At some point in your life, hotels were extremely glamorous. The mere thought of lounging on a bed with crisp sheets, eating room service in a bathrobe, slathered in the mini toiletries you hoarded over several days was enough to get your heart rate elevated. Then adulthood happened, and hotels got kind of boring. You travel all the time for work, you’ve realized the mini toiletries are never good, and you’ve eaten in too many extremely boring restaurants to count. The NoMad is a hotel that will get you excited about hotels again - especially once you’ve had a meal in the restaurant.
The NoMad Hotel is an NYC import located in a restored bank in DTLA. It’s an incredible building that feels like a 1930s movie star’s velvet-filled house, complete with a basement vault full of secrets (it’s really just restrooms, but same thing). Soon after you walk in, you’ll realize that you might have been expecting yet another boring hotel restaurant, but at The NoMad, the restaurant is actually a party.
This is a slightly more casual party than it used to be. When the hotel first opened, the main restaurant was located upstairs, and called The Mezzanine. Fairly quickly, they decided to move the whole operation downstairs into the lobby, where the restaurant now feels a little looser and very fun. While before it was the kind of special occasion place where you might propose to someone, now The NoMad is where you should come for a throw-down birthday dinner, or to celebrate that time you did propose to someone in a really fancy restaurant. It feels like a private club that everyone is invited to. Or at least everyone willing to spend $100 on a roast chicken.
Expensive chickens aside, the food has overall become less of a spectacle, and more just stuff you want to eat. That means burrata with tomatoes and black olive “dust,” truly fantastic fava bean hummus, and creamy uni bucatini. Everything is crowd-pleasing, and while that often translates to actually-pretty-boring, at The NoMad it’s just the opposite. These are the very best versions of classic dishes.
Despite being an NYC transplant, The NoMad is one of those casual-feeling fancy restaurants that are uniquely Los Angeles. It might be a hotel restaurant, but it’s one that stands up to the very best restaurants in the city. Even if we haven’t been able to get any toiletries out of it, this place is enough to make us excited about hotels again.
We’ve started calling this The Best Hummus In The World. It’s fava bean hummus, it comes with warm flatbread, and you will scrape the bowl within an inch of its life.
This isn’t setting the gooey cheese world on fire, but odds are you’re going to order it, and you’re not going to be disappointed.
Slightly spicy and extremely fresh, like all the best people we know.
There are usually a couple of pastas on the menu, and they change fairly regularly. On one of our last visits, we had a creamy sea urchin bucatini that won over the uni haters at the table.
If a hotel restaurant doesn’t serve a steak, is it really a hotel restaurant? Luckily, we don’t have to solve that existential question here - The NoMad has a steak, and it’s better than 99% of the steaks you’ve had at other hotel restaurants
You are not wrong to think that $98 is too much money for a roast chicken. It probably is. But also, this dish is over-the-top and fun and legitimately delicious. First, they’ll bring out the whole bird so you can participate in some performance art, and then they’ll come back with the truffle-stuffed chicken done two ways - the breast in a skillet with roasted vegetables, and the thigh with a mushroom rice that might just be the best thing in the restaurant.
The other large-format dish is less expensive and less of a performance, but just as tasty. You’ll get half a duck, with the breast sliced up and the leg confited, with roti, kale salad, and a bunch of sauces to make little wraps on the side.
Absolutely save room for this. The honey-drizzled ice cream sits on top of shortbread, brittle, and meringue and it’s the dessert we’d like to eat once a week (or day).
Order this and approximately 72 bowls of toppings will arrive at your table with a small bowl of ice cream. If you don’t end up with more brownie bites and whipped cream in your bowl than you have ice cream, you’re probably doing this wrong.