Saturday, March 04, 2006
went to a great restaurant in the micro tokyo area of l.a. last night called orris. it's a japanese restaurant, kind of asian-french fusion with a tapas, small plates format. they have counter seating and some tables. not a big restaurant by any means. kitchen is open, surrounded by the counter, in a sort of sushi bar style. we had tuna tartare (off menu special) and asparagus salad to start. then, dungeness crab cakes, grilled vegetables and venison (another off menu special) for the "entree." the asparagus salad was a standout, with a mayonnaise based taragon dressing and toasted hazelnuts. the crabcakes were my favorite hot item; they were almost all crab, with just a little crust on the outside, well seasoned, really allowing the sweet crab to stand out. the venison was pretty tasty, with small strips pan seared, served moist and tender with a red wine reduction. we polished off a bottle of argentinian malbec, which isn't on their online wine list, so i unfortunately can't tell you the name of the winery (because i certainly can't remember it after splitting the bottle). for dessert, we had a napoleon type arrangement with layers of fried wonton skins and fresh fruit and cream and topped with a carmelized poached pear. my friend thought the pear was canned, i couldn't decide. the ambience was nice, if a little cramped. the wait staff was knowledgeable about wine and the menu and very nice (we got a free round of moscato with dessert after my friend got bonked on the head by the waiter). timing of the "courses" was done very well, not a lot of waiting around but not rushed either. all in all, a very enjoyable meal.