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Orris or Violet?

Deciding between these two for a nice, cozy dinner. . . Menu on-line for Violet doesn't seem to have too many choices, but everyone on this board has had such great comments. Which do you recommend, and what are your favorite dishes at each place? Thanks in advance chowhounds!!

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  1. Two very different experiences... Orris is sort of simple but elegant, French-influenced Japanese fare...somewhat lighter although there are several fried and cream-based choices like my favorite ravioli with shittake cream sauce. If you're feeling in a more Asian mood with the possibility of raw fish choices, go to Orris.
    If you're feeling more like homey comfort food, go to Violet for mac 'n cheese, short tribs, etc.
    Prices are probably similar, although since Violet's food is more filling, you might order fewer dishes there.
    (Whoops, changed it from Musha.)

    1 Reply
    1. Orris. The food is really, really good. Violet is a nice place and I think it gets great reviews because it's a honest, well-prepared meal at a good price in a not-too-fussy place.

        1. Haven't been to Violet, though I hear it's great. I was really, really impressed with my meal at Orris recently. Speaking of high-end comfort food, another great place in the area is Nook.

          1 Reply
          1. re: a_and_w

            Finally got around to trying Violet the other night. The food was, on the whole, fantastic and quite reasonably priced. I'll post a more detailed review on another thread, but I will say I was suitably impressed. I prefer Orris but you really can't go wrong at either. As someone else noted, if you're looking for an Asian influence, Orris is the place to go, while Violet is more about American comfort food. In both cases, I love the creativity and flexibility that small plates provide.

          2. I like both... But for different reasons. I like the autmosphere and service better at Violet, it feels like a much nicer rounded restaurant. My favorite dishes are the short ribs and the Mac N Cheese.

            But if food was the #1 factor, I'd go with Oris. They always have a great variety of dishes. I love their Ahi 'wraps', their crab cakes, their Black Cod in Miso is the BEST I've had in town...


            5 Replies
            1. re: Dommy

              black cod in miso or black cod in basil?

              1. re: budlit

                Miso... I've had that dish all around town and have never liked it, until Orris (My GF ordered it, and I took a bite and ended up eating 1/2 of it! LOL!)


                1. re: Dommy

                  Have you had the version at Sa Rit Gol? If not, I guess I'll HAVE to go to Orris and let you know how the two compare. So far STG's is my favorite.

                  1. re: Pei

                    Nope, but I kinda shy away from ordering cooked fish dishes at most asian restaurants. I like light flavored fish and find the asian palette to be quite the opposite of that... LOL!! That is why I thought i was doomed to hate all versions of this dish.


                    1. re: Dommy

                      Considering that that many of the Asian food centers are made up of islands or have prominent seaside locations (Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, phillipines, singapore, Korea etc) I would reconsider your strategy. You're probably missing out on 85% of the really good stuff.

              1. This one is an easy question for me: Orris hands down. I don't agree with the praise that Violet gets as I was unimpressed with them. Orris, on the other hand, I like so much that I keep going back and bringing new friends to try it out.

                At Orris, I like their Filet Mignon Skewers, Fried Shisito Peppers and their Duck (although it's not on their menu right now).

                1. Personally, I'm not impressed with Orris. They have great service, however I've had problems with consistency and food temperature there. I also feel their dishes aren't complex/unique enough to justify the high prices. I appreciate their effort, but it's a place that I'll never return to.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: dynamike

                    Those filet skewers are like butter, and the roquefort sauce the perfect accompaniment.

                  2. yes, i was not so impressed with violet. the food was all salty and reminded me of restaurant food. Orris sometimes surprises, which is great for a modest restaurant. but it is awfully loud. violet might be too but wasn't in the early hours. i hope one day there will be respect for peace and quiet while dining

                    1. Thanks for all the posts!! Ended up going to Orris based on everyone's suggestions -- and loved it! Each dish we had was incredible. Great service. Really no complaints other than the fact that it was a bit pricey. But, for the quality -- it was worth it. Will definitely return. We ordered the ahi sashimi, a special squash blossum with shrimp paste which was incredible, seared scallops, crab cakes, filet mignon skewer. . . the only item not that great was the seafood springrolls. But, everything was on the whole incredible. Thanks for the rec. chowhounds!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: foodseeker

                        So glad you enjoyed it! :)


                      2. I was eavesdropping on this thread and also made it out to Orris for the first time--for my birthday. I have to say that a great time was had by all. The food was indeed really, really good. We had both the specials, an ahi tartar which was so good, and a lobster tail dish with green beans. It's like each little bite was precious. We also got the seafood spring rolls. I loved it, but my mom wasn't into it. Also ordered potato dauphinois, black cod, filet mignon, grilled veggies, mushrooms (yum), japanese eggplant with foie gras (wow), grilled lettuce, 2 bottles of wine, some sake, and for desert, flourless chocolate cake and apple tart. Highly memorable.

                        1. My problem with Orris is that they do not accept reservations and you are in serious trouble if you show up with more than four in your party. Agree the food is very good

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: maudies5

                            I went to Orris at Sawtelle as per all the recommendations above. I'm definitely not a picky eater, and am a pretty easy to please omnivorous male, who also understands that you often have to pay a premium for high quality food and service.

                            I was quite disappointed in Orris both this evening, and the last time I was there. I was hoping for a much better experience this time, but it was disappointing for the high prices and low decor and serving sizes.

                            The servings are indeed SMALL. $15.50 for 5 small cubes of filet mignon is really pricey at even top-rated restaurants, and for a small low-decor place on Sawtelle ave, it's outrageous. Every little dish I had there was prepared well, and indeed, was tasty, but at $10-$15 per plate for smaller-than appetizer dishes (5 slices of ahi tuna in the $10 plate. And thin slices, at that) it's so outrageously expensive for the limited decor, quality, and quantity, that I cannot possibly recommend this restaurant as a worthwhile experience. Particularly with outstanding Chabuya next door, at which $10 will get you the a full meal with one of the best ramens in all of LA, with equal if not better decor and service. I dropped $40 per person for about 3-4 dishes per person, and it wasn't anywhere close enough to call a dinner - snack would be more appropriate. In comparison, I'd consider any bowl of ramen at Chabuya a legitimate "dinner", so I'm not overshooting here in terms of quantity.

                            Yes, the quality was good, but nowhere near what I'd expect for prices this high. The tuna was sloppily cut, the filet mignon had no special presentation, and the tempura shrimp was, well, plain old tempura.

                            I'm surprised people think this restaurant is so good, considering how high the prices are. At $9 for a LETTUCE plate (yup, only lettuce and dressing, and a small one at that!), this stuff costs more than premium sushi and high-level steakhouses! Sorry, but there's really no comparison in my book. For the same amount of money ($50/person), almost anything you pick will be better value than this place, in my opinion.

                            1. re: agarose2000

                              That's a bummer! Sounds like Orris definitely isn't your thing. Still, comparing it to Chabuya strikes me as silly -- apples to oranges.

                              1. re: a_and_w

                                Only comparing the two because Chabuya is right next door. I agree - they're definitely two completely different category restaurants, and many think Chabuya's ramen is far from outstanding, but I mentioned it because I wished over the entire course of the dinner that I could have saved myself $30 and just gone next door for a better meal and experience!

                                Of course, if you're looking for the small-plate experience, go to something in that category.