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Is Playa better than Rivera? (and other Rivera questions)

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I went to Rivera last year when I was in LA and loved it. I sat at the food bar since I was dining solo. I'm not sure if they had that different menus in different areas of the restaurant concept yet. Is it true that you can only order off the menu of the section you are seated in? I'm not sure that appeals to me.

How does Playa compare to Rivera? Anyone been to both?

Thanks!

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  1. I believe you should be able to order anything off the menu no matter where you are seated at Rivera.

    1. That's not true at all.
      They are different places, both are very good.
      Playa seems a little more playful and pan-Latin, Rivera a bit more serious and Mexican-monofocused.
      I had some amazing arepas last week at Playa.

      7 Replies
      1. re: Ciao Bob

        I don't know anything about Playa but Rivera is not Mexican mono focused. There are different menus for different rooms for dinner.

        1. re: mlgb

          So can you only order from the menu specific the room you are in?

          1. re: Disneyfreak

            that is right. i was there 2 weeks ago and was limited to one menu and a specials menu.

            1. re: NYCnowLA

              That is so bizarre! So if you make a reservation do you request an area or are you just placed in one and then given a menu? Some of the menus are shorter than others.

          2. re: mlgb

            I guess I worded that poorly: I think that Rivera is Mexi-monofocused only in comparison to Playa, which seems to spread out a bit more. And Playa doesn't restrict menu by seating that I know of. At Rivera I've only sat in one room so I defer to those with more knowledge. Sorry for the confusion.

            1. re: Ciao Bob

              I was at Rivera only once and sat at the counter. It is definitely not mexi-monofocused and very pan-latin. Here is the quote from their website:

              "The individual dinner menus in the three dining rooms at Rivera's Sangre (Spain and Portugal), Samba (South America), and Playa Bar (Mexico and the Southwest) present the iconic dishes of this historic odyssey."

              1. re: Porthos

                Holy Sh-T!
                Thanks, Porthos. I had no idea.
                I've been there half a dozen times but only eaten at Playa Bar.