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west side Asian? Orris? any place else?

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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  1. 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. 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

        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.

      2. 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

          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.

        2. 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

            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. 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).