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John Sedlar's Playa to close Wednesday

March 04, 2013|By Betty Hallock
  • Playa restaurant's final dinner service will be Wednesday.
Playa restaurant's final dinner service will be Wednesday. (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles…)

Playa on Beverly Boulevard, the 2-year-old "urban Latin" restaurant from chef John Sedlar and his partner, Bill Chait, will close Wednesday.

"While the restaurant has been critically successful and John has tremendously enjoyed the creative process of introducing Baja and Mexi-China inspired menus to Angelenos," an announcement said "the concept has not met the high expectations John and Bill set for it when opening two years ago."

Sedlar and Chait are expected to "retool" and reopen "with something entirely new and very exciting in the space," the announcement said. Neither Sedlar nor Chait were available for further comment.

The restaurant's final service is set for Wednesday from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. with cocktail specials and a free celebratory toast to Playa chef de cuisine Kevin Kuzande, who recently was named one of Zagat's "30 Under 30." The full menu is to be available through Wednesday. 

Meanwhile, Playa favorites will make an appearance at Rivera, Sedlar's downtown restaurant, which will continue to use produce from Playa's rooftop garden.

Sedlar, a founder of modern Southwestern cuisine, opened Playa in 2011 as the more casual, more Western sibling of Rivera -- something of a comeback for the chef who opened his seminal modern Southwestern restaurant, Saint Estephe, in 1980. Sedlar also is pursuing a decades-long dream to build a museum dedicated to Latin cuisine and is developing his own tequila label.

For Chait, the restaurateur behind Sotto, Picca, Short Order, Short Cake, the newly opened Bestia and the forthcoming Republique, as well as Rivera and Playa, among others, this marks the first shuttering in a string of recent thus-far successes.

However, he's no stranger to the restaurant do-over. In an article last year in The Times, he said, "What it really takes [in this business] is the ability to adapt to the unknown. Nobody knows exactly how to do this. You have to be nimble."

Playa, 7360 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 933-5300, www.playarivera.com.

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