Friday, November 09, 2007
Daughter's Night Out. Every Thursday evening a companion comes to watch after my father and I have a carefree night out. I thought about going further afield last night, but traffic on 101N was particularly noxious, even later in the evening. So I decided to try a place in my backyard that I've been wanting to visit for awhile, Ora. It was the perfect choice.
As an aside, you can tell that it is indeed heading towards winter fast as the darkness is palpable suddenly significantly earlier. So again it will be the season for rather dark outside photos when I cover a dinner, an example being the one above.
I was immediately greeted with a very genuine welcome that made me feel warm as I entered the door. I noticed the warm decor and intimate feeling. I barely sat when a cone of fresh, just out of the fryer bread was popped onto my table. It didn't look like it would photograph well in the cone in the romantically dim light so I moved a couple of the hot and fragrant morsels onto the pretty green glass plate for this photo op. These were reminiscent of beignets, without the sugar coating.
Although my friendly server recommended the Green Papaya and Apple Salad as his personal favorite, I decided to stick with my first impulse, the Jicama and Red Grapefruit Slaw. Especially since I ordered a main course on the heavier side. It was simply delightful. It had tofu and bits of cilantro and red cabbage as well. It had a light dressing and had that characteristic jicama crunch.
For the main dish, I tried the Shaking Beef, caramelized onions, watercress salad, and sake soy vinaigrette. It also had a salt and spices on the side with a squeeze of lime for dipping. That added an interesting dimension which took the dish to a new level of complexity. The beef itself was tender with a definite taste of quality.
The menu had a choice of white rice, brown rice or black rice as an accompaniment. Well if brown rice is good, wouldn't black rice be even better? Well as far as taste goes, it has my vote! I was afraid that this may be some version of a wild rice where the grains would be hard. Not so at all. It was soft, and flavored with oyster sauce and other well-melded ingredients. It came covered in a leaf, and steaming hot.
I really wasn't planning on desert, but when I saw that there was rose water in the panna cotta, and I've had a weakness for things made with rose water lately, I had to order the Striped Red Raspberry and Rose Water Panna Cotta. It consisted of raspberry & rose water gelee, sugar coated lime zest, and wild berry salad. Wonderful.
Using some Amazon terminology, if you like E&O Trading, then you will also enjoy Ora. Ora in comparison is more intimate, romantic and has a warm ambiance. There are also silent movies playing on the wall that have been chosen in a way to be Asian artful (at least while I was there.). A good date night place!