Otium – Los Angeles (Downtown)

Otium - Broad Museum - Los Angeles (Downtown)

Every Friday afternoon on his unenviable commute from El Segundo to Pasadena, The Astronomer tunes in to KCRW’s Good Food to hear Jonathan Gold’s restaurant pick of the week. He usually comes home totally pumped to explore whatever hot spot Mr. Gold dished about—from cotton candy in Koreatown to swanky new openings in Downtown.

Otium - Broad Museum - Los Angeles (Downtown)

We were inspired to finally make reservations to Otium following one particularly memorable segment. According to Mr. Gold, Otium is possibly “the most spectacular new restaurant to open in Los Angeles in years.” 

Otium - Broad Museum - Los Angeles (Downtown)

In the glow of The Broad Museum, Timothy Hollingsworth, the former chef de cuisine at the French Laundry, serves an eclectic menu of large and small plates. There’s a number of raw seafood preparations, handmade pastas, and larger format proteins. 

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Carbone – Las Vegas (Aria Resort and Casino)

Carbone - Las Vegas

Of all the incredible restaurants on our Las Vegas dining itinerary, I was most excited for Carbone. According the the restaurant’s website, “this celebrated concept from Mario Carbone, Rich Torrisi, and Jeff Zalaznick pays homage to the Italian-American restaurants of the mid-20th century – an era of glamour, showmanship and tableside service.” (See also: Parm).

My brother has been raving about Carbone ever since it opened in New York, so I was beyond stoked to experience the Las Vegas iteration for myself. One day I’ll make it to the original outlet.

Carbone - Las Vegas

From the moment we stepped into the restaurant, The Astronomer and I knew that we were in for a special evening. The main dining room boasted a chandelier dripping with crystals, while the waiters were outfitted in sharp crimson tuxes. All around us were carts preparing various provisions—from Caesar salad to bananas Foster—tableside. Dinner and a show is what Carbone is all about.

Carbone - Las Vegas

Just about everything here is larger than life, including the menu. Ironically, the details provided for each dish are minimal, despite the real estate available. Our waiter captain was simply fantastic with filling in any blanks and offering solid recommendations.

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Weekend Brunch at Bardot Brasserie – Las Vegas (Aria Resort and Casino)

Bardot Brasserie - Las Vegas (Aria Resort and Casino)

Sitting down to a boozy brunch with The Astronomer was one of the highlights of our weekend in Vegas. We’ve never been much into gambling, clubbing, or lounging by the pool. Dining and imbibing—that’s #HowWeVegas.

After properly sleeping in for the first time in ages, The Astronomer and I rolled out of bed and headed to Bardot Brasserie for brunch. 

Bardot Brasserie - Las Vegas (Aria Resort and Casino)

Located in the former site of American Fish, Bardot is the Chef Michael Mina’s latest restaurant at Aria Resort & Casino. To create the brasserie’s menu, Chef Mina and Executive Chef Joshua Smith drew inspiration from travels to Paris. The menu offers classic French fare executed with a thoroughly modern hand.

Bardot Brasserie - Las Vegas (Aria Resort and Casino)

To start, fruity and bubbly concoctions—a peach bellini for him and a blood orange mimosa for her.
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L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon – Las Vegas (MGM Grand)

L'Atelier De Joël Robuchon - Las Vegas

I was in the mood to be spoiled while in Las Vegas, so dinner at L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon was an absolute must. We’ve dined here twice prior (here and here) and the hospitality is always exceptional.

Hardly famished due to our sizable Shake Shack lunch, The Astronomer and I both selected the “create your own menu” option for $98, which included an amuse bouche, three menu items, and dessert.

L'Atelier De Joël Robuchon - Las Vegas

Dinner began with three varieties of bread—mini baguettes, crusty rolls, and flaky croissant-like rolls—and plenty of salted butter. 

L'Atelier De Joël Robuchon - Las Vegas

Next to arrive was the amuse bouche: a foie gras parfait with port wine and Parmesan foam. Even though we’ve been served this same starter twice, it never seems to get old, foam included. 

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