A modern restaurant with an open kitchen and a giant wood-fired oven roaring in the middle of it isn’t quite expected in a downtown LA restaurant, but Otium is just that. Chef Timothy Hollingsworth was previously Thomas Keller’s chef de cuisine at The French Laundry, and now serves everything from grilled fish and Tomahawk steaks to rock shrimp salad and bucatini at this beautiful downtown LA restaurant.
We headed over for dinner, but the restaurant was difficult for our driver to find. It’s located next to The Broad modern art museum in the courtyard, so we’d recommend using directions to get the The Broad, and then just walk behind it to find the restaurant.
The entry features a huge bustling bar where you can get cocktails while you wait for your reservation. We had our eye on the wood fire and watched the chef stoke it every so often, making the embers fly up. We sipped cocktails made with yuzu, Hibiki Harmony, Suntory Toki, lemon, almond, and Japanese bitters while we admired the fire.
The plan was to get something from the fire, but we got so full on our starters that we didn’t’ make it to the grill menu. We started out with the rock shrimp appetizer, which was really refreshing, with Thai herbs and a Tom Ka vinaigrette. We also loved the salad of avocado, beets, amaranth, wild rice, and miso.
Along with our dinner, we tried a bottle of Elephante Rose wine, which benefits an elephant refuge for retired elephants from zoos and circuses. The wine was crisp and went perfectly with the rock shrimp and salad. For a main course, we had the spinach bucatini with bacon, egg, clam, and parmesan. That was the perfect portion to share and the egg was cooked to perfection.
Looking back on our past few visits to LA, Otium stands out as one of our top downtown LA restaurants. We’d definitely recommend making a reservation on your next visit, or even just stopping in for drinks after a visit to The Broad. Thank you to Alaska Airlines for sponsoring this article.
Otium, 222 S Hope St, Los Angeles, CA 90012