The Return of John Rivera Sedlar’s Saint Estephe

Kachina Mosaic

Through September, John Rivera Sedlar is bringing back the menu from Saint Estephe, the Manhattan Beach-based Southwestern cuisine pioneer he opened in 1981, over dinner at Rivera. One look at the menu (Ris de veau chile con queso, enchilada aux crevettes et poireaux, huevos rancheros au chevre) and it’s clear the chef was full of mind-blowing vision and an allegiance to native ingredients even at the age of 23, when he first fused traditional French cooking with techniques and recipes from the U.S. Southwest, Mexico, and Central America. One look at the dishes, and it is obvious Sedlar’s obsession with artistry and conceptualism on the plate has been humming through him long before he brought spice stencils to Downtown. All the beauty and daring he brings to Rivera has boiled in the toque for decades, making it a wonder to behold the through-line from his impassioned beginnings to his celebrated place as L.A.’s king of modern Latin cooking. Take a look at our slideshow to see a few of the dishes Sedlar is reanimating from Saint Estephe to serve at Rivera next month.