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Chef John Rivera Sedlar makes auspicious return

February 9, 2009 | 10:09 am


The visionary behind such onetime L.A. eateries as Saint Estephe, Bikini and Abiquiu does himself proud with the Latin-themed Rivera.

According to Times restaurant critic S. Irene Virbila's Early Bird look:

Spread the word: John Rivera Sedlar is back! The chef who brought us Saint Estephe in the late '80s, then Bikini and Abiquiu (all, sadly, gone) and then took a break from restaurants for far too long, has opened Rivera in downtown L.A. on Flower Street, a stone's throw from L.A. Live.

Rivera's presence on the street is so discreet, think of it as a stealth restaurant. Look for the grid of stylized Rs (for Rivera) at the bottom level of the Met Lofts building on the south side of Flower. Trust me, it's there.

At this casual, Latin-themed restaurant, Sedlar is sending out small plates calibrated to get even the most jaded foodie excited. He grinds his own maize for the handmade Nixtamal tortillas florales with flowers and herbs pressed into their surface. Served with a silken avocado butter, these are a must....
Photo: Christine Cotter / Los Angeles Times