I am befuddled.
Came here for the Yelp's tapas event, and my first impression of Ortolan was, "WOW the main dining room is gorgeous." I don't mind the foo foo-ness. The greenhouse bar area is cool. On one side you have rows of herbs that Chef Christophe Eme uses -talk about freshness. My 2nd impression was, "WOW there's no one here but us."
Despite it being completely dead early on, we couldn't make the bartender smile. He left his personality at home. I've never met such an unhappy bartender. Oh, he seemed to cheer up a bit when his friends showed up. Well, I cheered myself up with a chocolate martini.
It's better than the pear martini, but the Edison's chocolate martini kicks Ortolans's by far.
We started off with 2 Amuse bouche:
Vegetarian spring roll:
and cheese-it puffs (???): The spring roll was alright. I called the 2nd amuse bouche the "Cheez-It" puffs because they literally tasted like those crackers.
Burrrata and chorizo:
I had thought it was impossible to make a bad dish with burrata but Ortolan proved me wrong. It tasted like a thousand island dressing...
Braised short ribs:
My friend wanted to get the short ribs entrée, but why pay $41 when you can sample it for $14, and thank goodness, it was salty, not as salty as the Foundry's though. A few Yelpers thought the ribs weren't salty though, so go figure.
Quiche with truffle:
I'll admit it; I normally don't eat quiche. As my friend said, it's hard to mess up a quiche.
Salmon appetizer dish:
Some slices were meh and some were alright.
Hallelujah! It's a better-than-sex chocolate. I think it costs $12..? Totally worth it. Loved the dark chocolate gelato too.
For the bathroom lovers:
I need this mirror in my bathroom..
Chef Christophe Eme was great. He seemed to really care about his food and customers--went around asking everyone how was our food....er...I took a big gulp and said, "Everything went well..." I know, I'm a liar.
There was a bit of a circus act when we closed out our bill. I advised the waiter that we wanted to split the bill with our plastics. I had a feeling that he thought my Asian friend was this other Asian (who had her cc at the bar), and yes, I was right, he charged the complete meal on my cc. All Asians look alike. After the waiter voided the cc transaction, he came back with our receipts. I realized that he had accidentally charged us for the scallop appetizer. He was quite insistent that we had ordered the item, but I shut him up when I told him that I'm allergic to scallop. He went back again and voided the cc transactions. I'm thinking third time is the charm...right? Nope. I'll admit it was partially my fault; I guess I completely blocked the braised short ribs out of my mind; yes, that dish is forgettable. At this point, I got tired of our waiter voiding out the cc transactions, so we made up the difference in tip. What's the lesson here? If you have a short term memory, use a pen and pad when taking orders.
If I do come back, I won't order from their tapas menu but try their John Dory or the Turbot, and of course the chocolate soufflé.
Thanks Dawson for organizing this event!
Address: 8338 W 3rd St Los Angeles, CA 90048
Phone#: (323) 653-3300
Rating: 2 out of 5