If there’s a stellar foundation to the Downtown L.A. Proper Hotel, it’s Caldo Verde on the hotel’s ground level, from James Beard Award-winning restaurateurs Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne of The Lucques Group.
Thoughtful and carefully curated Portuguese influences bring a unique Mediterranean flavor to this casual, yet elegant corner on the historic core across from the newly restored Herald Examiner building. In signature Goin and Styne California style, the menu is a reflection of the longtime partners’ world travels, personal Los Angeles history, and celebration of seasonal ingredients.
The Portuguese chopped salad is one of the best in Los Angeles, combining endive, broad beans, potato, braised leeks, black olives, chorizo and firm São Jorge cheese. Another great lunch option is the buckwheat tortiglioni with tender prawns, spicy clams, heirloom garlic, harissa and al dente rapini. For dinner, try the classic piri piri with arugula and fries, or just stop by for a drink at the bar. Signature cocktails include the Bairro Alto with tequila, amaro angeleno bitters, pomegranate and citrus, and the gin-based Proper Welcome. There’s also an extensive list of rarely available Spanish and Portuguese wines.
Located on the bottom floor of the 1920s building constructed by Los Angeles architects Curlett & Beelman, the property was originally a private club whose members included Cecil B. DeMille, and later became a YWCA in the 1960s. The L.A.-based The Kor Group developed the property in partnership with Frank Stork and Channing Henry, reimagining the space by combining a modern palette and downtown’s historic core with elements of Spanish, Portuguese, Mexican and Moroccan design. In addition to vintage furniture and rugs, the space is punctuated with 100 different kinds of hand-painted and custom tiles throughout the property, and site-specific murals and installations by local artisans like Judson Studios stained glass and ceramicist Morgan Peck.
Finish the evening with a nightcap or soak up the sunset at the hotel’s super hip 5,000-square-foot rooftop terrace restaurant and lounge Cara Cara, for one of the best views and unique perspectives of downtown.