29 Mar NoMad Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles
Located on the corner of Olive and 7th street in downtown LA, the 1923 neoclassical neutral-colored building is rather nondescript from the outside.
But inside is another world. The NoMad Hotel has transformed the one-time Bank of Italy building into warm opulent space with dark jewel-toned velvet everywhere. The towering lobby can be entered through the doors on 7th Street. The space is broken into several areas, including a bar, a library and the casual Lobby Restaurant. Overlooking the lobby is the Mezzanine Restaurant, the more formal dining option.
The NoMad Lobby is a great place to meet friends and the menu offers a variety of plates for sharing.
Scallops – Marinated with yuzu, the citrus notes are bright in this dish that is delicate and light. Toasted pistachios are a really nice unexpected touch.
Hummus – Instead of garbanzo beans, the hummus is made with whipped fava beans and herbed ricotta, pumpkin seed and crispy lavash and is quite delicious.
Carrot Tartare – A classic dish from NoMad New York, our server explained that it tastes like steak tartare but is made with carrots. We were intrigued but doubtful. In fact, she was right. Mixed with sunflower seeds, mustard and quail egg and served with rye bread, this vegetarian version of steak tartare is fantastic.
Fried Chicken – Large nuggets of crispy chicken thighs are served with a chili-lime yogurt that has a little kick.
Chicken Milanese – A thin piece of chicken is breaded and topped with black truffle, apple, celery and shaved cheese. The chicken, while thin, is moist and the outer layer is crunchy. Chicken Milanese can be dry but the fresh salad on top lightened the entire dish.
Lasagnette – Thin layers of smoked eggplant, swiss chard and ricotta are wrapped in a circle as opposed to layered on top of each other and sit on a thick pesto sauce.
For dessert we ordered the Milk & Honey, an ice cream sandwich with bee pollen and sea salt. A ribbon of honey runs through the ice cream. I enjoyed the first two bites but then found the dessert to be too sweet.
The Chocolate Tart with salted caramel on the other hand is rich and not too sweet.
With the low light, super-comfortable seats and tasty food, NoMad Lobby is a fun place to meet friends for a bite to eat and a glass of wine. And be sure to take a bathroom break as the toilets are downstairs in the old bank vault behind big heavy bars.
649 S Olive St
Los Angeles, CA 90014