Riva – Santa Monica

Riva has a new menu!!! No more pizza is served on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at dinner.  Jason Travi and his team have introduced Stuzzichini or Italian tapas – meant for sharing.


Riva menu


Not pictured – Krug Champagne to start


Riva tapenade

Black Olive Puree, fresh herbs, anchovy with crostini – my husband ate every bite, but be forewarned you must be a lover of black olives and anchovies


Riva - sea bass

Crudo – Sea Bass, pink peppercorns, lemon oil – sushi quality fish, lightly dressed


Riva - tuna

Crudo – Tonno di tonnato – Big Eye tuna with tonnato sauce – outstanding and a must order crudo



Riva - tuna 1

What makes this absolutely delicious is the tonnato sauce


Riva - white wine

BYO White wine


Riva - scallop

Crudo – Hokkaido Scallop, Santa Rosa Plums, Basil Oil – Superb Hokkaido scallops with Farmer’s market plums, but the balance was off with way too much basil oil.


Riva- scallop 1

My husband came up with ingenious method of deep-sixing most of the basil oil; he used the bread as a blotter so we had wonderful fresh scallops with plums minus a lot of the basil oil. Our general feeling was why mask a quality ingredient with so much oil. (We didn’t eat the bread; it was just a blotter).


Riva - trout

Crudo – Cured Ocean Trout, House Made Mustard, Dill – the ocean trout was very similar in taste and texture to gravlax


Riva - trout 1

The mustard was more like a creme fraiche sauce than a mustard


Riva- squash

Deep-fried Squash Blossoms, ricotta, orange zest, almonds with a tomato based puree – I liked this better than my husband. The batter on the squash blossoms was tempura-like – not at all greasy. John found it too “safe”  and  boring. I enjoyed the transition between the crudo and then the fried squash blossoms.


Riva - gratin

Potato, Summer Green Fig, Gruyere Cheese Gratin – very thinly sliced potatoes served gratin style with the cheese and topped with the sliced green figs served bubbling hot. 


Riva - beef

Hand Cut Beef Tartare, Chives, Bacon Sabayon – usually I tend to like beef tartare finely minced served the traditional way with capers, parsley, mustard, worcestershire and a raw egg. However, this was excellent and Jason could package the bacon sabayon as THE accompaniment to anything.


Riva - beef 1

The tartare was served with Crostini – I ate mine minus Crostini with lots of sabayon.


Riva sorbet

Mint Basil Puree, Watermelon Dice, Cantaloupe Soup, Lemon Sorbet – a light refreshing palate cleanser 


Riva - dessert 1

Milk Chocolate Cremux, Coconut sorbet, Candied Pecans, Brown Butter Ganache – for me the pecans and the coconut were decadent enough – my husband went for the chocolate.


Riva is just a fun neighborhood restaurant with excellent food. There are many items on the menu that I want to try and as the menu changes with what is available at the farmer’s market, this is truly seasonal cuisine. Let’s just say I didn’t miss the pizza at all.


Current menu here:



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