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Rivera: 99 Essential Restaurants 2011 

Thursday, Nov 10 2011
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John Sedlar is a chef whose résumé could occupy most of a novel; a mind spinning off in a hundred directions at once, leaving trails to follow, as well as a body of work to be admired. There are at least four separate menus at Rivera now, for instance, exploring Latin America, Mexico and Spain, and for a while he had a separate menu offering dishes from his famous Modern Southwest restaurant in the 1980s. One of his dishes, a pre- and post-Columbian gazpacho, attempts to express 500 years of history in a few tasty ounces of soup. He treats his tortillas, with flowers pressed into them, as seriously as he does feijoada or sweetbreads with huacatay, and if you would be pleased to try snails with vinho verde and ham, this is the place for you. And past the kitchen, past the bar, past a casual-dining area where you can stop for a tapa and one of Julian Cox's cocktails after a game at nearby Staples Center, Sedlar's inner sanctum, a hushed, intimate dining room lined with glowing tequila bottles, is populated with a healthy cross section of the local Latino power structure. Unlike every other chef working the Latin-fusion groove, when Sedlar prepares something like a banana-leaf tamale with short ribs and exotic mushrooms, he understands that the most important thing is that the tamale itself be first-rate. 1050 S. Flower St., dwntwn. (213) 749-1460, riverarestaurant.com. Lunch, Mon.-Fri., 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m.; dinner, Mon.-Sat., 5:30-10:30 p.m.; Sun., 5:30-10 p.m. Full bar. Valet parking. All major CC. Modern Latin.

99 Essential L.A. Restaurants 2011:

Jonathan Gold's Introduction
Anne Fishbein's Photos
The Google Map

click to enlarge ANNE FISHBEIN

Location Info

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The List:

A-Frame
Akasha
Alcazar
Angeli Caffe
Angelini Osteria
Animal
Antojitos Carmen
Attari
Babita
Bludso's
Border Grill
Bottega Louie
Bulgarini Gelato
Cacao
Campanile
Casa Bianca
Chang's Garden
Chego
Chichén Itzá
Chung King
Church & State
Ciro's
Comme Ça
Cut
Dae Bok
Din Tai Fung
Drago Centro
El Huarache Azteca
El Parian
Elvirita's
Euro Pane Bakery
Eva
Fab Hot Dogs
Father's Office
Fig
Gjelina
Golden Deli
Golden State
Good Girl Dinette
The Gorbals
Guelaguetza
Guisados
Huckleberry
Hungry Cat
Ink.
Jar
Jitlada
Kiriko
Kobawoo
La Casita Mexicana
Langer's
Larkin's
Lazy Ox Canteen
Le Comptoir
Little Dom's
Lou
Lucques
LudoBites
Lukshon
Mantee
Marouch
Mayura
Meals by Genet
Mélisse
Mezze
Mo-Chica
Mother Dough
Mozza
Musso & Frank Grill
Nem Nuong Khanh Hoa
Newport Tan Cang Seafood Restaurant
The Nickel
Night + Market
Oinkster
101 Noodle Express
Palate Food + Wine
Park's Barbecue
Picca
Playa
Pollos a la Brasa
Providence
Ray's
Red Medicine
Rivera
Rustic Canyon
Salt's Cure
Sapp Coffee Shop
Sea Harbour
Son of a Gun
Sotto
Spago
Spice Table
Street
Tacos Baja Ensenada
Tasting Kitchen
Terroni
Tsujita L.A.
Vincenti
Waterloo & City

 

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