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Dama restaurant in Downtown Los Angeles
Dama, Downtown Los Angeles
Wonho Frank Lee

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Dama Splashes Vintage Latin Vibes and Tropical Cocktails in Downtown LA

A gorgeous new place comes from the Scopa team in Fashion District’s City Market South

Matthew Kang is the Lead Editor of Eater LA. He has covered dining, restaurants, food culture, and nightlife in Los Angeles since 2008. He's the host of K-Town, a YouTube series covering Korean food in America, and has been featured in Netflix's Street Food show.

Dama arrives in Downtown LA’s Fashion District tonight, July 11, with a rather lovely lounge and outdoor space and pan-Latin food from chef and partner Antonia Lofaso. Sitting across from Rossoblu, it’s been years in the making for Steve Livigni and Pablo Moix, who’ve opened everything from Black Market Liquor Bar to Scopa Italian Roots with partners Mario Guddemi and Salvatore Aurora.

The former banana distribution warehouse now boasts two levels: a wide outdoor patio that looks out into a courtyard and an upper dining room, lounge, and three-sided bar. Pink-hued banquettes, tropical pillow accents, and wicker chairs give the patio a breezy island feel ideal for wasting away long summer evenings. Tiled steps lead up to the second tier, a lush but dark cocktail den with shiny leather loveseats, vintage pendants, and more of that same Old World tiling. Carolina Wicker handled the main design work, with contributions across the team.

Dama, Fashion District
Outdoor patio at Dama

For dinner, Lofaso serves up crispy squash flowers with farmer’s cheese, an octopus tostada with charred summer corn and cherry tomatoes, and an oxtail taco with manchego and pickled shishitos. The Scopa chef draws from across Latin America, serving a bocadillo with crispy calamari, or a whole red snapper with escabeche. Meat mavens can order a 24 ounce with sweet pickled peppers and salsa verde, plus a rotisserie chicken or crispy pork shank. For dessert, it’s pretty easy-going with a topping-loaded Strauss soft serve, churros, or peanut butter cookies. Throw in some Tajin-dusted market fruit for good measure.

The drinks are huge component of the experience at Dama, with an emphasis on blended cocktails (to order, not from a slushie machine), low ABV aperitifs, and riffs on classic tropical sippers like a rum-loaded Presidente or martini-like gin Buenaventura with a tinge of white cacao. Wines put together by Scopa’s Taylor Grant hew toward Old World, with a solid Spanish glass selection boasting summery Albariño or a 2015 Listan Negro red from the Canary Islands. The full menus are below.

Dama is open from 5 p.m. to midnight daily. 612 East 11th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90015. Phone: 213-741-0612. Reservations on Resy.

Dama, Fashion District
Dama, Fashion District
Dama Fashion District
Dama, Fashion District
Dama, Fashion District
Dama, Fashion District Wonho Frank Lee
Dama, Fashion District Wonho Frank Lee
Dama, Fashion District Wonho Frank Lee
Dama, Fashion District
Dama, Fashion District
Dama, Fashion District
Dama, Fashion District
Dama, Fashion District Wonho Frank Lee
Dama, Fashion District
Dama Fashion District
Dry-aged 24 ounce ribeye steak with avocado, pickled sweet peppers, and salsa verde
Dry-aged 24 ounce ribeye steak with avocado, pickled sweet peppers, and salsa verde
Whole softshell crab with hot pickled onions and Persian cucumber
Whole softshell crab with hot pickled onions and Persian cucumber
Whipped beans with crispy pork, cotija cheese, and radishes at Dama
Whipped beans with crispy pork, cotija cheese, and radishes
Avocado with pickled chiles at Dama
Avocado with pickled chiles
Soft serve loaded with toppings
Soft serve loaded with toppings
Dama Fashion District
Dama Dinner Menu
Dama Dinner Menu
Dama Cocktails and Drinks
Dama Cocktails and Drinks
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