Hours: Dinner: Tuesday-Saturday
Modernist little brother to Homaro Cantu's Moto.
Mad genius Homaro Cantu's recasting of Moto's more levelheaded baby brother, Otom, is a futuristic Asian-inspired lounge. Typically, there are a number of intriguing or amusing gimmicks, a few every bit as irritatING as the awkward new name: a special "miracle berry"-focused chef's-table tasting is available, and there's the option of paying the kitchen to cook by the hour—a risky bet if the glacial pacing of the a la carte courses on my visits is any indication. There's also (theoretically at least) the existence of microbatched house-brewed beers to accompany a tight but respectable beer list. Though they'd been long sold out by the time I got there, I did manage to taste a superb if sweet barrel-aged manhattan based on the 12-year-old Japanese single-malt whiskey Suntory Yamazaki. The most dramatic dish on the menu illustrated the unrealized ambition here: three pieces of orange-cured salmon on a brick of pink Himalayan sea salt, drizzled with vapor-emitting liquid nitrogen, then deposited atop a trio of undercooked shredded vegetable pancakes that disintegrate owing to a wet, slimy batter. The best dish I tried was a stack of "inverted" waffles—waffle mousse frozen in a hand-pressed waffle iron and served with a malty syrup made from reduced stout, a mango sorbet "butter pat," and whipped coconut and vanilla. It tasted like an expertly prepared semifreddo, cool and creamy as it dissolved. But in totality it was one of those deliciously startling sensory discombobulations that define the modernist movement in which Cantu and crew made their bones. Read the full review >>
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