At the start of the summer, we saw John Rivera Sedlar making pastrami tacos from his influential 1980’s restaurant Saint Estèphe to feed the crowd at Los Angeles magazine’s 50th birthday. He must have had a good time doing it, as the chef is bringing Saint Estèphe back to Rivera through the month of September. What does Sedlar have in store as he prepares to take Downtown back in time?
The L.A. Times reports that a daily dinner menu will feature the reanimated Manhattan Beach restaurant’s Southwestern U.S. cuisine to celebrate the 30th anniversary of its opening. Dishes will include a sea scallop and tarragon posole, something expectedly arty called "salmon painted desert," veal chops with burnt chile pesto, green chile rellenos with mushroom duxelles, and crepes of blue cornmeal with cinnamon ice cream and a grapefruit Grand Marinier sauce. Rivera tells the paper, "There was something about Saint Estèphe – people had never seen or tasted food like that," and to be honest, we still haven’t seen much in the way of "salmon painted deserts" since (though Jonathan Gold recalls it fondly)
Meanwhile, plasma screens will carry images of the long-gone food and space, and maybe even show the adorable photo of a very young Sedlar that The Times shares with us today. In any case, with Laurent Quenioux at Starry Kitchen and LudoBites stretching into September, Downtown is officially the hotspot for pop-ups this season.
The Saint Estèphe menu will be served only at dinner-time through September at Rivera, with reservations available now at 213-749-1460.