Everyone has a secret. It could be something covered by the NDA you had to sign after working on The Bachelorette, or something a little less serious (but equally important), like which streets near your house don’t have any overnight parking restrictions. But sometimes, your secret needs to be shared.
Which brings us to Otus Kitchen, the West Hollywood Thai restaurant with a secret you should definitely know about: They serve a truly great breakfast.
You wouldn’t guess it when you walk in. Otus resembles most other restaurants in this part of town - it’s bright and modern-looking, with a mix of small tables and communal seating, potted succulents, and a menu full of excellent Thai classics like crispy rice, moo ping, and chicken wings. But its breakfast menu is why we end up here three times a week.
The Kai-Kata is usually our first priority - a Thai breakfast set served with OJ or Vietnamese coffee, grilled bread, and a little pan of eggs and meat. If may sound simple, but the flavors aren’t - it’s a tangy mix of sour ground chicken and sweet sausage, and the addition of the eggs make it a perfect way to start your day. It’s also just $8, so you can justify stopping in multiple days in a row (or at least that’s how we justify it).
We also go for the khao kai jiew - a street-style omelet served over rice, with a side of hot sauce. It may sound a bit boring, but the massive omelet - which we assume has about a dozen eggs in it - is deep-fried, so it has a crispy outside and a moist, eggy inside that goes great with the fluffy rice and house hot sauce. Even the brioche French toast - which, with its mountain of whipped cream and seasonal fruits, seems overly complex - nails the simple qualities that make French toast so good. The toast itself is both crunchy and fluffy, the fruit is fresh, the whipped cream isn’t too sweet.
Occasionally, Otus’s simplicity can be a shortcoming. The curries and papaya salad lack any punch, which is disappointing, and the different kinds of fried rice are only as good as the proteins you pair them with (our favorites are the pork and the crab). That’s not to say Otus isn’t good for a casual lunch or dinner. Some of the best dishes here are more dinner than breakfast, which still doesn’t stop us from ordering them at 8am. Even in the morning, we’ll get the the moo ping pork skewers or the Ms. Dang Crispy Rice On Fire - which is spicy, salty, sour, crunchy, and fun to say out loud.
No matter when you go to Otus, you won’t be disappointed. This is well-cooked, interesting Thai food that you’ll be thinking about long after you finish your leftovers tomorrow. But when you go for breakfast - even if that breakfast is grilled pork and crispy rice - you’ll feel like you’re getting in on some big secret. The kind that you won’t get sued for sharing.
Breakfast in bed never really appealed to us before eating this, but now, we’d do anything to have a Thai breakfast set brought to us every Saturday morning.
Is it surprising to see French toast with cream and berries on a Thai menu? Yes. But that shouldn’t stop you from splitting this massive breakfast plate with whomever you’re eating with.
Another great breakfast item that’s highly worth braving Hollywood on a Saturday morning for - the deep-fried egg omelet is the mother of all hangover cures.
It’s good pad see eew - the noodles are tender, the broccoli is crunchy, and the sauce is both sweet and salty. Get it with tofu.
These Thai street-style grilled pork skewers are extremely addictive, and come with a side of papaya salad and sticky rice, so you could (in theory) make a whole meal of this.
Maybe the best-named dish in LA. It’s not quite as spicy as we’d like based on the name, but the mix of sour pork and crispy rice is complex and very good.
Our favorite noodles at Otus, these are thin-cut egg noodles with a BBQ-style pork on top. Like leftover pizza, we will eat these for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or anytime in between.