Name of restaurant: Orsa & Winston, in downtown Los Angeles.
Chef: Josef Centeno of nearby Bäco Mercat and next door Bar Amá. Centeno started his career in New York, where he worked at Daniel and La Côte Basque. In Los Angeles, he was executive chef at Lazy Ox Canteen, Meson G and Opus.
Concept: Japanese- and Italian-inspired fine dining. The 33-seat restaurant will feature three fixed-price menus (five-, nine-, 20-course) and a family-style, four-course prix-fixe menu. As noted on its official Facebook page, “Orsa & Winston is a small restaurant named after (the chef’s) two small dogs.”
What dish represents the restaurant, and why? Koshihikari rice with sea urchin and geoduck. The risotto-style Japanese rice with uni (currently sourced from San Diego) was luxurious and comforting. Note: Throw any carb-counting out the window and indulge in Centeno's freshly made milk bread focaccia and oregano butter. It’s worth it.
Who's at the next table? Smartly dressed couples with smartphones at the ready. It was the first night of service after all.
Appropriate for...: The intimate room with an open kitchen is perfect for couples and small groups.
Uh-oh...: Orsa & Winston opens Thursday. The Mastercard dinners end Saturday. Check the restaurant website or follow @OrsaWinston on Twitter for opening updates.
Service: Spot on.
What are you drinking? Yamahai Tokubetsu Junmai Sake (beautifully paired with the koshihikari rice with uni).
Info: 122 W. 4th St., Los Angeles. (213) 687-0300. http://www.orsaandwinston.com Twitter @OrsaWinston
The Scouting Report is a quick look at restaurants worth a visit. Scouts were selected by restaurant critic Jonathan Gold, who may or may not agree with a single word.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times