I had first heard about Oro a week prior from a blog post and garnered nothing extraordinary from the restaurant’s synopsis other than it was on the verge of opening. The article noted Oro would have California fare, blah blah blah. How many places are opening with California cuisine these days? Another expensive trendy restaurant, I mused. The presumptions I had while walking through the restaurant’s entrance with my dining companion proved to be inaccurate.
Dishes and ingredients were equally impressive. Velvety tender gnocchi, fresh minty zucchini soup, savory flavorful sausages, homemade caramelized marshmallows and innovative cocktails. “Please pour the drink into the glass after the cherry wood smoke has had at least a minute to steep”, a server firmly insisted as he held a small half-filled bottle oozing an ethereal wispy smoke from its mouth. The caramel color liquor proved to be smooth and complex with subtle hints of cherry wood.
As we paid our bill and bid our goodbyes, I ruminated over the last one and a half hours and realized I would miss the experience. I appreciated the effort, attention to detail, and creativity in each of the dishes and was pleased with our accommodating servers. A relatively inexpensive $77 bill (tip included) showed Oro’s not all about the money. The real test is whether Chef Jason Fox and his staff can keep the intensity going beyond the first couple of months. We’ll come back for an encore later in the year to see whether Oro can put out an equally engaging performance.