Josef Centeno is serving lunch at Orsa & Winston, his prix-fixe, Japanese-and-Italian-inspired fine dining restaurant. But he's not doing Koshihikari rice with sea urchin and geoduck for the downtown lunch crowd. Instead, think grain bowls.
While running Baco Mercat, Bar Ama (his Tex-Mex restaurant), Ledlow (former Pete's) and working on a Baco Shop (more on that later), Centeno is getting to Orsa & Winston early to make grain bowls.
You can order a bowl of barley, farro, quinoa and rice topped with your choice of seasonal vegetables ($10), beef curry ($14) or seafood crudo ($14). The bowls come topped with strips of nori; green onions; a housemade Calabrian chile paste; salsa verde made with tarragon, mint, parsley, capers and olive oil; sesame seeds and hijiki. If you're going gluten-free, there's also a kelp noodle option.
On a recent afternoon, the crudo bowl resembled tuna poke with squares of raw tuna served with kale, carrots, snap peas and asparagus. And for the curry bowl, a mixture of beef, cauliflower and sunchokes with kale.
"It's the shortest menu I've ever written, ever," joked Centeno. "The fish might change, but the idea is to keep it simple and healthful, light, and a quick lunch on the go so you don't feel totally bogged down."
He also mentioned it being similar to what he has in mind for a Baco Shop, the quick service version of his restaurant Baco Mercat, known for serving various meats and seafood on the baco flatbread Centeno created.
"We're looking for the right spot for it," said Centeno. "This [Orsa & Winston lunch] is Italian and Japanese, in the spirit of Orsa & Winston, my two beautiful dogs."
Orsa & Winston is also offering Bäco pops (Baco Mercat sodas), glasses of wine for $10 and dessert for lunch. A caramel, chocolate brownie is cut into a rectangle and served like a candy bar. You may finish it in three bites.
Lunch is being served from noon to 2 p.m. Tuesday to Friday, with dinner from 6 to 11 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday.
122 W. 4th St., Los Angeles, (213) 687-0300, www.orsaandwinston.com.
I like hot sauce on my grains. Follow me on Twitter @Jenn_Harris_