What are your initial impressions of this place?
Located in the City Market South development in a multi-level space that used to be a banana-distribution hub of Southern California, Dama is drop-dead gorgeous. The interior feels like Miami Vice meets Havana nights, with rattan patio chairs, neon banana-leaf wallpaper, charming Spanish tilework, Cuban accents, and, naturally, loads of millennial pink.
Cool. What’s the crowd like?
The crowd is discerning but stuffy. There’s something about Steve Livigni and Pablo Moi’s bars—a group that also includes Scopa Italian Roots and The Chestnut Club—that strikes the perfect chord between good times and great drinks.
What’s the drink situation?
Dama attracts some of the best bar staff in town. Here, the focus is Latin-inspired cocktails that range from breezy and tropical to boozy and spirits-driven; all are beautifully presented and great fun to drink. Don’t miss out on the perfect rendition of the classic Daiquiri.
Nice. How about the kitchen?
Antonia Lofaso takes inspiration from Latin America and the Caribbean. You’ll find awesome small bites like empanadas, and a white-bean dip with crispy pork, cotija cheese, radish, and pickled onion.
How’s the service?
The bar staff is having just as much fun as the clientele, shaking drinks and vibing to the throwback Afro-Cuban music.
Wrap it up: what are we coming here for?
This is an awesome spot for a birthday, a date you’re looking to impress, or even a private event.
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