Because of the review in the LAT, we expected it to be hard to get into Orris last night...but it is my girlfriend's dad's favorite place near our house and it was his last night in town...so we went. It was about 8:30 and we were seated right away. Within 10 minutes, there were no tables available inside, although there were some spaces at the bar and the outside seating area (with two large heaters) was entirely empty.
The food, as it has been the other three times I have been there in the last month, was great. We had:
*grilled romaine (special of the day) - lemony and with a great hard cheese
*albacore sashimi - not really sashimi since it is barely seared, but it was perfect fish served with an onion sauce that added sweet notes without overpowering
*house smoked salmon platter - light and perfect, served with a fatty cream, more like Mexican crema than American sour cream
*spicy scallops - not really spicy, but that it what my receipt says - tasty, but then again, I am a sucker for very fresh scallops
*lamb loin carpaccio - don't eat meat, so didn't try it, but it got thumbs up - one note: like the albacore, it was lightly seared so not a real carpaccio, I guess
*potato dauphinois - creamy, warm, comfort food unlike anything my Mom ever made
*dungeness crab cakes - served with a wonderful whole grain mustard sauce - even my girlfriend, who is always underwhelmed by crab cakes, thought these were excellent and the light dusting of sauce worked well to highlight the crab flavor
*mussels - if you sop up the meltingly wonderful winey, buttery sauce (and Orris provides warm bread for just that purpose), this is probably the biggest serving on the menu. The mussels and sauce were not gussied up into something they weren't - just the basics done well.
*two glasses of wine and one Okinawan beer
Total bill, with tax and tip for 8 dishes and 3 drinks: $97. I think we had the right amount of food--always a concern with small plates places when it isn't clear how much to order. We ordered in two shifts so as not to over-order. So, by that guide, $35 per person is about right -- IFF you have one drink. Order by the bottle and prices go up, up, up. If we had skipped the drinks, the tab would have gone down by about $20.
Very glad this place opened in my neighborhood.