Travel

Downtown Restaurants

Establishment neighborhood
Otium
222 S. Hope St., Downtown
Fittingly situated behind the Broad contemporary art museum, Otium’s box-like, wood, steel, and glass building can easily be mistaken for a large-scale art installation. Inside, the large light-filled dining room and communal table area revolve around a sprawling open kitchen and are meant to accommodate the museum crowds without making anyone feel, well, overcrowded. Chef Timothy Hollingsworth, formerly of The French Laundry, developed a menu that’s at times experimental but always approachable and delicious, think: artichoke and burrata, bacon tart, and falafel.
Badmaash
108 W. 2nd St., Downtown
No one’s ever really attempted to make Indian food cool until brothers Nakul and Arjun Mahendro enlisted the help of their classically trained chef dad Pawan Mahendro to open their Indian gastropub, Badmaash. The menu here is devoted to both traditional and reimagined Indian dishes: chili-cheese naan, Punjabi fish-fry, chicken tikka poutine—an homage to the Mahendro’s Canadian roots—and our personal favorite, butter chicken. While the majority of the tiny two-story space is kept starkly industrial, there are several focal points throughout, like a brightly striped wall and a mural of a sunglasses-clad Ganghi.
Blossom Chinatown
451 Gin Ling Way, Chinatown
Owner Duc Pham, who was born in Vietnam but raised in Anaheim, obsesses over the quality of every detail in his restaurants, from the Scandinavian-inspired furniture to wine list to the bread on his banh mi, which is baked fresh daily. While the classic dishes are excellent at all three locations—anything on the menu with pork belly is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser—we love the Silver Lake location, which has a secret wine bar downstairs. There's also a location Downtown.
Blossom
426 S. Main St., Downtown
Owner Duc Pham, who was born in Vietnam but raised in Anaheim, obsesses over the quality of every detail in his restaurants, from the Scandinavian-inspired furniture to wine list to the bread on his banh mi, which is baked fresh daily. While the classic dishes are excellent at all three locations—anything on the menu with pork belly is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser—we love the Silver Lake location, which has a secret wine bar downstairs. They also have an outpost in Chinatown.
Bäco Mercat
408 S. Main St., Downtown
From the people who brought you Bar Ama comes this Mediterranean-inspired restaurant where the signature bäco is made into tasty sandwiches. While they're known for meat, we particularly love their myriad veggie small plates (from crispy fava beans to pickled eggplant salads), and the fresh and unique seafood dishes. They also have a great drink list with small batch spirits and unique global wines and beers. It gets crowded so be sure to reserve before you go. Photo: Dylan + Jeni
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