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west side Asian? Orris? any place else?

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littlebear Apr 20, 2007 01:20 PM

I've got a business contact/friend coming into town this week and would like to take her to a very nice restaurant with very good food on the west side. I asked where she would like to go and this is the answer I received: "west coasty/asian food would be amazing -- the beach sounds good but (after 18mos in Iowa) so does upscale, hip, trendy...."

I was thinking that maybe Orris on Sawtelle or Axe in Venice might be good. But, I've never been to either one of these restaurants and am wondering if anyone can tell me if they'd work--and, also, if there are any other places that might fit the bill?

Thanks, Littlebear

PS I've heard that Matsuhitsa is very, very good, but I've also heard that it is very expensive (but I'm not sure what that means in real dollars and since, my guest might pick up the tab, I don't want to put her on the spot)? So, does anyone know anything about this too?

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    Ernie RE: littlebear Apr 20, 2007 01:35 PM

    I had a very good experience at Naraya Thai. Do a CH search to find my report. It is upscale Thai with some interesting fusion-y twists

    1. tony michaels RE: littlebear Apr 20, 2007 02:06 PM

      Two other excellent Asain fusion places are Mako in Beverly Hills and Celadon in West Hollywood. We have been to both recently and like them both for the excellence and inventiveness of their food. Celadon is the flashier, (but not in a bad way) of the two in terms of look.

      http://www.makorestaurant.com/index_f...

      www.celadongalerie.com

      1 Reply
      1. re: tony michaels
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        Jwsel RE: tony michaels Apr 23, 2007 06:04 PM

        Orris, Mako and Celadon are all very good, but for hip and young, I highly recommend Celadon. Orris and Mako are small restaurants with small plates and good wine. Celadon also has small plates, but is a larger restaurant and serves great and unusual mixed drinks.

        All would be good choices, and Orris and Mako are probably slightly better in terms of pure food (though I really liked Celadon's food). But I attended a great celebration dinner at Celadon a few weeks ago with a bunch of mid-20s and early-30s types, and everyone had a blast.

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        jenjunum RE: littlebear Apr 20, 2007 02:24 PM

        Orris is great but it's small plates and to me small plates are meant to be shared. As long as this person is a friend too you might be comfortable sharing (and ordering together) but if it's more business-y I could see how that might be akward. It's also small, crowded and a little noisy if you want to have a serious business conversation. The food is good though.

        1 Reply
        1. re: jenjunum
          maybelle RE: jenjunum Apr 20, 2007 04:41 PM

          Agree with jenjunum about sharing with a colleague... so, I think I would go with Mako before Orris, if only because you can get some bigger dishes at Mako and not share. The prices are also reasonable for a business dinner.

          I will probably get slammed for this here (and I can't really recommend it either way cuz I've never been), but you can also try Crustacean.

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          New Trial RE: littlebear Apr 20, 2007 08:05 PM

          Orris is wonderful (as others have noted, small plates meant to be shared) but it can get noisy and does not take reservations--if you don't mind sitting at the counter, it is usually not a problem to be seated fairly quickly. I would not consider Axe "upscale, hip, trendy" and am not a fan of the food there. Musha (Japanese pub food) on Wilshire near 5th in Santa Monica is also great but casual, crowded and noisy. Chinois On Main in Santa Monica would typically be a high recommendation but for your concern that she might pick up the tab (not only crowded and noisy but very expensive). Mako on S. Beverly Dr. in Beverly Hills would be a good, quieter choice but take you farther from the Beach. Ditto for Celadon. Avoid Crustacean as it is an abomination (attractive decor but that about does it). I have not yet been to Gonpachi on La Cienega but it has been written up by others on this Board and got a nice mini-review in Thursday's L.A. Times.

          1 Reply
          1. re: New Trial
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            maudies5 RE: New Trial Apr 20, 2007 09:49 PM

            Orris does not take reservations!!
            That is a big problem as there is nowhere to wait except outside on chilly Sawtelle Blvd.
            The other problem is that the "small plates" are so small that you will be heading for Pinkberry down the street after your meal.

          2. ipsedixit RE: littlebear Apr 20, 2007 10:36 PM

            Orris is good, and so is Mako as others have suggested.

            Might also want to consider Beacon and the newly opened Gonpachi (on La Cienaga).

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              Nicole RE: littlebear Apr 21, 2007 11:05 AM

              Agree that Orris has excellent food, but it is not upscale or hip, and does not take reservations, so it's probably not a good choice. Mako is probably a better bet because it is a more upscale, less crowded version of Orris, that does take reservations. Matsuhisa's food is excellent, but the restaurant itself isn't very upscale feeling...it's pretty plain, and when I was there I saw a celebrity, but I also saw tourists in shorts and t-shirts. I'm not sure what the regular menu prices are because I had omakase, which was $100 per person. I think Mako is probably your best bet, given the criteria you presented.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Nicole
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                littlebear RE: Nicole Apr 22, 2007 10:51 AM

                Thanks so much everyone.

                1. re: littlebear
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                  mc michael RE: littlebear Apr 22, 2007 03:23 PM

                  I keep hearing good things about Sushi Zo.

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                markethej RE: littlebear Apr 22, 2007 03:29 PM

                West Coasty / Asian food near the beach? Might be an expense account? Sounds like Nobu should be in the mix rather than Matsuhisa.

                2 Replies
                1. re: markethej
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                  littlebear RE: markethej Apr 23, 2007 02:07 PM

                  I've always wanted to try Nobu. Any idea about the price range involved?

                  1. re: littlebear
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                    spicychow RE: littlebear Apr 23, 2007 08:48 PM

                    I was just at Nobu Malibu, and loved the food. Not sure how much it is (I didn't pay), but I do think it's a little on the pricy side. Really good cooked foods as well... the alaskan king crab tempura was awesome!

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