Because of the tragedy in Paris I decided to postpone my review of Otium, Timothy Hollingsworth new restaurant on the Broad Museum Plaza. Otium is the latin word for leisure. I would be remiss not to mention that he was head chef at The French Laundry restaurant and won many acclaims which prompted Eli Broad to ask him to run the restaurant next to his museum.
Living next door to the restaurant I was of course interested in finding out if the quality and care that went into making the French Laundry a culinary landmark would be here as well. When you sit down you are struck by how warm and inviting the space is.
I had lunch there with two of my neighbors and we decided to order many of the items on the menu and share them. We started with a delicious and not at all obvious salad of quinoa kale and parsley. I know this is become a cliche and the culinary scene but it was done with perfection. We then had their lobster roll which was French bread that seems to have been deep fried in butter filled with a delicious lobster salad. It was accompanied with homemade potato chips which word I can say easily the best ones I’ve ever eaten. Our next choice was pork belly that had been raised and serve with bok choy and hossin sauce and crème fresh. It was also very very good. We were delighted with the short ribs in homemade pasta which had an incredible depth of flavor and just the right amount of acidity to make it pop.
Dessert was the most surprising part as they’re were two choices and we decided to get one of each. The first item we tasted was a raspberry sorbet with a quince compote and a strudel type of crunchy nut on the side. Each of the items were okay, together they were superlative. I was not keen because it featured hazelnuts, not one of my favorites.
It was a Hazel Nut Mile Feuille, the puff pastry was cooked more than I was used to and it turned it into this delicious caramelized and very crispy treat. The hazelnuts or a subtle and actually added much to the flavor of the dessert. We liked it so much we ordered two. There was also a tasting of several great wines and I am sure that those will change as there Florida ceiling wine cellar attest to the fact that they have quite a selection.
Amongst our fellow diners where are Jamie Lee Curtis and Willie Garson.
When we asked for the check we were told that this was at a time and there was no charge. The prices were quite reasonable on the menu ranging from 12 to $18 a plate. We Ben try to leave a tip and were told The that they were not accepting them we left on anyway and told him to give it to charity. What class, that is how a restaurant earns a Michelin star .
We then took a tour of the restaurant.
Today I woke up to see that Timothy Hollingsworth was leading a cooking class for a group of school children out on the plaza.
I am very pleased to welcome this new addition to downtown Los Angeles and look forward to many many wonderful dinners and lunches to come at Otium. Congratulations to all the staff who on their first day were inpeccable.
You can get more information at their website as well as their hours of operation at http://www.otiumla.com