Why the Hotel Figueroa is a Dining & Drinking Destination

Chicken Paillard at Sparrow Italia. Photo credit: Noble 33.

Though currently celebrating its 97th birthday, the Hotel Figueroa is as newsworthy as ever. Earlier this year, Food & Wine bestowed high praise on this DTLA boutique hotel when it appeared on two of their Global Tastemakers lists: The 10 Best Hotel Bars in the U.S. and The 15 Best Hotels for Food in the U.S. 

Opened in 1926 as a sanctuary for female travelers, who were then prohibited from checking into most hotels unless accompanied by a male chaperon, the Hotel Figueroa has long been a place where feminine creativity and activism thrived. 

The Hotel Figueroa reopened in 2018 after a two-year remodel that returned the historic Spanish Colonial Revival building to its former glory. Since the revamp, this urban oasis is more prominent than ever, with a unique vibe, residencies with female artists, and an ever-evolving food and beverage program. See below for a few reasons you should stop by the Hotel Fig for a drink, a meal, or both sometime soon.

Happy Hour at Bar Magnolia
Hotel Figueroa offers a destination-worthy happy hour that’s available from 3 to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, at Bar Magnolia and Lobby Lounge. Beverage Director Carla Lorenzo is passionate about her craft, and told me that she created the cocktail menu “as an ode to women and to pioneers in the industry.” Her creative and beautifully balanced cocktails feature ingredients like mezcal infused with strawberry and pineapple, snap pea & cucumber juice, chamomile-infused amontillado, and Wild Turkey infused with goji berries. Carla’s libations manage to be both adventurous and accessible.

Cocktail at Cafe Fig/Bar Magnolia. Photo by Karin E. Baker for The LA Beat.

The happy hour food menu features bar bites perfect for savoring with a cocktail. Try the guilt-free but truly addictive Roasted Cauliflower Bites (made with smokey honey sriracha), Tuna Tartare Tostada with avocado mousse and sesame dressing, Short Rib and Potato Empanadas, sliders, and truffle fries ($8-14). You’ll want to sit near the fireplace when those chilly autumn evenings hit.

Wine Wednesdays
Serate di Vino (“Evenings of Wine”) has just launched at Sparrow Italia, the Hotel Fig’s gorgeous, coastal-inspired flagship restaurant. This four-course, prix-fixe tasting menu consists of four courses (Wagyu Beef Tartare, Octopus Carpaccio, Duck Confit, and Creme Brulee with honey-lavender glazed strawberries), each paired with a wine specially curated by Beverage Director Carla Lorenzo. This exquisite meal, wines included, is $135 per person. Sparrow Italia

Small Plates & Cocktails by an Iconic Swimming Pool
Enjoy handcrafted cocktails and small plates inspired by the coast of Baja at La Casita, Hotel Figueroa’s poolside eatery. This gorgeous space overlooking the hotel’s iconic swimming pool is surrounded by 50-year-old euphorbia cacti and offers views of DTLA’s skyline. Shaped like a coffin, it’s the only full-sized, ground-level hotel pool left in Downtown LA. You’ll find light bites here, like tacos stuffed with oyster mushrooms or chicken al pastor, seafood cocktail, oysters on the half shell, and tropical fruit with hibiscus chimoy coulis. La Casita

Raise a Glass While Supporting a Great Cause
Help support Breast Cancer Awareness Month throughout October and order the limited-edition Hope Blooms cocktail. Made with Vida mezcal, raspberries, yellow chartreuse, Ramazzotti Rosato, grapefruit liqueur, lime, and grapefruit oil, Hope Blooms is $18 and is available at Hotel Figueroa’s Café Fig/Bar Magnolia lobby bar and at the property’s flagship restaurant, Sparrow Italia. $2 from each purchase of this special cocktail will be donated to the National Breast Cancer Awareness Foundation.

Clover Club Cocktail at Cafe Fig. Photo by Karin E. Baker for The LA Beat.

Dine LA
Dine LA Restaurant Week is an ideal time to try one of the Hotel Figueroa’s restaurants. Cafe Fig is offering three-course lunches and dinners for $55, with options that include Crab Deviled Eggs, Portobello Banh Mi, Harissa Chicken, and Chunky Monkey Pie. Sparrow Italia’s Dine LA menu features an elevated, three-course tasting menu with choices such as Pan-Seared Sea Bass, Roasted Peach Panzanella, Chicken Paillard, and Pear Torta for $75 per person. Dine LA continues through October 20.

While you’re at the Hotel Fig, don’t miss artist Erica Everage’s exhibition. In Her Image was praised as “an expression of primal feminine creative energy” by the LA Weekly and is on view at the hotel’s Artists Alley through February 2024.

The Hotel Figueroa is located at 939 S. Figueroa St. in Los Angeles.

Karin E. Baker

About Karin E. Baker

Karin E. Baker is a native Angeleno who loves the eateries, history, nature, architecture, and art of her hometown. When not exploring poke shacks in Kona, tascas in Córdoba, and konditoris in Malmö, she writes about food, culture, lifestyle and travel. She obsesses over comma usage and classic films and is always happy to find an excuse to open a bottle of champagne.
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