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AJ | Dec 30, 200412:48 PM

After reading all the rave reviews about Orris, my husband and I finally got out there and experienced what all the fuss is about.
The first surprise was that they do not take reservations! Excellent! We got there early enough to be seated immediately. Although the restaurant is crammed and you basically end up sitting with people you've never met before, we embraced the situation and made friends with our neighbors by drooling over their food selections. Turns out they were chowhounds too, so we had a nice evening sharing restaurant tips and recommeding the dishes we were eating at the time.

As it's small plates and my husband was ravenous (as usual) we got through a number of mouthwatering dishes.

Smoked salomon on a potato cake with salmon roe and creme fraiche.

Roasted beets with a sheeps milk cheese - light and perfect together. a really clean, fresh dish.

Steamed manilla clams with a superb garlicky wine broth (and they are happy to give you extra bread to mop up that amazing broth!)

Lamb loin carpaccio infused with garlic and rosemary was simply bursting with flavor.

Rock shrimp tempura a fantastic light batter and the japanese salt added that extra burst of flavor.

Crab cakes - interesting although not the best I've ever had. Probably my least favorite dish (and I still enjoyed it!)

Seared duck breast - my husband was disappointed to have this served cold but was thrilled by the extremely spicy sauce served with it. I though it was perfectly done, light and bursting with flavor.

See, I told you we ate a lot!
Overall I thought the food was fantastic. A lighter take on some of the more traditional tapas places around town (Primitivo, La Paella and Cobras & Matadors). My husband was less enthused although that's only because he'd got himself excited about a night of Ginger Brewed Pot Roast at The Nook and was wanting more hearty fare.

My only complaint came at the end of the night when the bill arrived. The waitress had made a mistake with our wine service earlier in the eveing, bringing a glass when we ordered a bottle. She said not to worry as she'd just taken that from a bottle she opened so she would simply bring the rest of the bottle to the table. She did however proceed to open a new bottle at the table. Then when the bill came she charged us for a bottle and a glass of wine. I didn't say anything as I was happy to drink it at the time, but a mistake is a mistake and I don't feel we should have been charged for the extra glass.

A minor bump in what was otherwise a fantastic meal and the total bill was just $100 (for everything above, plus water, a bottle and a glass of wine!)

2006 Sawtelle Blvd.
Tel. 310.268.2212

Just one more thing. The people seated next to us had some great restaurant recommendations, one of them being Yakitori on Sawtelle. I'd love to hear more about restaurants we must try in that area. There are so many, it would be great to hear your favorites.

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