Restaurant: Dama Fashion District
Location: 612 E 11th St, Los Angeles, CA 90015. (213) 741-0612
Date: September 24, 2018
Cuisine: Spanish / Mexican — aka “Latin Inspired”
Rating: Super tasty
This slog through traffic to Downtown LA (which actually wasn’t too bad due to a late hour and it being a Monday) was to visit trendy new Dama which serves up some “Latin Inspired” food in a lounge-like setting in the Fashion District.
This is an attractive building in the middle of the big space that also contains Rossoblu.
The interior is vaguely “Cuban” or something, we didn’t eat there.
We did eat out on the patio as it was a lovely warm evening.
The menu. We ordered almost everything.
From their list: 2017 Dos de Uvas Albariño Rías Baixas Tabla de Sumar. A very “heavy” Albariño.
Guacamole. Pickled chilies, persian cucumber, cilantro, lime, crispy tortillas. Uh, classic.
Erick brought: 1978 Marqués de Murrieta Rioja Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial. VM 93. Medium red with an amber rim. Highly complex bouquet of fresh and dried red fruits, cherry skin, pipe tobacco, smoky minerals, cigar box and potpourri. Sweet strawberry and cherry flavors stain the palate but are strikingly lithe. Cured tobacco and candied rose flavors emerge with aeration, and the fruit takes a darker turn toward cherry. The tannins have been completely absorbed, allowing the wine’s almost decadent sweetness to come through. Expensive, yes, but this would offer newly minted wine lovers an insight into the personality of aged wine from a great region and a very good vintage for the same price as many newly released Napa or Bordeaux wines.
Aguachile. Haramasa, red pearl onion, radish, lime, cilantro, chive. Very bright flavored. Zesty.
Empanadas. Dry aged ground beef, greeon onion, smoked paprika, Brazilian hot vinegar. You can never go wrong with an empanada!
Seafood Tostada. Octopus, calamari, shrimp, cherry tomatoes, charred summer corn, chilies, cilantro, avocado. Like ceviche, almost.
Chad brought: 1990 Tenuta dell’Ornellaia Ornellaia Vino da Tavola. VM 94. The 1990 Ornellaia foreshadows an opulent style that would become the norm in future years. A rich, dense Ornellaia, the 1990 offers exceptional balance in its expressive bouquet, ripe fruit and beautifully balanced acidity. Earthiness, licorice, smoke and menthol linger on the elegant finish. In 1990 temperatures were unusually warm toward the end of the growing season, which comes through in the wine’s generous, open personality. The 1990 Ornellaia is 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc. The wine spent 15 months in French oak, 40% of which was new.
Kirk brought: 1997 Antinori Solaia Toscana IGT. VM 95. For many years, the 1997 Solaia was super-concentrated. Actually, it still is pretty intense, but over the last few years, some of the baby fat has begun to melt away, revealing a wine with tons of nuance. The 1997 clearly belongs in this flight of milestones. This is another memorable Solaia with no signs of fading.
Cucumber. Pumpkin seeds, espelette, mint, oregano, green onion, apple cider vinegar. Crunch and strong flavored, I really liked this dish.
Crispy Potato. Market wax beans, spicy mayo, herbs, chimichurri.
Bocadillo. Crispy black calamari, pickled sweet peppers, jalapeno, scallions, cilantro, gribiche. Really tasty and zesty.
Lamb chops. Olive salsa verde, arugula.
Kirk & Sandy. Click here to see Sandy in 1991!
Yarom brought: 2009 Tua Rita Redigaffi Toscana IGT. VM 95. The 2009 Redigaffi bursts onto the palate with an exciting mélange of blackberries, grilled herbs, flowers, mint, rosemary and spices. It is a powerful, juicy Merlot loaded with fruit, but there is also more than enough structure to provide support. Dark notes of tar, incense and smoke add complexity on the finish. Generally I prefer Redigaffi between ages 5 and 15.
Bone marrow. Pickled serrano chili, garlic, arugula.
Oxtail Taco. Oxtail, cabbage, queso fresco, radish, avocado, hot pickled vegetables. Awesome little tacos.
Clams & Chorizo. Basil rosemary, oregano, garlic, Spanish cider, butter, charred bread.
Corn. Queso fresco, cotija, cilantro aioli, chili lime salt. Awesome, and like a slightly fancy version of what you get from a cart nearby!
From my cellar: NV Bodegas Vega-Sicilia Ribera del Duero Único Reserva Especial 1996, 1998, 2002 (2016 Release). 96 points. deep, dense – interesting wine
Sandy brought: 2012 The Mascot. 92 points. Dusty and high in tannins. Drank over a few hours. Softened, and became more fruity over the time. Never fruit forward. Always a bit more subtle in taste. Bold dry tannin structure.
Crispy Porn Shank. Lettuce cups, hot pickled vegetables, avocado crema.
Linguisa Pinwheel. Frisee, arugula, machego, pickled shishitos, tarragon, sherry. I always love sausage.
Rotisserie chicken. French fries, sherry cilantro aioli, tomatillo salsa, charred lemon.
And more sauces.
The wine lineup. Awesome wines tonight!
Strauss soft serve ice cream. Pacific banana co sundae, buttered bananas, caramel, peanuts.
Peanut butter cookie. Peanut butter cream, powdered sugar.
Churros. Cinnamon, super fine sugar.
4 out of 6 of the gang (minus Yarom and I who are standing). Can you believe how much we ordered? And many of the dishes we got two of! The food was actually very good. Extremely bright, interesting, and brash flavors. The wines tonight were amazing too. All hitting out of the park and perfect with the big food.
Service was excellent. They do have a $35/35/50… corkage, which is good in that you can open as many bottles as you like, not quite as good as the $50 for the 3rd and more bottle is a bit steep. The atmosphere on the patio in the warm weather was fabulous.