Otium, next to the Broad Museum in downtown Los Angeles, has been open for 9 months and the chef, Tim Hollingsworth, former chef de cuisine at The French Laundry in Yountville CA, is cooking up some of the most interesting farm-to-table cuisine in the city. The menu is quite inspirational with touches of Asian, Middle Eastern and California flavors that seem to meld into one delicious dining experience.
The stand alone restaurant has rustic, but modern finishes with an open kitchen, to watch the food preparation and wood burning oven cooking. The staff is very well trained with a nice list of cocktails and wines and the food is in a shared plate format, starting with raw plates of crudo, hamachi and a Hawaiian Kanpachi Tostada, which I highly recommend.
The tostada flavors were fresh and inviting with chunks of fresh fish, peaches and shaved radishes. I especially enjoyed the habanero avocado cream, that had the perfect amount of heat to heighten the sweet flavors of the fish.
The list of offerings goes on and on at Otium, but when you get to the Dry Aged Beef Tartare on Lavash with Yogurt, Bulgar, Mint and Chile, stop there. It was my favorite dish of the evening, quite unique, but with tantalizing flavors that all seemed to mesh together.
The Rigatoni with Guanciale, Shaved Snap Peas and Pecorino was the least impressive dish, but it tasted handmade and freshly prepared. I felt as if it was missing something…..?
The Sliced Lamb with Marinated Onions, Squash, Za’atar and Yogurt was nicely prepared with flavors resembling a high-end sharwarma plate. I loved how delicately the leg of lamb tasted with notes of smoke from the wood burning cooking.
When you get to dessert, the St. Honore with Coffee Mousse, Salted Caramel and Hazelnuts is quite spectacular and reminds you of the fine pastries of Paris. The dessert presentation was beautiful to look at and even better to taste.
Otium is open for lunch and dinner during the week, as well as brunch on the weekends. This is definitely a place to dine at, especially if you are headed to the Broad Museum for the day.