How Damian grew to be one of L.A.’s finest modern California-Mexican restaurants


Part of me still blinks in surprise whenever I walk into Damian and see its sleek dining room brimming with people.

It’s not that I ever expect to find the restaurant, housed in a former Arts District warehouse, empty. It shouldn’t be; the cooking has reached peak form at its two-year mark. But my initial impression of the space will always be tangled with the bleak moment during which it opened.