Playa has been open for less than two weeks, and chef/co-owner John Rivera Sedlar is still turning the screws on a playful menu that furthers his exploration of urban Latin cuisine. However, he’s already in the midst of an auspicious debut. Most dishes are well suited to sharing, including the clam tamal, bacalao-stuffed flor de cabaza and nouveau taco derivatives he’s dubbed “maize cakes.” There aren’t many “big” plates on Playa’s menu, but the dishes that made the cut in that category have been worth the added expense, including Puerco ($25). The name, which translates from Spanish as “pork,’ hardly hints at the dish’s layers. Rosy slices of pork tenderloin are chile-rubbed, forming a spice (but not very spicy) crust that locks in the meat’s juices. The pork appears with sauteed pea tendrils, decorative dots of salsa verde, half-moons of sweet caramelized manzana (apple) and a topside thatch of aromatic sage leaves, which all help the dish to achieve porcine harmony.
12/10/13 Update: Playa is no longer open for business.
Dose of Vitamin P spotlights my favorite pork dish from the previous week.