A Tale of Two Lunches - Otium Opens: A Pictorial Essay

Well, well, well… Otium has opened for lunch service!

The edifice and space are indeed attractive, and oh-so “mid-century” in feel, with lots of different seating areas (main dining room, with its commanding view of the open kitchen, seats at the bar, and a lovely al fresco area as well).

The lunch menu gives a hefty nod to Chef Timothy Hollingsworth’s expertise with meats (he was most recently cooking at Barrel & Ashes), along with Italian and Asian influences. My server recommended the oysters with shallot mignonette and horseradish as a starter. I also ordered the (interesting-sounding) tri-tip, fried egg, rice & kimchi for my main course.

First, the oysters. Unfortunately, any natural flavors the oysters would have possessed were muted by the overbearing peppercorns in the mignonette, and shaved horseradish ice placed on top of them. The added effect of the ice also rendered the oysters, very very cold. I tried a few and left the rest. Bummer.

My entrée was a bit better. The tri-tip was a bit on the dry side, but the moisture of the perfectly cooked runny fried egg (someone give the sous chef in charge of the fried eggs a raise!) made it okay. The dish never elevates itself beyond the sum of its parts, though.

There was a plain-sounding “ice cream sundae” on the dessert menu, which I was rooting for as a possible sleeper hit. It consisted of burnt marshmallow, chocolate ice cream, and nuts. It was all right, I suppose.

Having had Chef Hollingsworth’s splendid food at The French Laundry, and also partly owing to the fact that Otium is only in its third day of business, I will just say, for now, that I probably need to return in a few weeks to see Otium operate “on full burners”.

Oh, and Otium automatically adds 18% gratuity to all checks, FYI. My server didn’t bring me correct change, rounding down my change received to the next dollar (which is a personal pet peeve of mine). After I asked her to bring me the correct change, she kindly rounded it up to the next nearest dollar (coins are so not in vogue, I suppose).

Maybe your mileage will vary.

Otium
222 S. Hope St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
213.935.8500
otiumla.com

And now, for a somewhat redeeming second lunch. On my way out of Otium, I spotted a kiosk (aptly called “Otium on the go”) next to The Broad. I ordered a sandwich a sweet bun, and an iced latte. All were very good. The roasted pork, sundried tomato, avocado & arugula sandwich was a nice combination of flavors. The cinnamon bun was delicious, and my coffee hit the spot. Kudos to the “Otium on the go”!

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Thanks for the report, had high hopes … Hopefully it improves over time

Presentation of food looks almost “homey”, not aesthetically pleasing as one would expect being apart of the Broad.

A bit far from what I had imagined. Thanks for the report.
I’m looking forward to checking this spot out once they get their legs.

Sorry that you were disappointed. My one and only meal at TFL was under Chef Hollingsworth’s watch, and it was nothing short of spectacular. I’ve had my eye on Otium with presumably the same optimistic anticipation as you. I’ll get down there soon enough, hopefully when dinner service is up and running.

Thanks @J_L. Beautiful pics as usual. :smile:
Bummer on Otium. I liked some stuff at Barrel & Ashes, but there were some misses on the menu as well. Thanks for saving me money.

Kind of funny that the to-go window knocked the socks off of the mainstay establishment…which looks, and sounds fucking awful.

Wow, this sounds so fucking disappointing.

and i’d been eyeing the fucking joint the past couple times i hit up the fucking Broad,

this is the fucking broad museum restaurant right ???

thanks man.

looks like a fucked up Chego bowl.

but i don’t say this usually and i haven’t been yet.

but maybe you ordered wrong, it sounds like even just potentially based on the fucking pithy menu descriptions that these dishes would amount to mere clunkers.

what’s the fucking mileage varying on ???

We’ve enjoyed two masterfully prepared meals by Chef Hollingsworth at TFL in the past as well - Which is why I’m giving him a free pass to ease into this new position at Otium.

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Yes.

I was on board until I saw this pretentious-as-f*ck web trailer.

OTIUM- a new chapter

You better save LA after this shit . Is your city headed into the abyss ?

They better seriously up their game… If he doesn’t want his 1 month post opening fear to come true

Btw is that international marine products in the video?

I haven’t seen the fucking video just yet. Is it beyond fucking egregiously horrendous ???

It’s not bad, per se. But it’s just that some people feel that restaurants should not have their own trailers.

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Not just you. I’m assuming this place isn’t cheap (the website is a fail in my book b/c there’s no menu). If you’re adding 18% gratuity automatically (which I’m fine w/), you better f*cking NOT round down the change. That kind of service would result in me sending an e-mail to management… :triumph:

Thanks for the report.

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A PSA: The current lunch menu at Otium:

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Menu is right up Kevineat’s alley. All the stereotypical items are on the menu - hamachi crudo, pork belly, lobster roll, kale salads, kimchi something or another

How the heck did they decide on this concept ??? Some lazy ass uncreative cooking

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i apologize, but i’m confused. what does “round down the change” mean? are you saying, for example, dinner was 10.25, you gave them a 20, and they only gave you 9 dollars back?
isn’t that stealing? are they allowed to do that?
or am i misunderstanding?

thanks.

That’s what I assume J.L. meant (please correct if I’m wrong, J.L.).

Yes, stealing would be one way of looking at it. At the very least, it’s simply poor form.