Riva: As a Fraiche lover, I expected so much, but got so little :(

I love Fraiche and was excited to go to Riva, Jason Trevi’s new endeavor.  It took months, but finally got a together a group of eight of us to go.  I figured that we gave them time to work out the kinks, and was planning for an amazing meal.  I had seen in the reviews that they are best known for their Crudo and Pizza, and was prepared to make a meal on that.

The room was great – upscale, modern.  Service was spot on. Prices are fair.  But the food? Disappointing across the board.  We ordered almost all the crudo on the menu, it averaged about $12 per order for roughly 4 pieces of fish.  It wasn’t bad, but places like Catch and Il Grano do a much better job.  Then we moved on to the pizza.  Ordered 6 different ones.  The crust was off, they were too salty, the flavors not integrated.  They SOUNDED great – fungi with tallegio, arrugula and Proscuitto, home made meatball, etc.  But they were just fair at best.  Gjelina, Angelini Osteria, certainly Mozza, and even a little local japanese-italian place in Torrance called il Chianti make a much better gourmet pie.   So do many others too numerous to list here. 

The group was dissatisfied and decided to get three mains for the table.  A pork, lamb, and mixed seafood dish.  None were memorable or even prepared that well. 

All in all, a shocking disappointment.  THe room and atmosphere are upscale and the focus of the menu, the pizza, is too casual to fit the room.  THe crudo seemed out of place, and why there is no pasta on the menu makes no sense to me.   I hope Jason revamps the menu and brings more of what makes Fraiche one of the best restaurants in LA into Riva, or it just doesn’t have a fighting chance.

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