Rivera Restaurant
Rivera Restaurant

Rivera Restaurant

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://riverarestaurant.com/
  • Phone: 2137491460x
  • 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
120 reviews since May 23, 2014
Overall Rating4.1
  • Food4.2
    Service3.9
  • Ambiance4
    Noise LevelModerate
79% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (88)special occasion (57)hot spot (30)notable wine list (27)romantic (24)good for groups (23)neighborhood gem (23)vibrant bar scene (20)great for lunch (15)late-night find (13)great for brunch (6)Show More
  • 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
  • Did not enjoy
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004
    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
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Not street food
    Tuesdaydining
    Dined on 8/26/2014
    The sliced ham was great but that has nothing to do with cooking. We had all the appetizers and a few items from the cart. They all tasted bland and boring. I have never been on a cruise ship but the food I ate that night tasted is what I imagine the food would taste like.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • special
    bunkie
    Dined on 8/25/2014
    Our dining experience was just lovely. We were greeted warmly and it seemed sincerely. The wait staff was friendly and helpful; almost all the suggestions were spot on related to our questions and tastes. It's true that the place was not busy when we were there which added to our enjoyment and probably the amount of attention we were given. The menu is small but very interesting. I always enjoy trying new dishes and was able to do so here.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • JUST OK
    taxchecker
    Dined on 8/25/2014
    The Service was excellent the waiter was very kind and knowledgeable. I allowed the waiter to order their best signature dishes for our lunch. However the food was just ok nothing really delicious or special. We had the duck and tried many of their appetizers. Our waiter also ordered the halibut it was over cooked and dry. Drinks were very interesting and different ie beef jerky in the glass. Sorry we won't be going back it just wasn't good.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • outforfoodVIP
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    We don't get it. We were given a limited menu when we sat down and asked 3 different service people about the carts. Everyone made the carts sound like some mysterious, special "chef's" specials for the day. We ordered stuffed peppers and pastrami tacos off the menu hoping to get a large selection with the cart. There were only 4 chef's specials on the cart when it came. We got the ceviche. The 3 tapas we tried were mediocre, miniature, and tasted like it was made hours ago. The cocktails were good. We left after 3 appetizers, no more! What is the big deal with this place?
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Inventive
    OpenTable Diner Since 2002VIP
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    Rivera continues to impress with its creativity and flawless execution. Every dish delivers stimulating and well coordinated flavors. The new rolling cart concept is an exciting way to sample Sedlar's range of inventive tapas. This may no longer be an LA hot spot, but if you are all about the food, as we are, it's an absolute must.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OK, but not my cup o' tea
    dtwngal
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    I didn't think the food was as good as it should have been for the price. Looked like it would be fun for small bites and cocktails at night. I would try it again.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Fine Place for Lunch
    ScudderVIP
    Dined on 8/18/2014
    Rivera tries to be a great restaurant, yet just doesn't succeed. The food is good, but seems dated. The overly hot salsa with the cute tiny chip-strips was innovative 15 years ago. Now it's a silly affectation. Why not serve a high end real salsa and chips? The poached egg on the duck enfrijoladas was not cooked properly. The yolk was hard. And the enfrijolada itself was not warm enough. The menu lacks food that I'd want to eat regularly (except for the fish tacos). The room has a cold feeling -- both literally and figuratively (although I note that the hostess kindly turned the air conditioning off for us). With just a few tweaks, the restaurant could be so much better....
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Customer Service Won Our Heart
    OpenTable Diner Since 2003VIP
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    The dining experience at Rivera trumpets all the great dining experiences we ever had. The service started a little slow and we were hungry. The manager, who was very apologetic and was quickly to compensate this. We were relocated to the fine dining area & we enjoyed the rest of the evening peacefully. He went above and beyond to comp us to make our dining experience to a soft landing. He did it. That was terrific, & he won our heart. Kudos to him for all he did. Great customer service etiquette & professional demeanor to retain their customers. I had one of the best Chardonnays in many years. Last but not least Anne was a such a caring person. Our water glass never went passed half of the glass cuz the water was constantly filled by her.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Pleasantly surprised
    AlOzVIP
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Being from New Orleans I do not expect to find restaurants in many other places where the food served is comparable to that in my city. There were five people in my party and we were all impressed with the delicious and unusual (to us) cuisine. Rivera would be a popular and well accepted restaurant in New Orleans. The wine list was extensive and wonderful. We had a grand time and I hope to visit Rivera again when I am in LA. As for the service, it got off to a slow start with a couple of gaffs--BUT the staff was so concerned and apologetic for the initial problems, they made up for the errors ten times over and were very charming to us. We loved our evening at Rivera.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Started wonderfully
    RobEgenolf
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    We love Rivera but arrived before they opened and were not allowed to sit at the bar while we waited. They need to have a bartender ready early because there is no place to sit outside. Our dinner started with well crafted cocktails and creative starters like the Gyoza and roasted peppers and the "Taco Cart" was fun and the stuffed squash and ceviche were both very good. However the Sea Bass needed additional flavor and none of the 5 sauces enhanced the fish or were at all picante. We will certainly return because we love what John Sedlar prepares but we will avoid ordering a plata grande and simply add a more smaller plates and enjoy the offerings from the Taco Carts.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Rivera Review
    TSMO
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    I love high-end dining and the food choices & preparation was fantastic! Having said that, I wasn't very impressed by the preparation of our meat choices. I had the ribeye steak which lacked salt (a big no-no for any chef!) and the meat was not medium rare (as I had ordered it) but more well-done (hardly even pink) and when I mentioned it to the waiter, he should have insisted that he would bring me another OR take it off my bill. When you spend $200 for dinner, you expect the best. My boyfriends pork shoulder was also very dry and lacked flavor. I would return for dinner but not for the meat. All the other choices, including the choice of cocktails was excellent.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great!
    ReviewerVIP
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    Love the new menu! Chef Sedlar is a genius. Great service, beautiful atmosphere.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Superb dining experience at Rivera
    babajeanVIP
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    My husband and I had a fabulous dinner at Rivera on Aug 2 with another couple. At first we were a bit put off when the waiter would not suggest any specific dishes, but we learned it's because--as he said--everything is great! Other reviewers warned not to order too much & to wait for the rolling carts. I'm glad we limited ourselves 2 appetizers and 2 large plates because there were so many great choices from the carts. Our favorite was the squash encasing a tamale filled w/ pork and cheese--absolutely divine! The conchinil pork dish was also exceptional. The bottle of Spanish rioja wine my husband chose was "only" $58, but it was very smooth and went well with the dishes we ordered. Dessert was also fantastic.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Outstanding in Every Respect
    ronc
    Dined on 7/27/2014
    Our foursome had dinner at Rivera for the first time, picked from the reviews on Tripadvisor. It was an outstanding and very memorable experience. Special drinks were fabulous, a number being mescal based. We sampled many small plate appetizers, some from the menu and some from a cart brought to the tableside. The recipes were very inventive and the flavors incredible. We had 3 different entrees, all superb, ranked as follows: #1 chicken, rib eye, pork shoulder. We had a flight of flavored tequilas brought to the tableside and two wonderful deserts. The environment is very appealing and the service first class. We all left completely euphoric--a rare experience.
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good, not great
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    My friends and I came here before an event at Club Nokia. The small plates and cocktails were good, but most of it was just fair. A cart came by with a tequila and fruit juice flight that was so bad we didn't drink most of it, and it was removed from the bill. I would go back for a drink or light snack but not a full meal.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Didn't have it together
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004
    Dined on 7/24/2014
    Waitress didn't know what was on the menu and didn't know what the olives were stuffed with. At lunch, long wait between courses with only 6 tables being used. Shrimp in Mojito Shrimp and Watermelon Salad tasted from iodine....Menu is very creative and could be a great experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great food, bad service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 7/20/2014
    I have eaten at Rivera many times. I like the simplified menu. As always, the quality of the food was great. Our server was substandard. He acted like he couldn't wait to go home. He didn't pay any attention to the social dynamic of our table. This is disturbing because our guest was an important vendor who travels internationally. She agreed with us that the food was great but that the server was substandard.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Fabulous!
    ARodVIP
    Dined on 7/20/2014
    The entire team was fantastic. The host could not have been more attentive, and every other member of the staff welcomes us. The food was delicious and different. The mixture of ingredients in many of the dishes provided a burst of flavor in our mouths and the presentation was flawless. Rivera will go on my favorites list!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great, but for
    MegaMuncher
    Dined on 7/20/2014
    Food great as always, imaginative and savory. Big disappointment, they were out of scallops since it was a Sunday and no fish delivery. The Jidori chicken was good. Short ribs tgamale was superb.Host "Jackson" stopped by and made things right.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lovely food and service!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 7/20/2014
    Our server, Erin, was most helpful and gracious, explaining the menu options and the particulars of each dish. As to the food, the sea bass was outstanding and the jidori chicken quite flavorful. Each of our party of four selected a separate specialty cocktail - - - each was tasty and refreshing.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Carts a nice addition
    AllenVIP
    Dined on 7/20/2014
    As usual Rivera offers a goodly menu of excellent and interesting choices. The pork pibil and the scallops were outstanding, as were the oyster appetizer. We like the push-carts that came by early on offering tastes of other starters, and later, desserts. A great alternative to the places at LA Live, one block west.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Delicious!
    ReviewerVIP
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    Chef Sedlar does it again! The new dishes and recipes are even better that the ones the restaurant has had in the past. Chef Sedlar deserves all the accolades he receives!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Fantastic experience
    KATt
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    A total food experience - starting with the amazing cocktails - mine had beef jerky - sounds weird but it was amazing! The appetizer carts were fun and delicious and the main courses were perfect. We can't wait to go back with friends!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • great service, food interesting...
    veggiefoodie
    Dined on 7/14/2014
    Very attentive service. However, I would have preferred more typical Latin food. Perhaps a too creative for my palate.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Disappointed
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    Pork was not tender. (Advertised to be cooked for 18 hours). Restaurant and service has changed from a few years ago. Establishment decided to go for almighty buck, particularly with sides. Use to really like this place. Sorry to say I can't recommend anymore. Service came off a little pompous/smug.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Taster
    Taster
    Dined on 7/10/2014
    Wait staff did a great job of explaining the many food options. The tequila mixed drinks were superb.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delighted
    4Littleone
    Dined on 7/9/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Tiny portions...
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 7/7/2014
    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...
    Special Features:
    late-night find, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Foodie
    Dined on 7/5/2014
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • enough with the constant up selling
    Justwannaeat
    Dined on 6/26/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always good
    LAfoodieVIP
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate