June 21, 2021 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Special Saint Estephe Menu At Rivera For Rest Of September:

The Santa Monica Farmers Market isn’t the only force in the local food world that’s celebrating a 30-year milestone this month.

The southwestern fusion cuisine of Saint Estèphe – a progressive 1980s restaurant opened by chef John Sedlar in Manhattan Beach – is being celebrated in a month-long retrospective at Sedlar’s restaurant, Rivera, in downtown Los Angeles. This is an unusual chance to travel backward in time and taste food from a very different era of Los Angeles dining.

“These days many people are looking forward at what’s coming up next, but we started looking backwards. Saint Estèphe was very fun, it was fun living by the beach, and that era was very interesting,” said Sedlar of his first restaurant.

Saint Estephe’s menu was in French, because “in that era, we weren’t ready to let go of our europhile infatuations; we weren’t confident that Latin food would have the legs to stand on its own,” Sedlar said.

His later restaurants included Bikini, a southwestern cuisine restaurant on Fifth Street in Santa Monica that closed after the 1994 Northridge earthquake and was later reopened as Abiquiu. Rivera and Playa are his current restaurants.

John Sedlar is a chef who wants to tell the evolving story of Latin cuisine. He grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico, was trained in classic French cuisine, and put Saint Estèphe on the map when he put southwest American and French cooking together in a new way that he called modern southwestern cuisine. His cooking was equally famous for its edgy presentation, in which plates became canvases for visual art and evocative messages.

Thirty years later, Sedlar notes how much food has changed in Los Angeles, and how much more knowledgeable diners are now about food. “When I was cooking at Saint Estèphe, all the food had to be subtle – it couldn’t be too hot or spicy. Now people want flavors that grab you by the throat. They want true, good, honest cooking that’s not so composed, a little more casual. It’s gone in a nice direction,” Sedlar told The Mirror.

Through September, classic dishes that were served during the 1980s at Saint Estèphe will be on a special menu at Rivera. The Kachina face mosaic composed of American caviar, egg, and endive “feathers” is a fine example of Sedlar’s presentation of southwestern colors, and the Chimayo Chile Relleno, filled with a rich mushroom duxelle and served with a cream sauce, recalls a time when French and southwestern cuisines first formally met.

Sedlar also plans to open a small food museum in downtown Los Angeles and will begin showing exhibits in October about comida hispanica and five centuries of cuisine in Los Angeles. The museum will have a restaurant.

Saint Estèphe retrospective at Rivera, 1050 South Flower Street, Los Angeles, 213.749.1460, www.riverarestaurant.com. Dinner appetizers $9-$12, salads $5-$9, entrees $21-$27, desserts $7-$9.

Keep In Contact With The Mirror:

Follow The Mirror on Twitter: twitter.com/SMMirror

Follow The Mirror on Facebook: facebook.com/SMMirror

Related Posts

Conscious Designs That Drive The Message Home

June 16, 2021

June 16, 2021

“Black Lives Matter” – The rallying cry that went from a hashtag to a global movement, and a designer that...

In-Person Events Are Back with Summer Swing Nights: Jazzy Vocals plus Live Big Band – Now with Tap Dance, Swing Lessons, Vendors to Benefit Museum

June 10, 2021

June 10, 2021

Live, in-person entertainment is bringing out happy fans of all ages for Summer Swing Nights: Drive-In Edition. The concert fundraiser features the...

Ben & Jerry’s Closes Santa Monica Shop

May 13, 2021

May 13, 2021

First West Coast Ben & Jerry’s closes up shop on Main Street  By Kerry Slater Ben & Jerry’s has closed...

Edify TV: A Look Into the Cold War-Era as Wende Museum Reopens

May 11, 2021

May 11, 2021

With relics of the Cold War-era on display, the Wende Museum in Culver City has reopened for in-person visits. Learn...

How to Heal the Soil and Why

May 11, 2021

May 11, 2021

By Andy Lopez We all know how important the vital role the soil plays in your plants’ health, trees, and...

Edify TV: Concert Capacity Rules Issue for Small Venues

May 4, 2021

May 4, 2021

Live music is back in LA County but the owner of a Westside jazz club says reopening will have to...

Santa Monica College Student Film to be Screened at Cannes

April 27, 2021

April 27, 2021

SMC student film “Broken Layers” accepted into The American Pavilion at Cannes By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica College (SMC) student...

Venice Japanese American Memorial Monument Committee’s Annual Commemoration

April 6, 2021

April 6, 2021

Annual event to be held virtually Thursday April 15 Submitted by the Venice Japanese American Memorial Monument Committee Standing at...

Film Review: Minari

March 31, 2021

March 31, 2021

MINARIRated PG-13115 MinutesReleased February 26th Amazon Prime, Google Play, DirecTV/ Virtual screening on A24films.comWon Golden Globe – Best Picture Foreign...

Video: Indoor Dining Close to Returning in LA County?

March 4, 2021

March 4, 2021

Indoor dining could return to LA County very soon. Learn more and hear what diners have to say in this...

The Importance of Upgrades

February 23, 2021

February 23, 2021

Whether you’re talking about upgrading your home, business, or computer systems, the results are the same: upgrades are essential maintenance...

Film Review: Bliss

February 14, 2021

February 14, 2021

FILM REVIEWBLISSRated R103 MinutesReleased February 5th on Amazon Prime Do you find that when return home from travels to another...

Art of Recovery Projects Connect the Community and Brighten Santa Monica Streets

February 9, 2021

February 9, 2021

The City of Santa Monica’s Cultural Affairs Division’s next round of Art of Recovery projects will be implemented throughout Santa Monica in the...