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LA Mag Hands Three Stars to 'Cultural Temple' Otium

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Critic Patric Kuh thinks it's a little difficult to categorize the restaurant

Otium, Downtown
Otium, Downtown
Wonho Frank Lee
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Patric Kuh is the latest to file a review on Downtown’s Otium for the pages of Los Angeles Magazine. The anonymous critic comes in third behind both Jonathan Gold and Besha Rodell of the Weekly, both of whom spilled ink on the place within weeks of each other. They also had surprisingly different things to say about the place, overall.

And so here comes Kuh. Calling the place one of Sprout’s "cultural temples," he's amazed at the polished look of the place and its pinpoint-accuracy as a bastion of Downtown’s gleaming renaissance, fully realized. As for the food:

Despite fitting on a single sheet, the menu is fairly sprawling. There are homey dishes like spit-roasted half chicken served with bouquets of petite lettuces and parsley (so good that I’ve impolitely sucked the burnt lemon-tinged juices off the wing). There’s gooey stuff, too. A cast-iron platter of crisp Yukon Golds is a delicious pileup, with pools of melted goat cheese from Andante Dairy, one ingredient underscoring the earthiness of the other. Hollingsworth’s charred squash with pepitas melds with a scoop of house-made ricotta, a smidgen of concentrated coffee sauce girding the pair.

Ultimately Kuh drops three stars on Otium, calling the restaurant a finely-balanced blend of setting, chef’s acumen, food quality, and hype. In the end it "defies categorization in the most modern of ways."

Oh, and interestingly enough: The word 'service' appears exactly zero times in the review.