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Playa: 99 Essential Restaurants 2013

PHOTO BY ANNE FISHBEIN

John Sedlar, chef and owner of Playa, says that the name of his restaurant refers to the laid-back, seaside Southern California lifestyle. It's easy to see it as instead referring to how he approaches the menu — that is, a playground of sorts, an excuse to take Latin flavors and tinker puckishly, making them palatable for the cocktail-sipping set and, above all else, making them fun. The food here — sometimes a couple of bites, sometimes true small plates — comes in cones, on sticks or in small, cast-iron dishes. Much of the produce is grown in the restaurant's own rooftop garden. Recently Sedlar has become obsessed with different aspects of Baja, including the Cantonese influence that Chinese immigrants have brought to the place over the last century, and so he's been running a Chinese-Mexican menu with dishes like dim sum tamales. It works, and adds to the playful nature of the place, the feeling that you're watching a very talented chef have a blast. That you happen to benefit from his recreation is an added plus. 7360 Beverly Blvd., Fairfax District; (323) 933-5300, playarivera.com. Dinner: Tues.-Sun., 6-10 p.m.; late-night menu, Thurs.-Sat., till mid. Brunch, Sun., 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Plates $7-$26. Full bar.

 

Besha Rodell's Introduction

Anne Fishbein's Photography

The Google Map

 

The 99 Essential Restaurants List:

A-Frame
Alma
Angelini Osteria
Animal
Attari Sandwich Shop
Bäco Mercat
Bar Amá
The Bazaar
Bestia
BierBeisl
Bludso's
Cacao Mexicatessen
Canelé
La Casita Mexicana
Cemitas Poblanas Elviritas
Chichen Itza
Chung King
Cole's
Coni'Seafood
Cube Cafe & Marketplace
Din Tai Fung
Eva
Father's Office
Fred 62
Gjelina
Golden Deli
Go's Mart
Il Grano
Guelaguetza
Guisados
Hatfield's
Ha Tien Quan
Hawkins House of Burgers
Hayat's Kitchen
El Huarache Azteca
Huckleberry
The Hungry Cat
ink.
Jar
Jitlada
JTYH Heavy Noodle II
Kang Ho Dong Baekjong
Kiriko
Kiyokawa
Kogi Truck
Krua Siri
L&E Oyster Bar
Langer's
Little Dom's
Lucques
Ludo Truck
Lukshon
Mariscos Jalisco
Matsuhisa
Meals by Genet
Mélisse
Milo and Olive
Mo-Chica
Musso & Frank
Nem Nuong Ninh Hoa
Nickel Diner
Night + Market
Oinkster
Osteria Mozza
Pann's
Pa-Ord Noodle
El Parian
Park's BBQ
Philippe the Original
Picca
Pink's
Pizzeria Mozza
Playa
Pollo a la Brasa
Providence
R&R Soul Food
Ración
Red Medicine
Ricky's Fish Tacos
Rivera
Rocio's Moles de los Dioses
Salt's Cure
Sapp Coffee Shop
Savoy Kitchen
Sea Harbour
Shanghai No. 1 Village Seafood
Soban
Son of a Gun
Sotto
Spago
The Spice Table
Superba Snack Bar
Tacos Leo
The Tasting Kitchen
Tavern
Tsujita LA
Vincenti Ristorante
Wurstküche
Zam Zam Market

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miles
Playa - Closed

7360 Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036

323-933-5300

www.playarivera.com


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