A relative newcomer to the Downtown LA dining scene, Miro is making a big statement in the Financial District. Occupying the highly visible corner of Figueroa and Wilshire, the restaurant has transformed a pleasant, if somewhat unremarkable space into a real showstopper. As the former home of Cucina Rustica and an office for the Department of Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS) before that, Miro and the building it occupies illustrate the dramatic and ongoing transformation of the Financial District and Downtown LA as a whole. When the Wilshire Grand Tower debuts across the street next year, this intersection will be unrecognizable.
As you enter Miro’s dramatic wooden doors, you’re greeted by a sweeping marble bar area and a dining room that combines elements of mid-century modern design with touches of art deco, creating a space that is beautiful, but not overdone. A whiskey bar occupying the basement below includes plush seating and dim lighting. Like the dining room above it, the space is understated, making it feel inviting for those looking to enjoy a casual drink with friends.
The restaurant’s pan-Mediterranean menu includes a variety of dishes designed for sharing with a high emphasis on hyper local ingredients. While many menu items seemed familiar, all were nicely prepared. My absolute favorite dish is the corzetti pasta with lobster. A flat, disc-shaped pasta, Miro’s rendition is made with squid ink and served with lobster and cherry tomatoes in a light saffron cream sauce. The result is delicious and unlike anything I’ve tasted at other Italian or Mediterranean spots in L.A. Although I haven’t had a chance to sample them, the charcuterie and wine selections seem to be popular with diners and those stopping in for happy hour.
Beyond the aging Engine Co. 28 nearby, this corner of the Financial District has lacked a destination restaurant for quite a while. Miro is helping to fill this void and seems to be off to a great start. Be sure to check it out for happy hour or a nice (romantic) dinner out. — Lawrence Aldava