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.
We were inspired to finally make reservations at 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.”
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 are a number of raw seafood preparations, handmade pastas, and larger format proteins.
Continue reading ‘Otium – Los Angeles (Downtown)’
Not last Sunday but the one before that, a most lovely brunch was enjoyed at Echo Park’s Winsome. With spring weather in full effect and the jacarandas in bloom, the setting could not have been any more perfect. Dining al fresco was a must.
Opened in February of this year, Winsome serves a new American menu by former Rustin Canyon chef Jeremy Strubel, and pastries and desserts from former Republique chef Leslie Mialma. This team is stacked.
The interior, which made me swoon with its swivel stools, open kitchen, and idyllic patio, comes from Wendy Haworth Design. Whether you’re dining inside or out, Winsome’s space feels great to be in.
The Astronomer and I sipped on house-made agua frescas ($5 each) while we perused the menu. I selected the horchata made from quinoa, wild rice, and toasted almonds, while he went for the cucumber and kaffir lime.
Continue reading ‘Brunch at Winsome – Los Angeles (Echo Park)’
Late dinners with girlfriends are a rare treat these days, so I was downright stoked for a night out with Diana at Larchmont Village’s white-hot Kali Restaurant. It’s hard to beat an evening spent catching up with an old friend over superb cocktails and food.
After years spent cooking underground at roving dinner pop-up Kali Dining, Chef Kevin Meehan and Wine Director Drew Langley finally have a place to call home. As you may have inferred from the restaurant’s name, Kali celebrates California ingredients, spirits, and wines in fine fashion. Considering these gentlemen’s collective resumes, I would not have expected anything less.
To start, the sweet yet potent “Arizona & 2nd” made with Hangar One Buddha’s Hand Vodka, lemon, cucumber, and basil. I am such a lightweight these days.
Continue reading ‘Kali Restaurant – Los Angeles’
On my second night in San Francisco, I met up with my Bay Area-dwelling cousins for a family dinner at Al’s Place, the newly anointed best new restaurant in America by Bon Appetit.
Here at the corner of Valencia and 26th Street on a quieter stretch of the Mission, Chef Aaron London cooks mostly vegetables and a little meat. This makes sense because prior to opening Al’s Place, he was the chef of the much-lauded vegetarian restaurant Ubuntu in Napa.
We began with a duo of “Snackles.” First up were the brine-pickled french fries ($7) served with smoked apple sauce. They were perfectly snackable and even palatable, but not quite the revelation that Bon Appetit’s Andrew Knowlton made them out to be. Can’t say this is the first time I’ve fallen victim to hyperbolic food writing. Continue reading ‘Al’s Place – San Francisco’