Echo Park’s New Sake Bar, Ototo

A minimal but warm space that aims to make the Japanese tipple more approachable

Ototo is a venture for chef Charles Namba and sommelier Courtney Kaplan (of Tsubaki next door) to share their joint passion for sake and food. While Namba helms the kitchen, Kaplan is sharing her extensive knowledge of sake—telling vivid stories of breweries throughout Japan—and recommending sakes to bar-goers, who range from rookies to experts. The food and sake at Ototo (and the pairings that occur) may …

The Design Minds Behind LA’s Firehouse Hotel

The nine-room downtown newcomer exists in a beautifully transformed historic building

On Santa Fe, just south of 7th Street in the downtown LA Arts District, a firehouse built in 1927 has freshly painted red doors that now open each day to reveal the Firehouse Hotel. The team behind the DTLA newcomer—including Hotel Covell‘s Dustin Lancaster, along with designers Sally Breer and Jake Rodehuth-Harrison of ETC.etera and Evan Raabe from Creative Space—found themselves exploring, upgrading and adding to …