It's hard to imagine someone who doesn't go bonkers over Santa Fe cuisine and culinary traditions (just people who swear they don't like spicy food, but that seems like an easy out, because not all eats are spicy in Santa Fe). The bright chiles, the corn-based deliciousness, the deep-fried squash blossoms, the recipes handed down (they really are) all add up to satisfaction.
Chef John Rivera Sedlar grew up in the City Different, and learned from his grandma all about the pleasures of the table. Grandma lived in nearby red-cliff-y Abiquiu, maybe the most beautiful spot on earth, so we have to think that went directly into the dishes. After his New Mexican childhood and stints in Spain, Sedlar cooked at numerous top spots and opened Museum Tamal (not many chefs can boast "museum founder" on their CVs).
Now he's helming Rivera, a modern nexus of piquant plates with a focus on Latin flavors from both hemispheres. Interesting factoid: There will be social commentary and topical symbols of the Latin world created in seasonings on plates (including one that suggests that "courtesy is not a sign of weakness") and something called "deconstructed guacamole" delivered in a lab beaker. Intriguing indeed.
Oh, and tequilas. Lots and lots of lovely tequilas. Drinkers will nestle into the "tequila armchairs" -- bronzed-out, future-y pieces of furniture that almost look like they hovered in off a Kubrickian space pod -- and let the libations flow in, slowly, slowly. With this in mind, we're happy the spot is walking distance to Staples Center and the L.A. Live action.
1050 S. Flower Street, Los Angeles