Contemporary art and elevated rustic dining coexist in Los Angeles’ cultural corridor
Written by Michelle Lyn | Photos Courtesy of Otium
Rooted in Latin, the word otium refers to a place where time can be spent on leisurely social activities. Nestled at the end of a 24,000-square-foot public plaza adjacent to contemporary art museum, e Broad, is just what Otium, the restaurant, has come to dene.
The vision of chef Timothy Hollingsworth, Otium draws inspiration from the 100-year-old olive trees planted in the plaza, employing rustic cooking with wood fire and sustainable ingredients grown in the garden located on restaurant’s mezzanine. The social restaurant, whose open kitchen merges indoor and outdoor spaces, strips away the rigid formalities of dining by focusing on the quality of food, warm service and relaxed, casual ambience, paralleling the true essence of its name.
The Broad, on the other hand, located at the heart of one of Los Angeles’ most important cultural corridors, Grand Avenue, was founded by philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad. With its innovative “veil-and-vault” concept, the 120,000-square-foot, $140-million building features two floors of gallery space to showcase The Broad’s comprehensive collection, at no cost to visitors, in an effort to increase public access to contemporary art.
“Opening next door to The Broad presents many exciting opportunities for Otium to identify itself first and foremost as a place for artistic expression in all its forms, and this has given me an amazing blank canvas to craft a very unique and exciting restaurant for Los Angeles,” says Hollingsworth.
Not to be overshadowed by the museum, Otium’s interior design, thoughtfully curated by local artisans, incorporates elements of steel, glass, wood, copper, stone and ceramics. There are ceramic plates and bowls by Irving Place Studio, a handmade glass light fixture by Neptune Glassworks, and vertical gardens from LA Urban Farms that demonstrate the restaurant’s dedication to sustainability and social responsibility. Case in point: the herbs, vegetables and edible flowers grown on the restaurant’s rooftop are produced using 90 percent less land and water than a typical garden.
With a contemporary, seasonal menu, cuisine draws from the rich culinary heritage and experiences of Hollingsworth, former chef de cuisine at The French Laundry in Napa Valley.
At brunch, the eclectic menu surprises with unique offerings like Avocado Toast with za’atar, labne and aleppo pepper; Funnel Cake with foie gras, strawberry, fennel and balsamic; and Hamachi with nori, avocado and sweet and sour tomatoes. Daytime diners who prefer to spend the majority of the afternoon art gazing are in luck. Also located on the plaza, an Otium On The Go kiosk serves sandwiches, cookies, muffins and beverages to go.
The dinner menu is equally interesting with dishes like Octopus served with peanut, mole and sweet corn; Agnolotti with green garlic, peas and pistachio gremolata; and a splurge-worthy Dry Aged Beef presented with asparagus, maitake, spring onion and bagna càuda.
Last, but certainly not least, a Banana Cream Grand Macaron or Donabe Smoked Churros served with dark chocolate, pineapple and mango cap the evening.
Open daily, Otium proves to be an artistic culinary destination, and when coupled with The Broad, visitors are bound to have a sensorial experience to remember.
222 South Hope Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
213.935.8500 | OtiumLA.com