Dinner at Orris

grilled romaine-1
Last August I was in Los Angeles for only 2 nights  and my cousin and his family arrived on my second day there. We had to make up for lost time.

We had to leave my two adorable nephews behind and went to dinner 30 minutes away. As my cousin Sidney told me years ago, “everything in L.A. is 30 minutes away.”
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Mary, Sid’s wife, brought me to one of her favorite restaurants, Orris. Orris was an Asian fusion restaurant that specialized in small plates, Asian tapas if you can call it that.
Orris Restaurant

It was a small restaurant that was filled to the max. Even with reservations we had to wait for 45 minutes in chilly nighttime L.A. weather. Mary assured me it was worth the wait and my shivering.
Orris Restaurant-1

Orris Restaurant-2

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blurry Mary and Sidney

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Mary ordered a LOT of small dishes for the three of us to share. The portions may be small but by the end of the meal we were groaning and loosening our belts.

The seafood ceviche was very fresh and bursting with flavor. The octopus was very tender.
ceviche
ceviche $8

ceviche-1

I don’t really eat raw fish but the snapper carpaccio was amazing. The fresh fish was topped with a shallot, ponzu, olive oil dressing. Toasted almonds gave the delicate fish a nice crunchy contrast.
snapper carpaccio
snapper carpaccio $10.50

I don’t like cooked lettuce. I never eat it in Chinese restaurants. I like all my lettuce to be raw so I was quite hesitant to try the grilled romaine.

I don’t know how to describe this wonderful dish. How can plain charred romaine leaves taste like seared steak?  The romaine lettuce had a slight natural sweetness and sharp saltiness from the shaved Parmesan.  I could taste olive oil and some citrus in the dressing.
grilled romaine
grilled hearts of romaine with Parmesan dressing $10

It was a really fantastic and complex dish made from simple ingredients. Even after eating all the succeeding dishes my mind and taste buds couldn’t stop reminiscing on how good the grilled romaine was.
grilled romaine-2

The halibut tempura with tomato tarragon sauce was another winner. The aggressive flavor of the tomato sauce was a perfect complement to a mild fish like halibut. 
halibut tempura
halibut tempura $10.50

The free range fried chicken was so soft and tender. The sauce was a sweet and spicy yuzu (Japanese citrus fruit) sauce that tasted like barbecue sauce. I couldn’t taste the yuzu much. The sauce didn’t taste that salty but after a while my lips hurt a bit.
fried chicken japonaise
fried chicken Japonaise $7

I literally closed my eyes with the first bite of cod. It melted in my mouth. The fish was simply and mildly spiced but the basil mashed potatoes were out of this world.
basil marinated black cod
basil marinated black cod $11

We saw Chef Shiro sitting at the bar and taking his evening meal. As soon as he finished we sequestered him for a photo op with us.
Chef Shiro
Chef Shiro w/ Mary and me

The lamb was simply grilled. No fancy spices just delicious au jus. The star was the thick and tender perfectly cooked lamb.
Australian lamb chops
Australian lamb chops $17.50

The mushrooms were just sautéed but earthy and yummy. It was the perfect  accompaniment to the lamb.
seasonal mushrooms
seasonal mushrooms $8

The crab legs seemed to have been boiled in lots of salty water. I was expecting sweet succulent crab but instead got salty and not too tender crab. The dressing was also non distinct and ordinary. This was the only disappointing dish for me.
Alaskan king crab leg
Alaskan king crab leg $14.50

The apple tarte tatin was not the usual kind drenched in syrup.  It was light and super crisp. It was wonderful with the vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce.
apple tart
apple tarte tatin $7.50

The flourless Valhrona cake was light and airy not dense like the usual flourless chocolate cake. That’s probably why it needed a big glob of chocolate whipped cream.  The coffee gelato was the best!
flourless chocolate cake
flourless chocolate cake $7.50

The bill actually wasn’t too bad considering how much wine, food and desserts we consumed. Plus savvy shopper Mary had a 30% discount coupon.  If you’re in L.A. you have to do yourself a favor and eat at Orris. Do not, I repeat, do NOT forget to order the grilled heart of romaine.
Orris bill

We closed down the restaurant!
Orris restaurant-3

Orris' menu

Orris' menu-1

Orris' menu-2

Orris Restaurant
2006 Sawtelle Boulevard
Los Angeles, Ca 90025
telephone: (310) 268-2212

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