Otoño - Highland Park

I’ve lived under the impression that socarrat = paella and no socarrat = risotto.

If I’m not mistaken, in general, risotto is a lot creamier while paella = saffron + socarrat + not creamy like a risotto.

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No, you’re right. I, perhaps, was simplifying too much.

The only thing risotto and paella have in common is that they’re both rice based dishes. Has nothing to do with soccarat.


Never had Breva’s.
Have you eaten there?

Good neighborhood spot, especially if you need a place for a business breakfast.

Agree with @ipsedixit and was going to point you to that thread. Their gin and tonic is awesome; because they make their own tonic, it doesn’t have that stale medicinal quality that many bottled tonics have.

We found the jamon iberico de bellota at Otoño to be very similar to what we’ve had in Spain–more so than any other place we’ve been to in the U.S. Chef Montaño hand-sliced it to order (and I would disagree that it should be sliced thinner; this is not prosciutto, and hand-slicing will necessarily produce a thicker, more uneven texture, which I feel accentuates the flavor). My only complaint was that, upon slow and meditative mastication (the only way to eat this ham!), it revealed a slightly moldy flavor (!!) that suggested it may not have been trimmed well enough before slicing, or had sat out too long (it was nearing the bone when we had it), or something…

Out waitress advised us to make sure to eat ther “crunchy stuff” at the bottom of our paella–but ours had no soccarrat at all. Makes me think it is supposed to have soccarrat by default.

It was a pleasant dinner overall, and I would go back, but not at a dead run.

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I think you and @J_L are actually saying, more or less, the same thing.
It needs to be hand sliced and, of course, it should not be paper thin a la prosciutto.
But what we had week one or two was done in-artfully and was poorly trimmed.
Chef agreed they were still learning how to do it - maybe they’ve mastered it by now.

Yes; that’s a pretty expensive learning curve!

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I go to Spain with relative regularity (I have relatives there, and we often buy an entire paleta of jamón to bring home to enjoy over the course of 1-2 weeks.)

The cortadors of Spain usually maintain a more-or-less ‘horizontal’ cutting technique with the jamón on the stand. The right thin-ness of the cut is crucial to the enjoyment of Spanish jamón:



And here are my photos of Otoño’s jamón during my visit:



I really love the fact that Chef Montaño is offering this wonderful Spanish product here in L.A. True, the cutting needs a little work, but I’m sure it’ll get better!


This makes Spanish baby Jesus cry


At least they got away from the machine slicer at least.


Looks like a Jaws (or The Meg) took a bite of Porky’s leg.

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Went last week and enjoyed my meal, though I think it may be better as a drink and snack at the bar kind of place - the cocktails were pretty fantastic and the Happy Hour menu looks really nice.

Got a paella, and the waitress did make a point of noting that there would be socarrat, which she went out of her way to describe and assure us was NOT a mistake (I assume there’s been some customer confusion). I have not been to Valencia nor have I had a mountain of serious paella so I don’t have a ton to compare it to, but there was a crunchy crust that I enjoyed quite a bit.


booked it

We discussed this on another thread. It’s probably why you have to request socarrat in some Spanish restaurants here and sometimes pay extra. Too many people are wasting food and costing restaurants $ by sending the paella back.


Happy to report there was socarrat in both the paella mariscos and the fideuo negra tonight at Otoño. Really satisfying scraping up the noodles and rice. We did not ask for it either. Maybe customers are getting wise?



Great to hear!

I thought this was by the great suspendered one when I first read it.

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I LOVE spanish food and Spain is probably my favorite country in Europe, but I haven’t gone to Otoño because my meal at Racion was so underwhelming. Do I owe a visit to Otoño or is it pretty much on par to what Racion was?