Take Me Out Tonight

Dinner at Orsa & Winston

Confession: we had an amazing dinner on Saturday night at Orsa & Winston here in L.A. and when we left the restaurant, I forgot to ask for a copy of the menu (which changes every day). This is particularly tricky because their website doesn’t feature the menu that we ate and now I have all of these pictures of food and what I remember about them is pretty embarrassing. But you know what? This isn’t an official food blog, this is just my own personal blog, so if you’re mad that I don’t can’t remember things like “nasturtium blossom gastrique” you’ll just have to deal with it! After all, you’ll probably just scroll through the pictures anyway. (P.S. I wrote the restaurant an e-mail asking for the dish names, so when I hear back I’ll repost this post with the menu at the bottom.)

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So Orsa & Winston is located next to Bar Ama in downtown; Bar Ama being one of our favorite restaurants, though Craig and I did once get into a fight there because he wanted to just order three raw seafood items for himself because he “wasn’t that hungry” and I ordered the queso and something with beef and he wouldn’t share that stuff with me and I was annoyed. His sister later said that it’s because I’m from a culture where families operate as multi-headed creatures and he’s from a family where everyone’s their own individual. It got very deep. What was I saying?

Oh, so the restaurant has a very reasonably priced $80 tasting menu which may not sound “reasonably priced” when you see that number, but when you see all the food that we got for $80–and also see the quality of everything–it’s a great bargain when compared to fancier places like Providence, etc.

Now for the moment of truth: what do I remember about these pictures? The first bite was a broiled fig and a house-made watermelon sake that was very refreshing.

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Then came sliced raw fish–hamachi? I don’t remember–with a habanero jelly that was sweet and spicy. Don’t ask me about the black stuff, just trust that it was good.

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Next up was a gorgeous heirloom tomato salad with pluots—a great, unexpected combination.

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After that, a gift from the chef (and also the lead picture of this post): milk bread that looked like popovers with incredibly flavorful butter, chicken liver mousse, and radishes. This may have been my favorite bite of the night: slathering the warm bread with all of that fat = heaven.

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Although this next course was also a favorite bite of the night—a fresh corn soup with a fish soup combined. Summer explosion and a seafood explosion all at once. I loved it.

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Here, a lovely seared scallop with uni on a rice that came all the way from Japan. It’s a certain kind of rice you can’t get here. Please, don’t ask me the name, but I gobbled this up right quick.

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Another treat from the kitchen: nectarines with ground hazelnuts and some kind of cheese.

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Then, the last savory course: a huge raviolo with a Japanese tomato on top.

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After that, a refreshing mix of beets and tomatoes…

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Some kind of tapioca pudding with sorbet and cucumbers….

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And, finally, an incredibly dense and decadent chocolate hazelnut dessert that tasted like the inside of a candy bar in the best possible way.

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Phew! That was tough work—-not eating it, writing about it without a menu for reference. But you got the idea, right? And if you live in L.A., you should do yourself a favor and get thyself to Orsa & Winston stat. It’s the bee’s knees.

UPDATE:
Here’s the full menu, as e-mailed to me by the restaurant.

AMUSE – Amazake soda, caramelized back mission fig, green apple sorrel

1 – Kanpachi crudo, sugarkiss melon jelly, nori

2 – Heirloom tomato salad, pluot, beet pastrami, mouse melon, sake lees dressing

BREAD – Milkbread focaccia, bergamot butter, bone marrow

3 – Mussel & clam chowder, sungold tomato, peewee potato, saffron

4 РSatsuki rice porridge, shellfish béarnaise, snap pea, hokkaido scallop

5 – Egg yolk & ricotta ravioli, momotaro tomato, polenta, braised wagyu beef cheek, pecorino romano

EXTRA – Warabi mochi, strawberry, cherry tomato, beet, saba

EXTRA – Coconut tapioca, lemon sorbet, grapes & melon, vanilla salt meringue

6 – Gianduja bar, malt kinako, chocolate sorbet

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3 Comments

  • Reply Charles CM Bannister September 14, 2015 at 7:28 pm

    You sound like a Brit my friend with some of your sayings, like me. I live in the Philippines but have two sons who live in LA so I have visited your city many times. Just love your new blog hope it isn’t all food you sound like an intersting person\

  • Reply Anne September 15, 2015 at 7:01 am

    Adam – So wonderful to have you back! I’ve really missed your writing and love the idea that you are doing a blog just because. Thanks for doing this. Looking forward to future blog posts as well as your show.

  • Reply Danielle October 2, 2015 at 6:54 am

    As much as I enjoyed reading about that dinner and seeing the pictures, I’m dying to hear more about the family culture conversation!! It sounds fascinating to me.

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