Restaurant: Orsa & Winston
Location: FARMERS AND MERCHANTS BANK BUILDING, 122 4th St, Los Angeles, CA 90013. (213) 687-0300
Date: February 16, 2023
Cuisine: Modern American Italian Japanese
Rating: light and very interesting
Orsa & Winston is inspired by Italian and Japanese flavors, connected by the creativity of chef Josef Centeno. They were awarded a Michelin star in 2019 & 2021 and chosen as L.A. Times restaurant of the year in 2020.
Interior is small and intimate.
Open kitchen (of course).
Tasting menu only.
Amuse. Chawanmushi with ice plant. Very much the classic “egg tofu” texture. Slightly bitter flavors and a bit of a black pepper kick.
They don’t allow corkage! Boo! But they did have an interesting wine pairing.
Crudo of Hamachi, fava beans, some kind of citrus. Very pleasant and light.
Saffron Scallop with a bit of green. Very classic combination, creamy, and quite nice. Not very big of course.
More paired wines.
Bitter greens salad. Maybe endive. Interesting crunch, a bit of salinity from the salmon roe, and a quite bitter lettuce profile. Interesting pairing with the oddball white Bordeaux.
Sphagetti with Tomato Sauce and Truffle. Like a high end Spaghetti Pomodoro. Pretty darn tasty. Pasta had some chew, but seemed overcooked compared to a true Italian al dente.
Seafood Satsuki Rice Porridge (supplement). This was my favorite dish (even if it was a carb cheat). Basically a buttery seafood risotto with uni, abalone, etc. I guess technically it’s also like a congee, but such a heavy butter and cream emulsion made it feel far closer to risotto. Either way it was delicious.
Gift of polenta and cheese. Mild and pleasant although fairly bland. I’m never a huge polenta fan.
Honey Cornbread. I really enjoyed this — cheat that it was.
Mixed Berry Panna Cotta.
Chocolate Coconut Cookies. Yummy.
Overall, a light and very interesting meal. Unique dishes for the most part, but a slightly complex and bitter tonal profile and the only thing that stood out as out and out DELICIOUS was the seafood porridge. Pretty small tasting menu, however, even with the supplement I was exactly stuffed. Plus there is the annoying no corkage factor.