Chef Teresa Montaño is known as the chef who has brought the flavors of Valencia to Highland Park.
Chef Montaño debuted, Otoño, a Spanish-inspired restaurant, on the busiest block in Highland Park earlier this summer. And by the looks of it – she’s not going anywhere, anytime soon.
Before venturing off for the creation of her own restaurant, Montaño was running Pasadena’s critically acclaimed Ración, a Basque-inspired cuisine which focuses more on bread opposed to rice. Montaño’s decision to serve Spanish cuisine mixed with her own personal flare was to encourage Los Angeles to order beyond the realm of more “recognizable dishes” like paella.
In a quest for authenticity, Montaño traveled to the birthplace of paella itself: Valencia, Spain. After evaluating the culinary history of the region and shadowing up-and-coming Spanish chefs, Montaño eventually developed her own technique leading her to shape a little slice of Highland Park’s very own paella paradise. Serving her guests in a 1920’s building with 20-foot brick walls and massive pillars, this fresh yet vintage eatery includes a distinct boldness fueled by its fusion of cultures.
Expect traditional Spanish recipes with a touch of California ingredients and Asian influences. Ontoño offers a variety of paellas like a seafood medley filled with local Santa Barbara mussels, prawns, and sweet shrimp and paella negra, made with Japanese squid ink. Enjoy your meals alongside cocktails like the lavender tonic or tapas such as the churros de patatas bravas served with salsa bravo and garlic aioli!
For Montaño, Otoño is “kind of a culmination of listening to what people want and what they’re expecting from a Spanish restaurant, and also just remembering how delicious and special paella can be.”
Location: Otoño, 5715 N. Figueroa St, Los Angeles 90042. See it on Google maps.