East Meets Zest

Oritalia

Details

Open for lunch Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., for dinner Sunday through Thursday from 5:30 to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday until 11 p.m.

Reservations accepted

Wheelchair accessible

Parking: difficult; Sutter-Stockton Garage is across the street

Muni: 30, 45

Noise level: tranquil

Blue crab cakes -- $4.75 each
Seared carpacio -- $8.25
Tuna tartar -- $12.75
Lamb loin -- $24.50
Lemon-mascarpone sherbet -- $7.75
Pineapple upside-down cake -- $7.75
Husch sauvignon blanc -- $7/glass

586 Bush (at Stockton)

782-8122

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Desserts include an unusually good lemon-mascarpone sherbet, reminiscent of a light cheesecake and spooned atop a stack of melon slices in a bowl of watermelon essence, and an unspectacular panna cotta with a slightly bitter coconut flavor that only underlines the pudding's singular blandness. (The macadamia brittle that shares its platter tastes nice, though.) My favorite: pineapple upside-down cake, a pineapple upside-down cake distant from the canned pineapple ring/maraschino cherry rendition of memory but just as homey and comforting, updated here with lemongrass marinade and vanilla gelato. Order it with a cup of Ginger Twist tea, a floral confabulation of mint, ginseng, ginger, and lemongrass. The Husch sauvignon blanc, from Oritalia's relatively brief but pleasantly eclectic wine list, is a good choice for the earlier stages of the evening. Enjoy a couple of glasses along with your crab cakes and carpacio and you'll have a most pleasant evening ahead of you.

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