Modern Art Begets DeathbedFood Dining.
Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans. ~ John Lennon.
There’s been a ton of buzz about L.A.’s new contemporary museum, The Broad. An obsession with Rothko turned me into a modern art gal so visiting The Broad was high on my list. We set out to visit the museum on a recent Sunday only to find a huge line around the building. To avoid the line, we popped into the closest restaurant, Otium right next door. While we did make it into The Broad, the real find was Otium.
I Googled to find out where I was. If I had seen the first five seconds of their home page video below, I would’ve made plans to go to Otium, not the museum: their chef represented the U.S. at the Bocuse d’Or Competition and he served as Chef de Cuisine at The French Laundry!
Because of the stress induced from seeing the museum line, I bellied up to the bar. Turns out that was a good move since Bartender Juan makes a darn good martini.
I think LA is the most exciting city in the United States right now as far as food is concerned. ~ Otium’s Chef Timothy Hollingsworth
The real treat at Otium is the food. The Avocado Toast, as just one example, is made with Zaatar (a Middle Eastern spice often spread on bread), Labne (Greek yogurt) and Aleppo (a Middle Eastern pepper). Without a doubt, the most sophisticated Avocado Toast I’ve ever encountered (and I’ve met a lot of them).
Chef Hollingsworth says in his video that he doesn’t want to do things perfectly but does aim to do them differently when it comes to food. You may not know what he’s doing in the kitchen, but you will know it’s different. Whether it’s the Avocado Toast or Hamachi, the Mole or Kimchi Rice, he’s definitely doing things his way.
For dessert, bartender Juan recommended “Meel Foo” (or at least that’s how it sounded with his Spanish/French accent). “Milly what?” – I asked Juan. “Meel Foo,” he says, pointing to “Mille Feuille” on the menu. “It’s a classic French pastry dessert.” Google says that Mille Feuille is having a moment and that it’s a hip old-school French pastry. But it tastes like custard baklava to me. Semantics. It’s DeathbedFood – just like the rest of Otium’s menu.