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Playa is the second restaurant from Rivera chef John Sedler. Now West Hollywood can sample his creative “Pan Latin” cuisine without braving the wilds of Downtown.
If you’ve been to Rivera you’ll find Playa somewhat familiar. Rivera’s highbrow Latin Fusion wrapped in striking modern décor gives way to Playa’s playful ambiance serving up Sedler’s vision of sophisticated urban Latin cuisine. Once inside you’ll be treated to an interior that exudes Santa Fe meets SoCal beach style. Warm earthy tones in a modern yet relaxed atmosphere with walls of glass, a gorgeous bar and large hanging light fixtures reminiscent of large white sea anemone’s floating in the air.
The menu is chock full of small plates some of which are modern interpretations of familiar Latin dishes. Continuing Rivera’s food as design theme you’ll be treated to colorful and creative dishes like Lipsticks with red fresno chiles, crab, corn, olive oil sorbet morado, rosemary oil, sal de colima, citrus-beet pintura or Maize Cake Breakfast 63° egg, pan-seared potato, espuma de queso, black trumpet mushrooms, truffle cheese. I particularly enjoyed the Arroz Con Pato duck confit, baby vegetable pickles, arroz blanco jus, fresno chiles, chives, micro cilantro and the Maize Cake Salsa Semilla fresh burrata, salsa verde, arugula salad, amaranth, salsa de Colima.
I should mention that Sedler’s use of “Maize Cakes” (reminiscent of small tortillas) is used extensively; feels like a luxurious Taco.
Playa offers larger plates like the Pan Seared Loup De Mer with five sauces but pace yourselves as the preceding flurry of small dishes might render you full by the time they arrive.
It should be noted that some dishes arrive on striking plates with photos merged into the plate. Hmm, I’ll have the Clockwork Orange Beef!
I should mention that the deserts are pretty outrageous! Check out this oozing melting chocolate madness. This dessert arrived perfectly constructed but we popped the molten chocolate vase that contained the rasberries and a sublime chocolate oil slick formed; just had to show you this decadence.
Pastel Café mocha sponge, espresso crème, toffee honeycomb, Colombian chocolate ice cream. Nice!
All in all we quite like Playa; the food is creative and delivers some surprising flavors, served up in a sophisticated yet relaxed atmosphere. The lighting’s a tad bright for my taste, so make sure you look good. The crowd is mixed, liveley and vocal. The volume’s a bit loud but hey roll with it; if you can’t hear your guests just nod, smile and have another sip of one of those stylish, handcrafted coctails.
7360 Beverly Blvd.,
Los Angeles - (323) 933-5300