10/18/12 Update: Looks like Chef Alex Reznik has abandoned ship. Catch the details here on Grub Street.
When I moved to LA only brave souls would venture downtown to check out the handful of watering holes and classic restaurants. In an otherwise lively city, this particular area shut down at 5pm and barely functioned on weekends. But all of that has changed drastically and lately I can’t keep up with all of the new amazing restaurants and bars seducing me away from tried-and-true West-side establishments.
I have been eating my way through the city center and am here to report on the first of many spots worth checking out – FigOly. I ate lunch here the first time a mid-day meal was available! Rather than sitting in the formal dining room we opted for an al fresco dining experience on the second floor patio. Because the entire Luxe Hotel just recently opened all of the furniture and fixtures have a fresh shine to them. And for such a new food service arrangement things ran pretty smoothly for our meal.
Sampling a variety of dishes was the order of the day to get a taste for the variety of items on the menu, which was a limited version of the more expansive offerings in the dining room. Wood oven pizzas seem to be a trend in LA – and I’m okay with that if they all taste as good as the Blanco pizza we sampled with aromatic – and delicious – taleggio cheese as the highlight. The presentation of each dish was beautiful. None of my dining companions wanted to be the one to ruin the artistically arranged tuna carpaccio. Can you say food porn?!
Located across the street from LA Live, FigOly has a lot of competition but offers a mellower environment which hasn’t been discovered by the masses yet so check it out now before word gets out. Happy hour starts soon and they already serve breakfast so you have no excuse not to go!
Luxe Hotel City Center
At the corner of Figueroa Street and Olympic Boulevard (hence the name)
1020 S. Figueroa Street – Los Angeles, CA – 90015
Let’s be honest: The Luxe used to be a Holiday Inn. It isn’t a secret – anyone familiar with downtown already knows this, but don’t judge too quickly. The property is now more W than HoJo and has been completely renovated and surpasses the vibe of its sister property on Rodeo Drive. Food like this was never on the menu back in the HI days.
Accessorize: Downtown’s a hot spot now…your work attire should be hot too.
Zip Peplum Top from TOPSHOP
Essential Polka Dot Skirt from Forever 21
New Bond Street Hadley from Kate Spade New York