Had never been to either place, and was impressed by both! I've seen recommendations for Orris on this board, and finally went on Saturday. They don't take reservations, but we had no trouble getting a table for 2 around 7. But then by 7:30 it was packed, so go early! Everything we had was excellent--including a snapper carpachio (sp?) special, filet mignon skewer, veal sweetbreads, crab cakes, and shrimp tempura. The shrimp tempura was especially impressive because it was fried just the right amount--not overfried--and was complemented perfectly by the curry sauce which accompanied it. Yum! I will definitely be going back. The five small plates, and two orders of green tea, were around $65 before tip.
Then on Sunday night we went to Mama D's in Manhattan Beach. This is an ordinary red sauce italian kind of place offering a long menu of all the usual suspects: pasta, veal, chicken, and eggplant parmagiana, ravioli, lasagna, pizza, etc. But they do these ordinary dishes really well. So if you are in the mood for this kind of stuff, I would definitely recommend it. It is a loud, family-oriented place with a fun atmosphere. They also don't take reservations, and we had to wait about 15 minutes for a table for 2 around 7 on Sunday. We shared mozarella sticks, then I had veal denni (breaded veal with eggplant, red sauce, and mozarella, with a side of spagetti) and my husband had some kind of pasta dish with buffalo mozarella and shrimp. The appetizer and two entrees were about $40 before tip.