Bang Bang: Otium and Pok Pok LA

Well, they were both better than expected but both also very expensive for what they were.

Otium. Gorgeous space. Food is pretty good. Wine service is top notch. Nice stemware. Ordered a half bottle of 07 Pillot Chasssgne Montrachet. It was premoxed. The somm replaced it and took 30% off the wine. A very classy move and totally above and beyond.

The spinach bucatini with ham and clams is the dish to get. I could eat 5 of these. The turbot was wonderfully cooked with hints of cervil. Both the hamachi with nori and hiramasa pastrami were also very good. The other dishes were just okay: blue prawns on toast and scallops with celery. The chicken dish across the table looked very good (large portion)

Pok Pok LA

Still hungry after Otium so decided to give this a shot. We were informed that it was 30-45 minute wait for 3 people without reservations. Luckily we were able to grab seats at the bar. The place was packed.

Didn’t expect much but the flavors are pretty spot on. I agree with all the criticism. I do like Night + Market better, it was $96 for 4 dishes which is absurd, and one of the dishes was pretty bland. It’s absurd the NYC branch got 1 Michellin star if it was anything like this. And I think it’s really crappy of him to not serve any stir fried noodles or rice dishes so he can go open up a separate restaurant that serves those items.

However the pork shoulder and pork belly curry was delicious. The grilled wild boar collar was spot on. We were warned that it was the spiciest dish on the menu but it was maybe a mild Thai spicy. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The glass noodle salad with sausage and mussels was excellent. Very tart and favorful. Again, the flavors were spot on. The shrimp in clay pot over pork belly and glass noodles were very bland. I’d liken this place to the Hakkasan of Thai. Legit flavors at 2-3x the price except no nice decor and no wine program.

I would go back for the pork curry. In fact we have a wine dinner there coming up in a month ($10 corkage). The less spicy cuisine makes it more ideal for a wine dinner. But 9 out of 10 times, I’d probably do Sapp or luv2eat, or Night + Market.

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Thanks for the reporting (as always). Too bad the prawn dish wasn’t better since it looks intriguing on the plate. Think both places will be a skip for me…

For that price point, not a good sign…

Honestly I’m still a bit hungry after both…

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Hi @Porthos,

Great report, thanks. Wow, you were still hungry after Otium… agree with @J_L, not a good sign. I didn’t get the Prawns or Scallops but it sounds like you hit some duds there as well (as me).

Thanks on Pok Pok. I still have not gone, avoiding it based on everyone’s reports. The price seems crazy from what you said.

Based on recent reports, I’m not rushing to either of these places. Which is a shame cause I was very hopeful for both.