we tried was very good. Highly recommended.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Less than it used to be
    MelL0165VIP
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    I've been to Rivera many times. Although I know the menus change and their food emphasis changes regionally at times, this time, it seems, the menu was limited and not terribly exciting. They are known for unusual plate presentations which have always amazed me, yet this time, there was little new or visually exciting. Started courses were good. We had the pastrami tacos which were excellent. Yet, despite our being a party of 5, the server made no mention that only 4 tacos were to be served. We had to specifically request one extra. The server should have made us aware of that when he took the order, or automatically added an additional item. The main courses were good, but compared to prior menus, limited in number and scope.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Calnative
    Dined on 9/22/2014
    Great dining experience for myself and visitors from Florida. Server was excellent, very helpful in explaining food options and recommending the perfect wine, and so cordial that my dining companion wanted to keep him as a friend!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • I want to see what I am eating
    Palate
    Dined on 9/17/2014
    Great excellent food, was very surprise how good it was and different. Traditional latin food with a colorful twist and taste. , I will eat there again, and bring family and friends.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • RIVERA
    attiVIP
    Dined on 9/16/2014
    Interesting ' latino ' oriented menu and good drinks
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Did not enjoy
    lver
    Dined on 9/16/2014
    Limited menu, too loud and food for the price was not enjoyable.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Good food but a run down look
    Indofoodie
    Dined on 9/15/2014
    Food was fabulous. Initial impression was poor. Menus are worn out and nearly falling apart!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Worst Dining Experience
    ByronVIP
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    Dinner for a party of seven started with gimmicky cocktails at the bar followed by service that throught the evening was nothing short of being hustled the entire night to shamelessly and aggressively push orders for more drinks and more food. Expecting good food, we had already ordered several appetizers and large plates for each member of our party and after we had ordered they still kept brining more and more options (would have been good even though we had placed
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Bad experience this time
    JSim
    Dined on 9/10/2014
    Went for an early dinner on a Tuesday night, we were the only ones there for about an hour, and still the service was slow and incompetent. The standard menu is dated and limited. There are daily specials, but instead of letting you know up front what they will be, they have you order off the menu first, then they bring some tapas carts by the table periodically to see if you would like to add something on. We were in a rush and told them this several times thinking that since the place was still empty, they could accommodate us. They disregarded this and went at their own slow deliberate, "let us surprise you with another tapas cart" pace, and we were late for our meeting. The steak was tasteless, overcooked and barely warm. Bad experience
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Adventurous and Outstanding Cuisine
    LuvDiningOutVIP
    Dined on 9/9/2014
    Rivera is a true treat. They specialize in unusual, creative but most importantly, flavorful and exquisite dishes, each with an expert selection of ingredients that offer rare and pleasing taste adventures. All handsomely described and presented. They also specialize in exotic craft cocktails. The service is friendly and most capable and the surroundings are handsome and comfortable, if somewhat restrained. A delight.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    great food and great service wonderful way to celebrate a friend's birthday
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lovely
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/2/2014
    Antonio P was very attentive, and knowledgable about the food. Five stars for him. Piquillos with chorizo: sweet and succulent, with just the right amount of cheese. Gyoza: Tasty pork with fantastic texture. Shrimp Ceviche (from the cart): Bright and citrusy. (Debating with my dinner companion if it was too much so. I loved it...) Ribeye with habanero sauce: Steak cooked to perfection, great cut of meat. The rest of the garnishment and sauce was forgettable, but hey, no one is perfect. Three cheese plate: Perfect pairing with a delicious quince jelly, and an excellent cap to the meal. Bravo, and thank you for a fabulous time.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • new menu and service not great
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    Hi, my wife and I visited Rivera for the first time with two other couples who had dined with you before - before the menu and the service had changed. We enjoyed a cocktail then our server explained the menu and we ordered. The two other couples mentioned they preferred the previous menu - but to us it looked great. In the middle of conversation with the two couples we had not seen in a long time, the carts started arriving - this is not supposed to be dim sum......the drink cart with "hallucinations" was ridiculous - the other food carts were a complete intrusion into a possibly good meal. And worst of all....the server never explained that these carts would be arriving. Not returning. Cheers.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Birthday Dinner
    Rtdnsnfodlvr
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    I had been wanting to eat at Rivera's for some time. I had read many good reviews about it. I was finally able to go with my "Ladies Night Out" bunch to celebrate my birthday. I was the first to arrive and was greeted by a very nice bartender named Jim. When my friends arrived, we sat down to dinner and ordered from a short but interesting menu. Soon a cart arrived with sides to choose from. What an interesting concept. Two more carts came along with equally delicious choices but because we had ordered sides, we only selected on small bite from the cart, ceviche. It was delicious. Our entrees were beautifully presented, delicious well portioned. The staff was attentive, friendly and polite.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent food and average service
    Disappointed
    Dined on 8/27/2014
    We loved the food at Rivera, but the ambiance and service were not top notch for the price. The portions were small but satisfying. I like the dim-sum style trays. The location close to the Staples center is very convenient. The place is very small so when we asked for a quite table they were not able to accommodate us.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic