By night, DTLA hotspot Orsa & Winston is a full-on prix fixe, Japanese/Italian fine dining restaurant with twenty courses. By day, however, it’s got major cool-casual lunching game. So cool and causal, in fact, there are only three main courses on the menu – and they’re all bowls.
If you’re familiar with our obsession with bowls, from smoothies to poke, you’ve probably guessed that we fell head-over-heels for Chef Josef Centeno’s lunch situation. His three other Downtown restos (Bar Amá, Baco Mercat, and Ledlow) are just steps away.
Like their prix fixe dinners, Orsa & Winston’s bowls are inspired by Italian and Japanese cuisines, but don’t expect your stereotypical “fusion” food. Instead, this chef takes subtle cues from each culture and puts his own unique spin on each, marrying them in what we can only describe as Chalkboardy heaven. Burratta and nori? Kelp noodles and seasonal veggies? Be still our hearts.
The salsa verde recipe below is the perfect at-home recipe to style up any more casual bowl-making. Chef Josef’s combination of herbs, lemon zest and chiles accents just about any ingredient combination really well.
Here’s what you need to know about your next lunch date locale:
What We Ate:
Orsa & Winston’s Japanese/Italian grain bowls
Why We Ate It:
These bowls, which come in three varieties each day, are like the love-child of the poke trend, the eat-everything-in-a-bowl trend, and a more upscale version of fast-casual trend. Choose between a base of barley, farro, quinoa, and rice, or substitute kelp noodles if you’re feeling extra-Chalky. Then top with either seasonal veggies, seafood crudo, or beef curry.
Why You Need It:
The chef rotates the seafood, veggie, and meat offerings, so there’s always something new to try. When we sat down for lunch, we got seasonal vegetables atop burrata and nori (our new fave combo), tuna poke with kelp noodles, and a chicken curry that had us craving a trip back to Orsa & Winston for days. Ok, weeks. You can even take the bowls to go if you’re in a rush – but we recommend taking a chill pill and relaxing in their understated, gorgeous space if you’ve got the time. Be sure to leave room for dessert – like the miso brownie we gobbled up in two seconds.
How To Get It:
Orsa & Winston is located on West 4th Street in Downtown LA, but be sure to get your scheduling right: this LA hotspot is only open for lunch Tuesday to Friday, from noon to 2 p.m.
Make Orsa & Winston’s Salsa Verde
¾ cup chervil leaves
¾ cup dill fronds
1 cup mint leaves
½ cup parsley leaves
¼ cup tarragon
1 bunch chives
1 tsp chile flakes
2 Tbsp capers
½ tsp salt
grated lemon zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon
½ clove garlic, grated with a microplane
½ to ¾ cup olive oil, as desired
Finely chop the chervil, dill, mint, parsley, tarragon and chives. Place all of the herbs in a medium bowl. Add the chile flakes, capers, salt, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic and olive oil and stir to combine. Keep covered in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.