Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Heading out West: RIVA, Santa Monica

Since moving to Los Angeles 1.8 years ago, I have become quite of an East LA recluse spending my time hiking in Griffith Park, grocery shopping in Silver Lake, and frequenting locations only accessible by the metro red line. But who wants to be that old dog that can't learn any new tricks? Not me! So I headed out west, to the unknown Santa Monica, for a wine event hosted by one of my friends. The place? Riva, a posh new restaurant with a badass chef and renowned owner.

I met my totally awesome lady friends in the lounge and we started off with a glass (or two) of prosecco (delicious, bought it!) and a few amuse bouches: meatballs and my favorite, the wild greens crostini.
We moved into the back room, behind the velvet curtain to continue more food and wino monkey business. Riva's wine broker, a robust fellow, gave us the low down on some of the Italian wines we'd be beveraging that night. The next was a crisp white wine paired with a beautiful burrata with roasted pepper salad.
A fresh roll helped to sop up the left over olive oil. Next came the pizzas. The Spring Onion with fontina and thyme was beautiful with the red wine.

But so was the the funghi pizza, which I swear tasting like something truffle-iscious. This is for serious mushroom lovers only! We also tried a red pizza with salami which was my least favorite, therefor not compelled to photograph it.
We aren't done yet, people! Next came the main course. My red meat amigos had the flat iron steak with brandy sauce, wild greens and novelty polenta fries.
The pescaderian from within screamed out for the Halilbut in Crosta. And I am a picky halibut eater and this was the best halibut I've ever crammed in my greedy pie hole. Ever. Perfectly moist and delicately laced with a fresh late spring vegetable creamy ragut of fava beans, peas, pearl onions and a touch of meyer lemon.
The 100% vegetarian plate was also compelling with a savory nutmeg parmesan whipped cream and beautifully cooked asparagus and fresh fava beans. Everything about this dish screamed fresh from the farmer's market.
Next came the sweets. I was on my 3rd glass of wine and started making wisecracks, suggesting the tiramusi's plate decoration was reminiscent of skid marks. It was good, but not mind blowing.
The peanut butter and chocolate torte was incredible! It made do over status so much that I asked the waiter to bring us another right then and there. I didn't try the caramelized bananas but my dining companions approved. We also had the torta della nona which I really enjoyed however it was so decomposed when the plate made it down to me that a photo wouldn't have helped.
Oh yeah, and we finished deserts off with a lovely moscato. Borrachas unite!

RIVA Restaurant
312 Wilshire Blvd. Santa Monica, CA 90401
t: (310) 451-RIVA(7482) f: (310) 451-7474


Diana said...

So glad you commandered us another of those righteous pb cups! Ahhhmazing!

Sort of have the food jellies over your halibut!

Banana Wonder said... jellies.. Good one, Greedy Gobbler!