It was a rare Sunday a few weeks back when The Astronomer, June, and I ventured into Downtown Los Angeles for a book talk followed by dinner. Over-scheduling is something that we avoid with every fiber of our being, so weekends are often dedicated to lounging, relaxing, and general directionlessness.
But when I caught wind that Rosecrans Baldwin, the author of the unparalleled Everything Now, was popping up for a book conversation and signing at Hauser & Wirth, I immediately penciled the event into the family calendar. And while we were in the neighborhood, a reservation for dinner at Damian was made too.
Enrique Olvera opened Damian in October 2020 after operating successful restaurants in Mexico City (Pujol) and New York City (Cosme and Atla). There are a dozen restaurants in the chef’s growing portfolio, including a more casual taqueria next door to Damian called Ditroit, where the fish flauta rules and the churros do too.
We came in right when Damian’s doors opened for dinner at 5 p.m. The dining room, which snakes into a back patio, was less empty than anticipated, with a few folks at the bar and some groups scattered throughout the space. Damian’s moody lighting, industrial touches, and pops of greenery transported us to Mexico City for the evening.
While The Astronomer sipped a Japanese beer, I nursed the Ride or Die cocktail ($22) made with Casa Dragones añejo, Koch Espadin ancestral, Suntory Toki, and coffee tobacco bitters.(more…)