You know you’re at a trendy restaurant when French toast is served in a massive clay pot and the bits of golden bread look like tofu tufts.
That’s what I learned at my meal experience at Otium, a new restaurant (opened in the fall) right next to the wildly popularThe Broad museum. The space is clean-cut with industrial and modern accents along with a touch of quirky. I could see the innovation in transforming the classic French toast and bacon pair into a revolutionary, aesthetically pleasing dish–light chunks of smoked, cinnamon-flecked bread mingling with savory hunks of rich pork belly. And the marshmallow fluff with berry sauce that accompanied the pot added a whimsical note.
Other offerings I tried included a hearty potato hash with duck confit and a smattering of spring mix, jerk chicken adorned with plaintain chips, and kurobuta pork laid on a bed of black rice and blanketed by a fried egg.
The next day after Otium, fambam headed for the beaches. Santa Monica for donuts, Venice for fries. We clearly aimed for a well-balanced diet.
Sidecar Doughnuts & Coffee flexed their yeasty muscles with a delightfully refreshing strawberry confection infused with elderflower. The glaze delicately grazed the donut in a pretty shade of pink, tasting of summer picnics and strawberry picking while the dough melted in my mouth. That was one extraordinary donut.
The Mexican hot chocolate donut, crowned with torched marshmallows, promised me plenty of spice in the description, yet the chocolate dominated the flavor. The donut also veered more towards a cake-like consistency, but I wished for velvet. Nonetheless, I appreciated that Sidecar captured chocolate’s indulgent essence in this one.
At Venice Beach, The Wee Chippy (I love this name) is known for its hand-cut fries. These sizable tater slices are fried to a dangerous crisp and chock full of potato meat. We opted for the truffle dustings and various dipping sauces–ranch, ketchup, and Chipotle barbecue. It was here that I discovered the wonderful pairing of ranch with fries. Move over, ketchup. Warning: the truffle flavor was rather sneaky–quite subtle, honestly.