Downtown Prescriptions

Daily Dose debuts in the Arts District

Grinning monkeys lead you down an elliptical, brick-lined alley and deposit you at wood tables shaped like crescent moons.

No, these monkeys don't have wings, and they're not taking you to Oz. Instead, they're logos for Daily Dose, a long-awaited café from Sarkis Vartanian now open in Downtown's Arts District.

The monkey is supposed to represent the workingman, so it's fitting that the food is relatively affordable and accessible. Meat lovers should order The Butcher ($9), a sandwich featuring salami, tomatoes and firm Cypress Grove Chèvre on buttery brioche from Bread Lounge (which supplies all of Dose's loaves).

Conversely, The Gardener ($9) involved sheep's-milk cheese, greens and a slab of watermelon when we encountered it–a pleasantly unorthodox meat alternative–but the sandwich's fillings change regularly.

The café also serves slices of quiche ($4), and the slabs of mushroom-leek and asparagus-feta we ordered both sported flaky crusts.

For dessert, there's pie ($3 per slice), the fillings changing according to what's at the market. The tart cherry iteration we tried was plated with sliced strawberries and coffee-infused whipped cream.

Depending on Vartanian's whim, you may also find rice pudding topped with rose jam and pistachios, carrot cake, or banana-poppy-seed muffins; each day's sugar dose is different.

Daily Dose, 1820 Industrial St., Downtown; 213-281-9300 or dailydoseinc.com