Orsa & Winston
Chef Josef Centeno has become a well-loved fixture in Downtown LA’s Old Bank District over the past two years, first rallying the punters with his signature pork belly flatbreads at Bäco Mercat
, then drawing on his Tex-Mex culinary heritage just around the corner at Bar Amá,
and now completing the triumvirate next door with Orsa & Winston (rather adorably named after his two pet pooches). The dining space itself is a sparse, monochromatic, modern affair with a modest 33 seats and an open view of the kitchen, but then the colour and excitement are exactly where they should be: in the food.
A decidedly more refined version of its rustic predecessors, Orsa & Winston serves small Japanese-Italian plates within the bounds of three prix-fixe menus (5-, 9-, and 20-course). The 5-course, by way of example, leads with kanpachi crudo, persimmon paste, and an anchovy jus; followed by sherry-whipped cream and smoky pancetta with a coddled egg; koshihikari rice, sea urchin and a pecorino cream; pork loin wrapped around a chicken liver mousse with huckleberry garnish; and a divinely moist poached pear ricotta cake to finish. Each course also comes with unusual wine pairings like Bianchi Gattinara 2007, or Uroulat Jurançon 2011, concluded with a fine selection of Junmai sake. Pup namesakes aside, this is certainly no dog’s dinner!