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SAWTELLE, as good as it gets?

Craving creative food and fine wines by the glass tonight on the westside.....
tried ORRIS for the first time, no reservation, just walked in and have five incredible
Asian/French tapas.....cuc noodles w/ fresh picked crab.....melt in your mouth sliced duck breast....szechuan snapper carpaccio....heirloom pork w/ green peppercorn sauce....
and to drink, all by the glass......Paso Robles Viogner.....Japanese select sake....
ande Aussie Shiraz....dessert, oh-no not here.....nice walk on a warm winter night,
past the Giant Robot stores....past the crowd lined up at KOREAN BBQ TOFU HOUSE...
.....down Sawtelle to the latest PINKBERRY......got a swril w/ their seasonal fresh pomegarante seeds sprinkled all about which I ate as I walked back to my car wayyyyyyy up Sawtelle,
reminded me of eating/walking in NYC, the greatest City of 'em all......

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  1. Went to Orris for the 1st time this w/end. Had a great time. Before we even ordered, we were brought a complimentary bruschetta -- I can't remember the topping (seafood) that was nice. Can't remember it all, but had manilla clams (nice broth and french bread to accompany), tuna tartare, smoked salmon croquettes (ultimate comfort food), asparagus salad (delicious), scallops with mushrooms in a mustard sauce, black cod... some other things I can't remember. Only disappointment were the red peppers with goat cheese -- kind of typical and bland. I had sake, others had beer. We had a cheese plate and chocolate cake for dessert. The cheeses were nice (I liked 2 out of the 4 in particular) and the chocolate cake with coffee ice cream was really, really good (I only got to have 1 bite before it all disappeared). We had 5 in our party. The the most part, the waiter was kind enough to bring us 5 bites of everything (whether or not that was the usual quantity). Looking forward to going again, but interested in trying Musha (not on Sawtelle) soon.

    1 Reply
    1. re: fat kitty

      I have been to Orris a bunch of times and Musha as well, but they are not really similar. Orris is much more like French food with a Japanese influence (i.e., fusion). Musha is an izakaya--Japanese pub food. Much more casual (and cheaper). It's a very lively place and I really recommend Musha, but don't expect the food to be as good as Orris or even close. That said, some of the dishes are very good and it's a fun place to go. Have the grilled saba (my favorite dish--cooked at your table by the waiter with a little blowtorch) and/or the spicy tuna with rice cakes. Many other tasty little dishes as well. You can reserve at Musha, by the way (unlike Orris), which I recommend. They get very crowded.

    2. DAHLING....a further heavenly experience involved dining at Hide, then skipping over to Beard Papa for fresh from the oven chocolate cream puffs to go...THEN saunter over to Pinkberry for a medium original with pomegranate, blueberries and mangoes. Utter heaven.

      1. FURAIBO is where it's at, baby. Hampen cheese! Hampen cheese!

        1. just checked out the ORRIS website, and the food looks pretty tasty! They don't list prices onthe website (uh oh). Does anyone know the average price for some of the dishes and wine there? Thanks for any info!

          2 Replies
          1. re: krushdnasty

            I can't remember individual prices. It is small plates/tapas style. As I recall, two people with moderate-sized appetites with one drink each was under $70, maybe under $60 (but that's about a year ago maybe). It's pretty reasonably priced.

            1. re: krushdnasty

              Dishes are $6 to $12. Usually 4-5 items per dish.

              Always excellent.

            2. next time have dessert at Orris, he always makes something really special

              1. Interesting...I'm a NYer moving to LA in January and have decided upon this very neighborhood as the best compromise between chow, walkability, and proximity to work. Sounds from your post like I made the right choice!

                2 Replies
                1. re: a_and_w

                  You made a good choice! You will be able to "chow" in this general neighborhood for quite sometime without getting bored. And when you do begin to tire after many years (!), you can expand your radius just a bit and open another entire world of great food in West LA, still not too far from Sawtelle. You will discover Ramen-ya and Nanbankan and on and on and on!

                  1. re: a_and_w

                    As a former Brooklynite who now lives 3 blocks from Sawtelle, it is a good neighborhood for walkability, but it is a smaller walkable world than pretty much anywhere I lived or worked in NY.

                    That said, the chow options are pretty cool, down to the fact that there are 3 Japanese markets of varying size within 3 blocks, plus 4-5 boba hangouts, a consistently good sushi place (Kiriko), an iazakaya place that is fun and has its menu highlights (Furaibo) and at least a dozen other places discussed regularly here.

                    Additionally, if you have a NYers sense of what is walking distance, you have A LOT of options.

                  2. it's also worth mentioning that you can do all of this new york-ish walking in FLIP FLOPS. in december.

                    i do think sawtelle could use more art galleries. and maybe a jin patisserie-esque asian afternoon tea place.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: greengelato

                      Ah -- that's exactly what's missing on Sawtelle...something like Jin's would be sublime...or an Amandine or Paris Baguette...

                      The boba places serve the students well, but it would be nice to have something a little more sophisticated for us in our post college years, where we could enjoy a cup of hot tea with an Asian sweet.

                      1. re: liu

                        There are at least two bakeries on Sawtelle (not counting Beard Papas!). There is a little Franco-Japanese place near Kiriko and, just South of Olympic, there is a branch of the chain bakery Champagne.

                        1. re: New Trial

                          New Trial -- Beard Papas COUNTS!

                          We have tried, on occasion, to visit the little Franco-Japanese place near Kiriko, and each time it was either closed or closing; I think they do not stay open at night???? Since I don't know their name, perhaps someone else will and can post their hours. Has anyone tried their offerings?

                      2. re: greengelato

                        Oh, I plan to -- in about a week to look for places to live. Woo hoo! I really, really miss California...