“Hey… You know a hip place for dinner downtown?” That’s Boss. And he’s asking because he read the GQ article that referred to DTLA as America’s next great city. You see, Boss occasionally wants to hang with the cool kids — and you, my underpaid pal, are his closest link to the cool kids. Boss doesn’t know that you spend your weekends writing and binge-watching Scandal in your PJ’s, and have no time — or money — to kick it lavishly downtown. And you don’t want Boss getting lost on Skid Row — because after all, he is a little naive. So… Put your lips together and form these three words: Orsa & Winston.
Orsa & Winston is a part of chef Josef Centeno’s emerging downtown empire. His other restaurants – Baco Mercat, Bar Ama and the revival of LA staple, Pete’s – are the heartbeat of DTLA’s historic core. Orsa represents the lone fine dining restaurant in the lineup and has a far calmer, more Westside-friendly vibe than the other spots – despite being located on the ultra-hip block of 4th Street between Spring and Main. The all-glass storefront reveals everything from the street. Small. Simple. Sleek. Inside, the simplicity of the décor is reminiscent of what you might find in Tokyo, and that makes sense because Orsa is a mix of Japanese and Italian cuisine — a curious marriage, but one that will make sense come meal’s end.
The food? It’s stunning at best and deeply interesting at worst. Mostly comprised of fish and poultry, you won’t leave overstuffed and feeling like you’ve just been crushed by a Green Bay Packer. The kampachi kicks off the meal – showcasing the chef’s Japanese inspirations. The thinly sliced fish is dressed perfectly, topped with hijiki and pomegranate. The egg ravioli is the most traditionally Italian offering on the menu – when you split the ravioli with your fork, the orange yolk of a flawlessly cooked egg comes flooding out. But the true star of the evening is the unlikely squash soup… It steals the whole damn show. Perfectly balanced and mysteriously delicious — as any I-can’t-put-my-spoon-down-for-a-second soup should be. And just when you think you’ve wrapped your head around it, there’s a sudden delightful pop of a pickled grape – a head spinning twist that you’ll undoubtedly spoil, as I have, for everyone you encounter in the following days.
A meal at Orsa & Winston isn’t just dinner at a hip spot, it’s an event. There are five-course and eight-course options available. Six or seven courses can be accommodated upon request. Ordering a la carte is an option as well, but Boss is coming downtown for a special evening… so recommend the whole damn tasting menu with a la carte customization as desired. And when Boss is gleefully telling the execs at work on Monday about rubbing elbows with the cool kids downtown, you can smile knowing you’re keeping Boss safe and sound.
By Zahir McGhee
122 West 4th St.
Los Angeles, CA 90013
90. per person
wine pairing 65.
Menu listed is a sample only. Actual menu changes daily.
Chef’s SUPER-OMAKASE is available at the chefs counter with 72 hrs notice. Please inquire about availability.
pomegranate, eggplant, hijiki
abalone & cranberry beans
finger lime, charred scallion, shishito
*sunchoke & salsify soup
pickled grapes, crème fraiche, nori
*satsuki rice with uni & ikura
chowder, parmesan cream
romanesco, hazelnut, cherry blossom, grape
geoduck, tomato, mustard seed, black garlic
pomme puree, pinenut, salsa verde
tuile, bergamia, suzu shio
*5 course menu available upon request
65. per person
wine pairing 40.
Parties of 6+:
Due to the small size of the restaurant, reservations of 6+ guests must be made by emailing email@example.com and will require a special menu.
Allergies and Dietary Restrictions will be accommodated to the best of our ability with 24 hrs. notice. We cannot guarantee modifications for allergies/restrictions without this advance notice. Any modifications are subject to a $12 surcharge per menu modified.