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B'day dinner: Church & State or Rivera or ???

The Oracle Dec 29, 2009 10:04 AM

A Saturday night, group of 6 or 7 for dinner.

Never been to: Church & State or Rivera - but wanting to try either.

Curious about: price point, food, and overall comfort/atmosphere.

Would like to keep price point reasonable ($50/pp including drinks) and have a relaxing evening.

I'm currently leaning toward Rivera (because of the noise level reviews a C&S).


Would like to keep it to Downtown or Eastside are.


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  1. perk RE: The Oracle Dec 29, 2009 12:36 PM

    I think that price point would work at either place, but why not check the menus online to make sure it works for you?
    I personally love both restaurants, but the noise level at Church & State is something to consider. Though if you're with a fairly large group, you may have able to survive it.

    1. s
      schrutefarms RE: The Oracle Dec 29, 2009 01:06 PM

      I really enjoy the food at both places. That's no help, I know. I just mean you can't go weong with either. But if you do choose Rivera, you MUST get the chocolate/pineapple cake thingie for dessert.

      1. mollyomormon RE: The Oracle Dec 29, 2009 01:33 PM

        I love both but keep in mind that the incredible cocktails at Rivera are around $15 so that can add up quickly. They really are amazing, though.

        1 Reply
        1. re: mollyomormon
          JPomer RE: mollyomormon Dec 29, 2009 01:41 PM

          Agree with above. Love Church and State too, but if you have one cocktail, an app and an entree you're going to be over 50 with tip, and at a birthday celebration, who has one cocktail?

        2. c
          Clyde RE: The Oracle Dec 29, 2009 02:23 PM

          speaking of cocktails, just a heads up if you go to rivera. the cocktails take FOREVER to come out. we got our food way before our drinks. wine is most likely quicker.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Clyde
            Ernie RE: Clyde Dec 30, 2009 09:28 AM

            I haven't been to Rivera yet so can't comment, but Church and State has the same problem. The drinks take forever to come out so good idea to order a couple at a time if you plan on making an evening of it. They do make very good cocktails though.

            Speaking of Church and State, I like it but don't understand the raves it gets on this board. It is pricey for decent French bistro food and service is spotty.

          2. The Oracle RE: The Oracle Dec 30, 2009 09:58 AM

            Thanks for the input! Am I missing another location that's similar to Rivera and C&S, but perhaps with a softer price point?

            3 Replies
            1. re: The Oracle
              JAB RE: The Oracle Dec 30, 2009 11:25 AM

              At a "softer price point" but, really not similar to either, I would rec Wood Spoon.

              At the same price point, Drago Centro should be in the mix as well.

              1. re: The Oracle
                RicRios RE: The Oracle Dec 30, 2009 11:41 AM

                Chef Joseph Centeno's new place, Lazy Ox Canteen:

                1. re: RicRios
                  JPomer RE: RicRios Dec 30, 2009 12:14 PM

                  or Barbrix in Silver Lake

              2. peppermonkey RE: The Oracle Dec 31, 2009 02:03 PM

                Rivera...no question for me..better food...much better drinks. Take advantage of your group and share so you can try everything. Julian's in my top 3 bartenders in the city. You might go a little over on the budget. Definite orders are the duck enfrijolada, the tortillas, lamb chops, and chile rellenos. All of julian's drinks are great but the barbarcoa is probably the craziest, flavorful, most fun to drink/eat cocktails in LA. a meal in a cup

                1. love2eat RE: The Oracle Dec 31, 2009 02:33 PM

                  I like Rivera! A booth in the Sangre room would be perfect for your group.

                  1. The Oracle RE: The Oracle Jan 12, 2010 11:50 AM

                    Update: Thanks to everyone for your feedback. Our group ended up at Rivera - and, surprisingly, I didn't like it all that much. We tried the tortillas (fantastic and loved the guac they served), the olives (5 individual olives each paired with something different) - we did not like those at all, and the chips and salsa.

                    For the mains I had the duck enfrijolada - which was ok, but nothing that had me swooning. Others liked their dishes about the same - portions were on the small side. For dessert we tried the chocolate/pineapple cake - and, again, it was fine but not particularly impressive.

                    Service was fine, but from a food perspective - I wouldn't rush to go back, nor would I necessarily point people towards it. For the Rivera fans - they were telling us they are going to start up 'room centric' menus - with different menu choices depending on what room you are seated in. Basically an incentive to return and try different menu options.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: The Oracle
                      J.L. RE: The Oracle Jan 12, 2010 09:06 PM

                      I go back to Rivera only for drinks these days...

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