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Playa

1/4
Photograph: Victor Leung
Playa
2/4
Photograph: Victor Leung
Playa
3/4
Photograph: Victor Leung
Playa
4/4
Photograph: Victor Leung
Playa
Fairfax/Beverly/La Brea/Third St.

Chef John Sedlar has been the master of Southwestern American cuisine in LA for decades, long enough to retire from the restaurant scene for 15 years only to stage a hell of a comeback in 2009 with Rivera Downtown. Playa, his second post-retirement restaurant, is a more casual, playful spot than Rivera—there's a chihuahua in a lucha libre mask on its website—but with the same encyclopedic depth of flavors readily apparent on each shared plate.  Choose a thick, chewy maize cake to start: cauliflower rendered four ways, maybe, or the Bombay Taj with pork belly confit.  Then try a "cone," which is essentially is a fried tortilla artfully wrapped around careful layers of black bean, olives and capers that meld together for a two-biter.  In a town full of hot young chefs, leave it up to Sedlar to show the new kids how it's done.

Venue name: Playa
Address: 7360 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles

Venue phone: 323-933-5300
Website: http://www.PlayaRivera.com
Opening hours: Sat 10am-2pm, 5:30-1am; Sun 10am-2pm, 5:30-11pm; Mon-Wed 5:30-11pm; Thu, Fri 5:30pm-1am
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