Saturday, April 11, 2009

Sexican Food

I've coined a new term after eating at Rivera.
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Sexy + Mexican = Sexican.

From the sidewalk, you can peer into the kitchen. Foodie voyeurism at its finest.
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While we were on said sidewalk, we ran into my favorite partner from my first firm. He and his wife said their dinner was really delicious, so we had high hopes.

Rivera's interior is dark, masculine, and slick.
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We sat in a semi-secluded side room.
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And so did my pal, Insomniac! She, Mr. Insomniac, and their friend happened to be sitting in the center of the room! You can read about their experience here.

She took a photo of us with her iPhone.
It's not often that you get a candid shot of yourselves like this. Tee hee hee.

Rivera has quite the mixological selection. I had a Purple Rain ($10), a concoction of vodka, violet, ginger, rosewater, and Thai basil. Admittedly, it was so fragrant that I felt like I was drinking perfume at first, but then I ended up really liking it. Weird how that happens.
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Mr. Monkey downed a Like a Virgin ($6), a non-alcoholic bespoke cocktail. He told our server he liked berries, and this is what the mixologist sent him. Yum.
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Our prológos and varios came out quickly. The next time I dine here, I plan to order only these dishes, as I thought they far outshone the larger individuales.

The tortillas florales ($6) were housemade Nixtamal tortillas with "Indian butter," otherwise known as "guacamole."
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Simple but very tasty. The flowers pressed into the tortillas were so neat.

We happily inhaled the pato al vino ($14) -- duck confit, rioja reduction, and Cascabel chile.
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Incredibly tender and steeped with a seductive wine. Mmmmm.

We couldn't resist the allure of the codorniz cubana ($13) either.
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The grilled quail and smoky black beans made love to our mouths.

The mains didn't impress us as much as the starters.

The maya puerco pibil sous vide ($22) sounded so amazing in print -- banana-braised pork shoulder and Peruvian potatoes.
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On the plate, however, it was disappointing and excessively fatty. And, mind you, I like fat. Maybe this was an anomalous cut.

The duck enfrijolada ($16), while less visually attractive, charmed us more with its goat cheese, stacked blue corn tortillas, black bean puree, and chile rioja sauce.
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But it was not nearly as sultry as its scantily clad cousin, pato al vino. I preferred the earlier more naked duck with its truer flavors.

The desserts brought sexy back, though. Talk about smooth.

We gobbled up the estudio en flan ($7) -- three different types of flan in increasing levels of richness, accompanied by caramel, mint, and berry sauces.
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The richest flan in the back was unquestionably the best.

The sweet alcohol-soaked baba cachaca ($7) got me drunk with birthday love.
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Fresh citrus, dulce de leche, cream, dense cake. What more could you ask for?

My fave fancy Mexican place still remains my beloved Babita by far, but
Rivera is certainly a new go-to destination for Sexican food. Good vibe. Good service. Just stick to the prológos and varios, and you'll leave with a smile.


  1. you and insom just happened to run into each other?!?

    Loved the flowers in the tortillas!

  2. That meal looks fabulous. Sounds like you had a good birthday.

  3. You can always go to Babitas for Mexican and Rivera when you want to be a sexy monkey.

  4. Liz, yup.

    L.A. isn't as big as one might think!

  5. Wow! I love the little details in the tortillas and drinks! I'm glad you had a nice birthday dinner. That candid photo is really interesting too, btw!

  6. "Sexican" is the hottest word of 2009.

  7. a+ for sexican. I know several friends who will start referring to themselves as that ;)


  8. love the new word, please use it more often.

  9. I would go there for one (or five) of those cocktails

  10. purple rain!! haha, awesome.

  11. *teehee*
    I was a total peeping foodie, as Rivera was on the way back to my hotel every night.

  12. hmmm the food looks deeelish. yum.

  13. I loooooove the pic of you and Mr. Mo. Gorgeous!

    It seems wrong to drink a beverage named after your car. Oops! Does she have a blogger name I'm supposed to use? He he.

  14. You *know* that's why I had to order it!

  15. omg. purple rain. in flan.

  16. What a fun birthday dinner! I love that you ran into insomniac, too.

  17. I am muy late, but feliz cumpleanos! This food looks gorgeous, hope you enjoyed t!

  18. Weezer, haha Sexican, a new highly-coveted description for any latino/a. we'll be here soon to check out the food, thanks for the posting.

  19. We were supposed to go to Rivera on Tuesday night for my bday! I only slept 3 hours on Monday night so politely declined. Missed out on the goods AND the Laker Game! But glad to hear twas good :)

  20. I love that you have a cameo in your own post! :)

  21. we ate here recently and while most are pretty good, we agree that the sous vide pork dish didn't impress..


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