Orris Morphs into Spaghetti House, Brings Japanese Pasta to Sawtelle
There is something happening on Sawtelle these days. Empty spaces are being filled, tons of coming soon signs are going up, and for the first time in awhile Little Osaka doesn’t feel like a tired, second rate alternative to the South Bay (third rate if you include Little Tokyo.) There’s still a long way to go, but signs are pointing in the right direction. With the opening of Tusjita, West L.A. can legitimately lay claim to serving the best ramen and tsukemen in L.A., and Ramen Jinya is also on the way (presumably to capitalize on the lunchtime overflow and give people a dinner time ramen option?) Plan Check is opening Feb. 22nd. Blockheads Shavery is now open on Mississippi, for all those people looking to try the hot-right-now Taiwanese shaved snow phenomenom. And coffee snobs now have Balconi and Cafe Tomo. Gr/eats, which closed on Monday, is supposedly going to become another tsukemen place. And the empty space next to Tsujita is going to be a new Vietnamese cafe called Nong L.A. Even food trucks are getting in on the action. Signage recently went up for a brick and mortar location of the Slice Truck. (Huzzah?)
And if you like Japanese pasta we were excited to find last week courtesy of Lunch’er Dylan that Orris, the French/Japanese restaurant owned by Chef Shiro (of Restaurant Shiro in Pasadena), has become Spaghetti House.
Much like Fat Spoon in DTLA and Spoon House in the South Bay, Spaghetti House features Italian style spaghetti dishes as they’re served in Japan. So you have your carbonara and your bolognese, sharing menu space with more Japanese ingredients like cod roe and uni. And I don’t know if you’ve been told, but the Japanese know how to cook noodles. So the spaghetti ends up being perfectly al dente (a quality that is sometimes lacking at your typical Italian American pasta joints.)
Spaghetti House’s menu features 7 different pastas, all of which come with a small side salad during lunch time.
I was excited that there were at least a couple of options that fell into the Midtown Lunch price range. Like the mushroom and takana mustard greens spaghetti, which is not only the cheapest of the 7 at $9 but also the lightest and most simple (read: kind of boring). Nothing that a bit of parmesan and chili flakes couldn’t fix!
Even better was the carbonara ($10), which was rich, creamy and nicely studded with applewood smoked bacon. Though, you might need a nap after this one.
If you want to splurge, there’s a clams vongole ($12.50) that’s perfectly nice.
And of course, the requisite sea urchin pasta ($14.50) that you’ll find at most Japanese pasta places. This version had a decent amount of uni mixed into the sauce, which tasted like it had some kind of seafood broth added to it. Uni novices beware, this bad boy doesn’t skimp on the brine.
None of the pastas will blow you away, but all in all Spaghetti House is a solid lunchtime addition to the neighborhood. In other words, if you’ve been to one of these places in Japan Spaghetti House probably won’t transport you back. But if you’re on the westside and the craving hits, it will at least save you a trip to the South Bay.
THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)
- So excited to have a Japanese style spaghetti place on the Westside.
- That carbonara is the bomb! And only $10? I like it.
- The spaghetti is cooked al dente, just the way I like it.
- Love creamy spaghetti sauces, and these manage to be nice and creamy without being too gloopy or heavy.
- The airy bread they give you is great for sopping up the sauce.
- I love my uni pasta super briny, and this one delivers. Plus they give you a good amount of sea urchin in the broth
- Don’t like heavy cream sauces? The $9 mushroom and mustard greens pasta is nice and light.
THE – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)
- I’ve been to Japan and Spoon House, and this place is just ok.
- Too rich! Needed a nap after this lunch.
- The mushroom and mustard green pasta was kind of boring.
- I like my Japanese pasta to be a bit more refined. (And the uni pasta was a bit too funky for my taste.)
- That’s not processed parmesan in the shaker, is it?
- Hopefully they’ll add more options once they get settled. The menu is kind of sparse.
Spaghetti House, 2006 Sawtelle Blvd. 310-268-2212
CLOSED on Mondays.