LA vibes only.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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