• Freddy Rivera

Dinner at Orsa & Winston

I keep a to-do list of restaurants on my phone. Some have survived this pandemic, some unfortunately have not. Some of the many great restaurants of Los Angeles have permanently closed - one being my all time favorite - Broken Spanish. But not all things are bad. Some great ones still exists and are open for business. So I thought, better get started on this list now before its too late!

Orsa & Winston was next on my list. I was seated in the alley adjacent to the restaurant under canopies between two skyscrapers. I was also lucky enough to sit next to a giant fan. It has been hot here in LA. The reservation was early - 6pm so the crowd was just building. The ambiance was relaxed, stress-free and non-pretentious. That was already a huge WIN so far. But now let's get started with the food...

Orsa is multi-course meal only, so nothing is a la carte. The first meal that came out was compliments of the chef, some kind of slow roasted peanuts drenched in some kind of soy sauce (seen above, first picture) but don't quote me on that. Either way, the peanut was brilliantly soft and satisfying. How could one make a peanut taste THAT good? Thanks Chef.

Second came the kanpachi crudo - a sushi like dish that was light on the stomach but full of flavor. It may have been only a few bites but when it tastes that good having too much of it feels wrong.

Third meal that came out was the girl and dug salad. This was interesting because it was made of ice plant with buttermilk panna cotta and I have NEVER heard of ice plant before but what-do-ya-know, you learn something new every day. Also light on the pallet but refreshing to the tongue.

My favorite dish was the fourth, the agnolotti bolognese. For someone who loves pasta, this satisfied me in all the ways that it could. I wanted more so bad. I even dipped my bread in the sauce. Mmmmmmm... if I had to pick one plate but make it bigger and be my only meal of the day, it would have been this one.

Roasted duck confit came after with a salted shiso mostarda sauce. This was enough to be someone's half meal for sure. Definitely heavier of all the dishes and if you like duck, you will be pleasantly pleased with its fusion with the sauce. More dipping occurred here.

I'm one to always want dessert after a meal and to our luck, came another meal. The chococlate budino - caramalized candy stripe figs, cashew feuilletine and masago. Think of a chocolate mousse with a crunchy texture added to it. This was so good. Besides that pasta I wanted more of this.

The experience was closed out by to my surprise, two more dishes, one of them being ice cream and another was cheese. While most of the plates were tiny, after eating 6-8 courses over a 2 hour window is plenty. You feel satisfied plenty.

You can expect the bill to be a lot. Its expensive here, especially if you do a wine pairing. The wines they paired with seemed to be a youthful and small-business liked type labels from overseas. Labels I never heard of or seen before. But each had its story and why they picked them. Try it with that pasta or roasted duck. Something indescribable happens. That can also be said for the wonderful experience I had with Orsa & Winston in downtown LA.

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