First Look Inside Playa: John Sedlar's New Restaurant Opening This Friday
Nick Sarnoff Playa's "Flora y Terra" Dessert
Playa, the second Latin restaurant from Rivera chef John Sedlar, opens this Friday, February 11 in the Beverly Boulevard space formerly home to Neal Fraser's Grace. Turn the page for details, including Sedlar's new menu items, Julian Cox's inspiration behind Playa's cocktail program, and Sedlar's first word on "Reflexiones," a Playa-esque spin on the chef's famous Spiceology, or spice-blends-meet- graphic-design.
In the months since Sedlar and his restaurant team took over lease, Grace's concrete exterior has given way to Playa's floor-to-ceiling windows, the white tablecloths to earthy wooden tabletops, and formal, mosaic-like light fixtures to hanging light fixtures reminiscent of oversized sea urchins. When we asked Sedlar about his inspiration behind the more casual design, he told us: "The décor is influenced by the earthiness of my native Santa Fe and the free spirit of Southern California's beachside life. In the atmosphere, we try to capture how you feel when you're in such magical places: the light, the air, the sense of place, and the dynamic spiritual combination of relaxation and excitement."
Ryan Tanaka Playa's Interior
It's that combination of relaxation and excitement that describe the range of experiences that Sedlar hopes Playa diners will have inside his second Latin restaurant. "You can stop by for cocktails and a bite before or after a night on the town," says Sedlar. "You can meet up with friends for a high-energy party. You can linger over a serious multi-course meal with some of the best Latin wines found anywhere in L.A. You can have a romantic evening for two at one of our quieter tables in the back."
While Sedlar hails from Santa Fe, he gives L.A. full credit for his inspiration behind Playa's urban Latin vibe. "Los Angeles, being our country's gateway to all of Latin America, is poised to become ground zero for creative Latin food. And through Playa's urban Latin cuisine I'm striving to create food that is both relaxed and sophisticated, rooted in the past and looking towards the future, global yet particularly Angeleno in its sense of playfulness and creativity -- in short, uniquely L.A."