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

Disneyfreak Mar 14, 2011 02:38 PM

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?


  1. Ciao Bob Mar 15, 2011 02:11 PM

    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
      mlgb Mar 15, 2011 06:50 PM

      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
        Disneyfreak Mar 15, 2011 07:22 PM

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

        1. re: Disneyfreak
          NYCnowLA Mar 15, 2011 10:16 PM

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

          1. re: NYCnowLA
            Disneyfreak Mar 16, 2011 08:07 AM

            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
          Ciao Bob Mar 16, 2011 10:01 AM

          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
            Porthos Mar 16, 2011 10:22 AM

            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
              Ciao Bob Mar 16, 2011 12:19 PM

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

      2. j
        Johnny L Mar 15, 2011 01:19 PM

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

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