Otium Update: Hollingsworth Cuisine Meets Art

Downtown’s new Broad museum opened Sunday, with a Valley chef leading its Otium restaurant (coming in October).

Earlier this summer, The Sauce caught up with Barrel & Ashes co-executive chef Timothy Hollingsworth to get a preview of his plans for Otium, the restaurant at downtown's new Broad contemporary art museum. It opened Sunday after much fanfare (although many of the entertainment industry crowd that might usually flock to this high-profile opening were busy with the Emmy Awards, held not too far away at the Microsoft Theater). "Modern fine dining," Chef Timothy called it then. One of the Valley's favorite chefs, Timothy serves as Otium's executive chef. (His co-chef at Barrel & Ashes, Rory Hermann, is Otium's culinary director.)

Otium does not open until October but is already making a visual splash with the just-completed mural on the exterior of Otium's freestanding restaurant building, still under construction. The work, Isolated Elements, is a large-scale photograph produced by British artist Damien Hirst, based on Hirst's 1991 sculpture Isolated Elements Swimming in the Same Direction for the Purpose of Understanding.

Hirst is known for controversial artworks involving real animals preserved in formaldehyde, including a tiger shark, a sheep and a cow split in half. The original Isolated Elements is no exception, featuring a series of preserved fish. Food for thought, but is this an appetizing partner for food?

Timothy thinks so. “Opening next door to The Broad presents many exciting opportunities for Otium to identify itself first and foremost as a place for artistic expression in all its forms, and this has given me an amazing blank canvas to craft a very unique and exciting restaurant for Los Angeles,” he said in a statement. “I’ve always been a great admirer of Damien Hirst’s work, so we were thrilled when we had the opportunity to include a mural of his work as part of the restaurant’s design.”

Timothy Hollingsworth

A few other details: The exterior includes vertical sustainable roof gardens with herbs, vegetables and edible flowers. Furniture, textiles, ceramics and tiles are being created by local artists and artisans. Expect wood-burning ovens. All should complement a contemporary seasonal menu.

222 S. Hope Street, Los Angeles. No phone number yet.

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