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A dining room with white chairs, bright lights, tables, and high ceilings.
The dining room at Per L’Ora.
Per L’Ora

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Nomad No More: An Opulent Downtown LA Dining Room Is Born

Upscale restaurant Per L’Ora and daytime Cafe Ora debut today in Downtown

Mona Holmes is a reporter for Eater Los Angeles and a regular contributor to KCRW radio. She has covered restaurants, dining, and food culture since 2016. In 2022, the James Beard Foundation nominated her for a Jonathan Gold Local Voice Award.

The transformation of the former Nomad Hotel into Hotel Per La is now complete with today’s debut of Per L’Ora restaurant and the adjacent Cafe Ora. While the restaurant serves an upscale dinner nightly, the more casual daytime cafe offers espresso drinks, bottled wine, canned booze, and house-made gelato.

Even with the new tenants removing the heavy, tapestry-like curtains from the building’s massive windows and bringing in a brighter color scheme, the restaurant and lobby still feel very much like an old-school hang, especially at the 30-seat bar. Hotel Per La originally opened on Olive Street near Seventh in early July, along with rooftop spot Bar Clara.

The Nomad Hotel barely got a chance to dig its heels into Los Angeles. The New York-based Sydell Group opened the property in early 2018 and closed it permanently in March 2021. HN Capital and Sage Hospitality Group took over the historic bank building and shifted the Nomad’s East Coast-centric sensibilities to one emphasizing West Coast themes and talent.

Third-generation Angeleno and chef Courtney Van Dyke — whose resume includes time at Montage Beverly Hills and Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire — developed the restaurant’s menu, along with Bar Clara’s. “This menu is very much inspired by LA,” says Van Dyke. “It’s not only the neighborhoods, but all the cultures around LA. I look at this menu and I see all of my friends, I see everyone I’ve grown up with, all the neighborhoods, and [things I’ve seen while] I’m running around LA.”

A white table full of multiple restaurant dishes.
Multiple dishes at Per L’Ora restaurant.

Starters include savories on toast, like Spanish mackerel with spicy tomato; chorizo and manchego; and avocado with chile oil and chapulines (the Mexican delicacy grasshopper). From there, Per L’Ora’s primo section continues with a tuna carpaccio, crab cakes, lobster tagliatelle, and bucatini with Spam, egg yolk, and nori. Generously-sized main courses include a spatchcocked chicken with aji verde and potatoes, and a bone-in veal milanese with fermented chile vinaigrette.

The desserts from pastry chef Sohrob Esmaili, formerly of Jean-Georges Restaurant in New York City, have a tropical bent. On the menu is a mango semifreddo, chamoy zabaglione, mango-lime granita, and a honey tart with black sesame caramel, brown nougat, and sesame chantilly.

As for Per L’Ora’s cocktails and wines, Redwood Bar and Spring Street Bar veteran Coleen Morton created an entirely different experience from the one served at Bar Clara. The menu is well-organized, with a section dedicated to twists on classics, another geared toward wine cocktails, and a list of experimental cocktails, like the Insta-famous, with mezcal verde, apertivo, Genepy liqueur, and lime.

Director of wine Rick Arline focuses on bottles that represent new wine making techniques and favors vineyards in Italy, France, Spain, Germany, and California (Santa Cruz, Lake County, and El Dorado County) that are off-the-radar and not the standard-bearers.

Cafe Ora is open from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., while Per L’Ora operates from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., with bar service from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.

A veal milanese with sauce and leafy green vegetables.
Veal milanese.
Tuna carpaccio with uni at Hotel Per La.
Tuna carpaccio with uni.
Various seafood in a bowl with broth.
A seafood medley with broth in a bowl.
A spatchcocked chicken with herbs and spices.
Spatchcocked chicken.
Squid ink linguini pasta with breadcrumbs.
Squid ink linguini.
A glass with vodka, sauvignon blanc wine, and cucumber tonic.
Melano cocktail with vodka, melon, sauvignon blanc, and Fever Tree cucumber tonic.
A red-colored cocktail with gin, amaretto, hibiscus, and lambrusco.
Jubiliee cocktail with Luxardo sour cherry gin, amaretto, lambrusco, and hibiscus.
A cocktail in a champagne glass with pisco liqueur.
Belt of Venus cocktail with Caravedo pisco, vanilla meringue, lemon, and bitters.
A mostly white dining room and bar with tables and chairs.
Per L’Ora dining room and bar.
Per L’Ora
A restaurant room full of white chairs, tables, and a lit bookcase.
The dining room at Per L’Ora.
Per L’Ora

Per L'Ora

649 S Olive Street, Los Angeles, CA 90014 Visit Website
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