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  • Rivera Restaurant

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Rivera Restaurant
Rivera Restaurant

Rivera Restaurant Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://riverarestaurant.com
  • Email: Reservations@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
  • "We went on a Friday night. Our table was ready right in time. Waiter was attentive. A few appetizers came in a reasonable time. That was where it went wrong. We had to wait so long for our dinner that it was anti-climatic. Overall, would not go back. Much too expensive for that kind of service."
    Dined on 4/11/2014
  • "Not sure who or why this restaurant was so highly rated, I was looking for somewhere downtown which in less familiar with, so have it a shot. Very overpriced, extremely small menu, venue felt like a stuffy old person restaurant. I was underwhelmed all around. We were a groups of 30 something's and while not looking for a party vibe, we want a high caliber experience if we are paying that much for it."
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "We waited a very long time for our table and then a very long time to order. The structure of the meal is odd---a small menu and then rolling carts with other items that you know nothing about a when you place your order. The food is delicious but uncoordinated. It ended up being kind of stressful, kitschy dining instead of graceful fine dining. Although the room was pleasantly quiet, once we were seated. The front area, where we waited for our table, was noisy."
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "The menu is small, and for one who eats neither shellfish nor pork, there was little to choose from. The "street carts" that come around were no better. There was no indication of what would be on them, so no opportunity to plan your meal. Choice on the carts were four items, three had shellfish. In short, a meal with no choices. Carts only had enough dishes for one or two diners on them, and since not on the menu, no idea of what they cost (very clever since most diners are probably reluctant to ask, and they can basically charge what they want--like $10 for three slices of papaya, or $10 for a mediocre rum baba dessert)."
    Dined on 4/3/2014
  • "menu has changed with more small plates. I think that I like the old format better but need to try the new format. Service definitely not as attentive as before but there was a large party."
    Dined on 3/31/2014
  • "Creative innovative food. Flavors were fantastic; bold combinations that were a pleasure to savor. We particularly enjoyed the duck confit tacos. The cocktails were also first rate. At the suggestion of our server, we tried a mescal/Campari concoction that was unusual and delicious. It complimented the food beautifully. The timing of the service got a little screwed up and the hostess had our reservation time wrong (despite having confirmed by phone a couple hours before our arrival), but these were minor glitches. Overall, we were more than satisfied with having chosen Rivera for our night out in LA."
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "Great food. Great tequila. I was most impressed and grateful for the staff's receptivity to our food allergy needs."
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "Wir waren den erste Abend in LA und hatten um die Ecke vom Hotel ein Restaurant gesucht, das nichts mit Burger oder Steak zu tun hatte. Im Rivera hatten wir genau das gefunden. Coole Bar, um in den Abend zu starten, sehr gutes Essen (klasse auch die Idee, Vorspeisen und Dessert auf einem Wagen zu präsentieren und man kann dann einfach auswählen), stylische Location. Sehr zu empfehlen!"
    Dined on 3/23/2014
  • "I really enjoyed eating here for my birthday dinner. I had 10+ friends and the service and food was perfect. Its a unique experience to eat here. Very enjoyable. Highly recommended indeed. I am a fan."
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "We arrived and waited 30 minutes before we were offered a drink. There was one server for the entire dining room. He was frazzled and we felt as if we were imposing. After waiting 30 minutes, I asked the Hostess if she could bring wine, and she quickly said she would be right back. She never came back. We eventually saw our server. He was short with my mother and no one explained the menu or the whole thing with the carts. The Cart Guy walked by and was very helpful. He went over everything with us. Fortunately, the restaurant slowed down a bit and our server relaxed and became friendly. The food came in a timely manner and was excellent. So that made up for the terrible service. I blame the managers for lack of staffing, not the people."
    Dined on 3/23/2014
  • "We were late for a show at the Nokia theatre so didn't get to enjoy the restaurant as much as we could. Our waiter suggested a ginger margarita that was so refreshing. Then we had pastrami taco appetizers and duck tacos. They were both fantastic. I plan to go back when we have no time constraints"
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "I've had this burning desire to dine at Rivera for some time now, and finally had the opportunity as I was meeting some colleagues downtown. We arrived for a late lunch, and after discouraging the waiter with regrets about the alcohol offerings, we ordered a couple of appetizers (the tortillas and the quesadilla) - both were very good, but not worthy of fireworks, and then entrees. And whereas my tuna nicoise salad was beautifully plated, the tuna was overcooked and over seasoned. My colleagues rated their entrees similarly good, but not impressive. And the waiter couldn't have been more interruptive. All in all, a disappointment. To be sure, my expectations were high…but the experience came no where close to fulfillment."
    Dined on 3/20/2014
  • "Exceptional food, drink and ambience. Perfect spot before Staples event."
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "I dined her during Los Angeles Magazine's special social hour event, so there were two guest chefs and a prix fix menu. It was one of the best meals I've ever had. Elegant food, elegant ambiance, and an elegant wait staff. I would highly recommend Rivera for any special occassion or a splurge. It was some of the best food and cocktails I've ever had."
    Dined on 3/19/2014
  • "Our party of 8 recently celebrated our daughter's birthday at Rivera and we were all truly delighted with our dining experience. Most chose the chef's impressive tasting menu (8 courses including Columbian gazpacho, spanish salad, moorish style scallops, cod, sweetbreads, Brazilian black bean stew with jidori chicken, Yucatecan braised pork shoulder, and amazing trio of desserts); however, 2 in our party had special dietary needs and ordered off the regular menu. Service was impeccable with courses timed perfectly and the plating of dishes was amazing - food was gorgeous and delicious. Yes, your meal here will be expensive but worth every penny! A special shout out to the bar - some really interesting & tasty mixed drinks are available."
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "I tried the Oyser po'boy. The Elote Flan. Peruvian Japanese Gyoza. Ceviche. And Puerco Pibil. Po boy had a hard ocean flavor and smell. Couldn't even enjoy it. Had only a nibble and couldn't stomach it. The elote flan was good. Moderately sweet with quinoa. it was good. small portion tho. The gyoza was excellent. Ceviche was lemony and smoky. really tasty. my only complain is there was mostly cucumber. wish there was more shrimp or abalone or some type of ocean protein. The puerco pibil was probably my favorite dish. If I would have had this alone I probably would have rated this place higher. Incredible flavor. Moisture. Pinkish smokering and this crust thats just so flavorful. REALLY enjoyed that."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "I've been here a few times with friends but never on a date. Rivera is a nice restaurant with great service, great food and a very good wine selection. My gf liked this place a lot for its romantic setting. I would fully recommend this restaurant for those looking for a nice dining experience."
    Dined on 1/27/2014
  • "I don't want to bore you with a long winded description.the wait staff is passionate about this establishment and what it offers the food is unique and prepared perfectly (pastrami tacos a bit too unique :/) the cocktails are award winning and you have a choice of rooms to dine. From casual to intimate. The tasting menu is flawless"
    Dined on 3/12/2014
  • "Although Rivera Restaurant has good food, it is much too noisy to be comfortable and carry on a conversation with friends at their tables. No, I will not return to Rivera, but only because of the noise."
    Dined on 3/11/2014
  • "We waited and waited for our food .... I guess over an hour. I imagine that the tactic was to force us to eat from the dim sum carts....the waiter kept repeating the the entrees were very small, etc. My advise, just bring me my food in a timely manner and I can decide if if is sufficient."
    Dined on 3/6/2014
  • "In the past few weeks, the restaurant has added a new cart service that has some really interesting items. My favorite was the acorn squash with short rib and goat cheese. The papaya and shrimp was also good (be sure to combine all ingredients in one bite). I like the infused tequila cart, very different and fun. The pastrami tacos are a must order and the po-boy was very good. Be sure to get desert."
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "Overall it fell short of Red O in LA for same higher-end latin american food. The bar-dining room area is not well-lit and undercuts the experience of fine dining. If you are going to eat there, insist on one of the two side-room dining areas that actually feel like dining rooms. Waiters were a bit rushed, though attentive, but the evening never felt "pleasant", always frenetic. Food was good -- make no mistake. Sedlar showcases latin dishes well. However each dish felt more on the side of "fine dining"... to me a latin cuisine menu should have at least a few examples of "comfort food" or "home cooking." Red O, a similar restaurant, succeeds at both. Rivera was fun, but if I have to go downtown again I would choose somewhere else next time."
    Dined on 2/13/2014
  • "Having been at Rivera on two prior occasions I was aware of the three distinct sections of the restaurant. The hostess did not know of my request for a specific section for seating. We ate early and the place was surprisingly uncrowded which diminishes ambience quite a bit. They've changed the menu and it's really not an improvement but still interesting and exotic."
    Dined on 2/27/2014
  • "The off-menu daily special small plates on this cart were outstanding and beautiful. I recommend leaving room in your order for a surprise or two from the carts."
    Dined on 2/24/2014
  • "Food was exquisite ... drinks were awesome ... I would definitely go again!"
    Dined on 2/17/2014
  • "Great experience. Mixologist was the best. Ask to have a drink put together just for you based on your taste in spirits. Food and service was top notch. Excellent pre - game or concert choice."
    Dined on 2/21/2014
  • "The food was so delicious. Corn tortillas like I've never tasted! We tried several items and there wasn't one that we wouldn't have again. Our server was knowledgeable and witty. We enjoyed it a lot - and will be back and recommend to friends."
    Dined on 2/13/2014
  • "Went for dinner on Valentine's Day. Was disappointed because menus were limited to one of two tasting menus. Neither had any food that blew you away, and the prices $100 per person far exceeded the caliber of the food received. While I am uncertain as to how the regular menu tastes, if the tasting menus were any indication of the quality of food, in my opinion, you can probably find better food for your buck elsewhere."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "My husband and I made the unconventional choice of going to Riviera for Valentine's Day - and we were SO GLAD that we did! Their pre-fix menu, which included the best veil we've had in LA, was a mix of land and sea that looked as good as it tasted. Excellent contemporary presentation, and the food was able to achieve a delicate balance of rich seasoning without over--powering natural flavor. The sweet and savory Beef-Jerky cocktail was worth a visit in and of itself. We shared 3. Highly recommend!"
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "I've never gone to a Mexican restaurant and scratched head wondering what to get. Its too high-end, its so high-end that most normal people would go there and maybe recognize one or two items and tentatively order those. The food was ok. The restaurant is nice. The ambience of the place is sophisticated and understated. It wasn't a bad place, the food was decent once we ventured outside of our comfort zone and just ordered the $45 plate of ham slices. On the bright side, the shrimp ceviche was amazing. Despite all that, I don't plan on ever returning to this restaurant."
    Dined on 2/12/2014
  • "We have gone here many times before events at the Staples Center. The dishes are very tasty with wonderful flavor combinations. The Staff is friendly and knowledgeable and the drinks are excellent. This is a fun place!"
    Dined on 2/11/2014
  • "Chef John Sedlar is a master of flavor, texture, and artistry of food. A must dine-- one of the great chefs today."
    Dined on 2/11/2014
  • "This Restuarant has a warm, dark sophisticated lounge atmosphere. We cocktails were exotic, complex and smooth. The duck taco had a wonderful dark luscious sauce but without the heaviness of a mole. The crudo was excellent. This is the place of you are looking for something different, served in a cool atmosphere."
    Dined on 2/11/2014
  • "Interesting dishes very well prepared and nicely presented. Service was delayed 30 minutes when our order went to another table. Undersrand mistakes happen but took too long to replace order in kitchen and we missed start of game. Comped some wine . Would go again."
    Dined on 2/5/2014
  • "John Sedlar's Rivera restaurant is one of the BEST restaurants in downtown area. It is unfortunate that it is not in the busy financial district and out near Staples center instead, or it would be much busier instead of half empty during lunch hour. At $25, Rivera is one of the best deals on dineLA. There are 3 or 4 choices for each of the 3 courses and every single one of them is a work of genius as well as a work of art. Even the "bread" is amazing. I normally hate Mexican and South American food, but Mr. Sedlar and Jose Andres has made me a convert (I still hate most other Mexican restaurants out there with the rare exception such as Mo-Chica, which is actually Peruvian..) The "Study of Flan" here is one of the most amazing dessert"
    Dined on 1/29/2014
  • "From the plating to the perfect balance of complex flavors in every bite, Rivera & Chef John Sedlar deliver! We ordered the pollo salsa verde and the yucatecan puerrco pibil (cuvée pork). Both so moist & tender with accompanying sauces to die for! The wine & bar menu lists are phenomenal as well. I will definitely be back to try more dishes from their amazing menu!"
    Dined on 1/29/2014
  • "TThe flavors and creativeness of Rivera’s cuisine are exceptional and the service is impeccable. Open Table lists this restaurant as a two dollar sign establishment – a rating which may be based on the lower priced dishes on the dinner menu that are “small plates.” This rating, however, is somewhat misleading. While you expect small plates to be small portions, even the main dishes aren’t substantial. For example, the scallop dish (Vieiras Arabesque) only consists of three scallops on a bed of an eggplant puree and costs $29. If you think that going during DineLA will give you better value, you may be disappointed. That said, Rivera offers an exceptional, albeit pricey, dining experience."
    Dined on 1/28/2014
  • "I know Rivera has been around for a while and is very well respected but after dining there I don't know why more people don't mention it in the conversations about great Los Angeles restaurants...maybe people do and I am just out of the loop. Regardless, my first dining experience at Rivera will definitely not be my last. Everything from appetizers to desserts was absolutely delicious. Their menu is a little slim with regard to vegetarian choices but still offered enough to accommodate my wife."
    Dined on 1/31/2014
  • "DineLA brought me back to Rivera for lunch after a year of not going there for dinner or drinks, and their food continues to be amazing. Must go back more often."
    Dined on 1/29/2014
  • "OK, what is the big fuss about Rivera. I would like to say that their starters are outstanding, specially the Choros al Vapor as well as the Venenzuelan arepas. They were out of tamales the night we went. Disappointed with the white sea bass with the Puerto Rican mofongo. That is NOT mofongo! Please, who ever heard of mofongo made with ripe plantains! The Yucatecan Puerco Pibil was flavorless. Better of going to Yuca's on Hillhurst and for less than $5 you get an excellent pibil."
    Dined on 1/29/2014