Orsa & Winston, Los Angeles, 7/19/16

exterior
exterior

Orsa & Winston is a small restaurant that combines parts of Italian and Japanese cuisines in their food. It is named for the chef’s two dogs, which we and Frankie were able to meet at the end of the evening.  They serve a 6 course tasting as well as a la carte options. However with 48 hours advance notice they will fix you a “super omakase” tasting which is 20 plus courses served to you while you sit at the bar next to the kitchen. There were 4 stools available for this option but we were the only ones that night.  We went well over the 20 courses and they did offer us the option to quit, warning that we had another half dozen savories before they started sweets.  

interior
interior
Frankie checks out the kitchen
Frankie checks out the kitchen

In fact, the service could not have been more accommodating and friendly.  For example, I asked for  a couple ice cubes for my water and instead I got a bowl of ice with a spoon on a plate that was constantly refreshed throughout the evening. Chef Josef Centeno was in the kitchen and he creates the Super Omakase menu each time it’s ordered with what’s fresh and available.  Maxfield Schnee, general manager and beverage director helped us find an interesting array of wines to have with our tasting but also offers pairings that go with each course if you don’t want to buy bottles.  If you get the chance to go, do it – but go hungry.  It is a wonderful several hours of interesting combinations of flavors and textures and fun interactions!  As it includes so many things I’ll include my comments after the description of the course.  Hope you enjoy the pictures as much as we enjoyed the meal!

sparkler
sparkler
Salt & pepper ume, toybox melon amazake
Salt & pepper ume, toybox melon amazake.  One tart and one salty, and both mixed great with the cool refreshing soup.

 

Boquerones, sumac honey, coriander
Boquerones, sumac honey, coriander.  Basically a tempura white anchovy.
Santa Barbara spot prawn aguachile
Santa Barbara spot prawn aguachile.  Ceviche like with tomatillo nasturtiums. Amazing textures and the prawns were very good.

 

 

adding sauce
adding sauce
Branzino polpettas, fermented chile dashi
Branzino polpettas, fermented chile dashi. The branzino ball was mixed with some abalone in a spicy sauce.  Great with a terrific aftertaste.

 

chef in the kitchen
chef in the kitchen
Mangalitsa pork testa, ninja radish, truffle
Mangalitsa pork testa, ninja radish, truffle. Pork cheek and shoulder meat mixed with the truffles – meaty and savory with an wonderful array of flavors. Very rich.

 

Torchon of foie gras, ear grey champagne grape, brioche
Torchon of foie gras, ear grey champagne grape, brioche.  An exciting twist on a classic set of tastes.  Brioche among the best ever, texture and taste wise.
Frankie met a little pig on the counter
Frankie met a little pig on the counter

 

Chef serves burrata
Chef serves burrata
Sanp pea, smoked burrata, charred scallion
Snap pea, smoked burrata, charred scallion.  Chef brought the smoked burrata out and divided it on our two plates. Served with mint, pork shreds and fresh peas.  Yes! Liked this one a lot!

 

Koji fried manchester farms quail, tatsoi, kumquat
Koji fried manchester farms quail, tatsoi, kumquat.  Baby quail and wing in buttermilk coating with kumquat sauce and a spicy chili sauce then topped with truffles.  Another winner.
closer
closer

 

Frankie played with my ice
Frankie played with my ice

 

a5wagyu
a5wagyu. This Japanese wagyu ribeye was served on rice that was mixed with bits of meat from the slicer.  Served rare and no knife was needed with this tender, succulent meat. The rice was equally amazing. Loved it!
wine
wine

 

start
start
Lemon cucumber, bay scallop, damson plum
Lemon cucumber, bay scallop, damson plum.

 

kitchen equipment
kitchen equipment

 

Rigatoni, carbonara, pancetta
Rigatoni, carbonara, pancetta.  Pork, Espaliet pepper, shiso herbs. Pasta perfectly cooked and the meat bits were crispy explosions of flavor.

 

White wonder tomato carpaccio, sugar kiss melon, basid bud
White wonder tomato carpaccio, sugar kiss melon, basid bud. The melon was mind blowing and the tomatoes were great.  You were supposed to fold over the tomatoes and make a “taco” shaped piece. A perfect pairing of tastes. Wonderful!
now fold over
now fold over
Frankie was starting to swoon
Frankie was starting to swoon

 

Agedashi bone marrow, black lentil
Agedashi bone marrow, black lentil. Padron peppers added a slight spice. A great combo. Very succulent!

 

Squid ink spaghettini, butter poached main lobster claw
Squid ink spaghettini, butter poached main lobster claw.

 

red wine
red wine
28 day dry aged pitman farms duck, gooseberry, leek
28 day dry aged Pitman farms duck, gooseberry, leek.  Also a little spinach and a smashed and fried fingerling potato.  Wow, Wow!

 

Satsuki okayu, katsuobushi
Satsuki okayu, katsuobushi.  Japanese rice risotto with bark of fish skin truffle. Nice!
Frankie posed with the pictures of Orsa and Winston
Frankie posed with the pictures of Orsa and Winston

 

Mirugai, nebula plum
Mirugai, nebula plum. Amazing fruit that tasted a lot like nectarine and Geoduck.  Very good

 

Shishito and white corn agnolotti, paitan broth
Shishito and white corn agnolotti, paitan broth.  Slightly gummy. Tasted good but a step down from killer of the former courses.
plated
plated

 

Chef Freddy
Chef Freddy

 

squash blossom, tonnato ricotta
squash blossom, tonnato ricotta.  Very nice strong tasting morel.
as plated
as plated
Frankie took a nap
Frankie took a nap

 

uni, corn grits
uni, corn grits
as plated
as plated

 

Chef Jermaine
Chef Jermaine

 

Ribeye, garbanzo, black garlic
Ribeye, garbanzo, black garlic.  Nebraska ribeye and garbanzo beans. The beef was tender and nicely cooked. The beans tasted of the greens because so they were so fresh.
as plated
as plated

 

Buttermilk panna cotta, hibiscus yuzu granita
Buttermilk panna cotta, hibiscus yuzu granita.  Perfect textures and a great finish for the savory courses.
Hanner with Frankie
Hanner with Frankie

 

Harry's berries, lemon verbena, mascarpone
Harry’s berries, lemon verbena, mascarpone.  Light and luscious. Fragrant!
as plated
as plated

 

adding sauce
adding sauce
Ogden melon soup, crystalized shiso, pickled melon
Ogden melon soup, crystalized shiso, pickled melon.  Loved it!
Frankie thought I should have left her some
Frankie thought I should have left her some

 

Green tea custard brulee, pistachio, matcha
Green tea custard brulee, pistachio, matcha. Loved this! Like cheesecake with green tea.
plated
plated

 

Romain charming Frankie with his French accent
Romain charming Frankie with his French accent
nice group of workers
nice group of workers
Gold dust peach cagliata, burro crostata, hazelnut
Gold dust peach cagliata, burro crostata, hazelnut. Hazelnut shell was so light and amazing. Delicious!!!
as plated
as plated
Maxfield with Frankie
General manager and beverage director Maxfield Schnee with Frankie

 

last treat
cream puff. At this point who cares if it was good?  But it was!
the real Maxfield
the real Maxfield
Chef with Frankie, Orsa and Winston
Chef with Frankie, Orsa and Winston

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