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Aug 22, 2011 12:24 PM

Any must tries at Rivera

We're going to Rivera tomorrow for the first time. Is there anything that we should definitely order? My understanding based on these boards is that we can order off of any menu now no matter what room we're sitting in.

Also, anyone know if they have a corkage fee there and how much it is? I've been trying to get through to them to find out and have yet to reach a live person.


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  1. It seems like a minor thing, but I really like the tortillas with avocado butter.

    1. I would recommend the tasting menu, at $85 and having 7 or 8 courses (I forget if there were two desert courses) its pretty affordable and the portions aren't bad at all for a tasting as well!

      If you don't want to go that route for appetizers I would recommend: tortillas de florales, piquillo peppers, chile guero (tempura fried and crab stuffed peppers), arepas (corn cakes w/ soft shell crabs).

      Entrees: I'm not a fan of the seafood entrees to be honest, I do like the feijoada, sous vide pibil

      desert: estudio de flan, olive oil cake, baba cachaca are my favorites here.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Johnny L

        Was there last night and really enjoyed the tortillas, piquillo peppers, and arepas. Would order any of those again.

        Also had the mushroom carpaccio and swordfish crudo. They were solid, although ended up putting leftover avacado buttor on the mushrooms and with all the good raw seafood in LA, the crudo was good but would pass on it in favor of trying another menu item next time.

        Has anyone tried the banana leaf wrapped pork shoulder? Or the main chicken entree?

        1. re: LATrapp

          The sous vide pibil which is wrapped in banana leaf and cooked for 18 hours is pretty amazing, tender yet still maintains its muscle structure.

          I like the chicken entree for what it is, the chicken is cooked sous vide as well and always comes out juicy despite it being breast.

          I would also add a recommendation for their pork tamals.

      2. The "Conexiones" Menu is the way to go. And Ben, their sommelier, has an unusually distinct palate where the menu is concerned. Last time I was there, had the higher end wine pairing and some of the combinations seemed unlikely at best until the food arrived. Then, sheer Nirvana! Truly an exceptional evening and one of the more surprising (in a good way) dining experiences I've had in LA in several years...

        1 Reply
        1. re: FranklinJefferson

          I loved the barbacoa (cocktail) - mezcal heaven ! That's the drink with the beef jerkey garnish.

          My wife and I also both thought the food was fantastic as well. We can't wait to return.

        2. Mixology there is great. Get a fancy cocktail or five.

          4 Replies
          1. re: J.L.

            I second this. There is a cocktail called blood sex and magic or something that is darn good and unusual.

            The pibil is good, but not amazing. I enjoyed some of their beans quite a bit. Overall I like, but don't love the food at Rivera (been there a couple times).


            1. re: J.L.

              expensive as hell @ $12-14 a pop

              1. re: J.L.

                I fully 100% support great mixology. However, when I was there Sunday night the two bartenders could not keep up with the demand of those at the bar, much less the restaurant.

                After finally grabbing a seat at the bar, it was literally 30+ mins before I had my first sip of a cocktail. It was rushed and short and made in a batch of 6-8 other different drinks at the same time. The entire episode was a bit disappointing as it's painful watching the bartender try and remember which of the 8 shakers needs the 3 drops from a pippette in order to complete the $13 magic. After my first and only cocktail was finished (quickly), I realized how long it would take for the next one and held back some tears....and moved on to straight mezcal.

                J.L., I assume you order all 5 of those at once? ;)

                Again, I'm all in favor of great drinks. I don't blame the bartenders here, they were set up by whoever does the staffing.

                1. re: J.L.

                  I think Rivera's cocktails are better than their food, which I find to be overhyped

                2. They have an outstanding corn flan with quinoa...yuuummmm....