Handy if you want to visit the Statue of Liberty, the Museum of the American Indian or any other Lower Manhattan treasure, La Dama is a fairly moderate-price, vaguely Mexican spot that throws bits of other ethnicities. It does a rollicking after-work business in drinks and snacks when the sound level rockets up and the Happy Hour is from 3-7, is indeed. At any time, you can order a drink of any kind including many beers with your meal.
In warm weather, there is shaded, outdoor seating. Here and inside, young female waitstaff in blue shirts, do their best to get the right order to the right customer. Most of the time they succeed.
La Doma's chef is Saul Montiel, formerly of the Burger & Barrel B&B and Toro Blanco. He's created a South-of-the-Borderish menu that starts off with many varieties of guacamole in addition to the classic (heavy on the jalapeño, $12). Others include one with pineapple and bacon; one with crab and mango ($16) and one with grilled corn, quesco fresco and chipotle. I've always thought guac was basically avocado but here we have "creative" takes.
"Shareables" also trend towards Mexican with offerings like alitas de pollo (aka chicken wings), these with agave-chipotle glaze; tostaditos with crab, Pico de gallo and guac; nachos and sliders graced with Pat LaFrieda beef and chipotle aioli ($14) .
My peach and goat cheese salad ($13) would have been far tastier had the peach slices been ripe and the goat more abundant. The kale and strawberry salad on our table looked far better and was topped with chicken. Any salad can be enhanced with this for a $5 add-on; or skirt steak, shrimp or ahi tuna, each for $7.
Tacos run the gamut from cod tempura with chipotle (that's the theme here) and apple slaw ($15) to tuna with avocado, Serrano chili and radishes If you want rice and beans added to your taco plate, be prepared to fork over an additional $3.
Entrees or Platos Fuertes include a grilled skirt steak with fried potatoes, grilled onions and chimichurri sauce; a pork ribeye with Brussels sprouts and Serrano-peanut sauce, and lobster mac-and-cheese with grilled corn, scallions and breadcrumbs. Rice and beans as a side run $5 for a larger portion; other sides are Esquisites or Mexican grilled corn with cotija cheese, mayo and lime; garlic-Parmesan or sweet potato fries or sweet plantains.
Sweet endings include flan, churros or a sweet plantain sundae with pecans, dulche de leche and vanilla ice cream.
La Dama is open Monday through Friday from 11 AM until 10 PM, shuttered on weekends. Happy Hour starts at 3 PM running until 7. In addition to the restaurant, the the GuacStar (a space in the restaurant's middle) can be used for private parties--the number of guests depends on the kind of service requested. A deli serves salads and sandwiches and there is take-out. Be warned if coming with someone who has trouble with steps-- the entrance is up several steep ones.