Originally posted on AFAR.com
By Carole Dixon
Philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad have brought new life to Bunker Hill with the opening of their “gift to the city” in the form of The Broad Museum. Located right across the road from MOCA and next door to Frank Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall masterpiece, there’s a legitimate arts and culture row on Grand Avenue shedding new interest on downtown.
After navigating the two-story Broad—viewing the web-like façade and contemporary collection with pieces by Jeff Koons, Roy Lichtenstein, and Andy Warhol among the 2,000 curated selections—a memorable bite to eat should follow. Fortunately, the dining scene has also taken a giant leap forward in this area of the city. Here are a handful of new options that aim to capture your imagination
Otium Located adjacent to The Broad Museum, Chef Timothy Hollingsworth (former chef de cuisine of The French Laundry in Yountville), along with top LA restaurateur Bill Chait, have opened the official eatery for the museum. The façade features a Damien Hirst fish mural called Isolated Elements, which leads to an indoor-outdoor rustic-yet-sophisticated space of steel, glass, wood, copper, stone and ceramics—all created by local artists and artisans. Otium is Latin for “leisurely social activities.” The vertical gardens from Green City Farms on the restaurant’s rooftop will grow herbs, vegetables, and edible flowers, which will be liberally used in the seasonal menu’s flatbreads, lamb chops and whole fish offerings. 222 South Hope Street / OtiumLA.com
Nick + Stef’s This modern steakhouse concept was just reopened by Chef Joachim Splichal and the Patina Restaurant Group. Back and better than ever are the 28-day dry-aged USDA prime steaks and show-stopping tomahawk rib chop, both grilled over oak and mesquite. For a larger group, pre-order a whole-roasted suckling pig or leg of Colorado lamb while you peruse the extensive global wine list with over 500 labels. Other carnivorous delights come in the form of Black Angus beef and wagyu, but be sure to hit the raw bar first with oysters, seafood cocktails, and shellfish platters. 330 South Hope Street / (213) 680-0330
Le Petit Paris This new French-style brasserie has recently opened in the historic core by restaurateurs Fanny and David Rolland. Located next door to the Howard Griffin Gallery in the El Dorado building, this two-story 1913 gem is listed on the National Register of historic places and was once the home of Actor Charlie Chaplin. The space still retains many of the original pillars, gold leaf, and iron work with added circular chandeliers lighting the black-and-white photography of Paris. The menu consists of French classics: croque monsieur, steak tartar, Burgundy escargot, a salad of frisée, bacon, potato, and poached egg. Don’t miss the duck foie gras which pairs beautifully with a viognier from Malibu wines, produced in California by a French winemaker. 418 Spring Street / (213) 217-4445+
Chef Ray Garcia—who is also behind the casual B.S. Taqeuria concept a few blocks away—relies heavily on the influence of his Latin roots for his latest concept, Broken Spanish. The chef recreates traditional cuisine with an elevated twist, clearly defined in dishes such as tamales with lamb neck, king oyster mushrooms, and queso Oaxaca. Other notable menu items include oxtail quesadillas with plantain and habanero and chile rellenos with potato and kale, but the most talked-about item to date has been the tortillas served with a little ramekin of whipped carnitas fat, which you can wash down with plenty of good mezcal and tequila cocktails to cut through the richness.
1050 South Flower Street / (213) 749-1460