Playa

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In 2009, John Sedlar’s Rivera redefined nueva mexicana cuisine. His latest, Playa, feels more like an extension of the downtown restaurant than something altogether new. Sedlar continues to dazzle the eyes, with whimsical pink anemones dangling overhead and flashy presentations using photo plates, as well as our palate. The flavors reflect on 2,000 years of Latin cooking. Corn’s a motif, acting as the basis for a series of maize cakes (topped with burrata or a 63-degree egg), an ethereal flan with huitlacoche, and sweet corn tamales. Black bean crème elevates the humble legume to something equivalent to foie gras. A few larger dishes include skate wing with tamarind-cinnamon gastrique and chile-rubbed pork tenderloin. Desserts stick with the theme (mango fan, vanilla cake with strawberries and candied chiles piquillos), as do mescal- and tequila-centric cocktails from acclaimed barman Julian Cox. » 7360 Beverly Blvd. (323-933-5300 or playarivera.com). D nightly. Full bar. Pan-Latin $$$