It isn’t surprising to recognize a lot of similarities between the new RivaBella and other Innovative Dining Group-owned restaurants like BOA and Delphine. The new Italian-inspired eatery is huge (8,000 square feet), attracts a Hollywood crowd of stars and stargazers, is located across the street from BOA on the Sunset Strip, and boasts a modern chic design.
RivaBella highlights Mediterranean fare thanks to co-owner (and Angelini Osteria chef) Gino Angelini. The massive space is broken into several different areas: an interior marble-topped bar/lounge, a large dining room centered on a double-sided brick fireplace with a retractable roof, a few nice rounded big leather booths amid tall trees, an outdoor patio, and a cozy private room resembling a rustic Italian wine cellar.
The menu reflects traditional Angelini Italian dishes including the comforting eggplant Parmesan; the light spinach pasta, ricotta, and meat sauce Lasagna Nonna Elvira; and the hearty osso buco with risotto and gremolata, but also features innovative dishes such as the squid ink crab ravioli, linguini with sea urchin sauce, pizza with quail egg and asparagus, and saffron tagliatelle with a prosciutto ragù.
Dining in such a beautiful ambiance among celebrities comes at a price, however. Most pasta dishes are around $18 with the exception of the spaghetti with truffle and sausage at $44. Head downtown to Bestia and a very similar more rustic pasta, sausage, and truffle dish will cost you about half as much.
RivaBella boasts a great atmosphere and is a perfect spot for a variety of situations. Bring visiting tourists who want to see a trendy new Hollywood restaurant complete with celebrity diners, impress a first date with the romantic atmosphere and expensive bill, or just come to enjoy the traditional Italian standout comfort food by the fireplace.