8338 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90048
The elegant, chandelier-obsessed French restaurant Ortolan is so dark in certain sections that the wait staff provides guests with mini-flashlights to read the menu. Oddly enough, it’s partially owned by (geek alert) Star Trek: Voyager actress Jeri Ryan, but more importantly, the food and style are overseen by her boyfriend, ex-L’Orangerie chef Christophe Eme, and it shows – sometimes literally, as when he personally greets you at the entrance. Self-described as “A New Experience in Haute Cuisine,” (read: soup served in test tubes), Ortolan’s menu will make you salivate, even if it takes a moment to figure out what exactly you’re getting (rabbit meatballs?). Though portions seem relatively small, they are rich and filling. Options for décor and eating style vary, from the dark wood bar in back, to the long, common dining table, to a fireplace lounge, to a romantic patio; regardless of your mood, you’re covered. Tempting seafood dishes include bite-size scallop sandwiches, Maine lobster and John Dory trout. Service can be on the slow side, which is a good reason to savor the meal instead of rushing through it. Being French, of course, Ortolan offers a full selection of fromages, exquisite chocolate soufflés and adorable, petite ice cream cones for dessert. Tres magnifique!
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