Orexi Greek Bistro Serves Delicious Small Places

Small-plates haters are legion. Perhaps you're one.

Admit it, though: There's something Christmas-morning-like about receiving a delivery of spreads, salads and appetizers from the kitchen, with more to come.

Orexi, a new Greek bistro in West Portal, does serve sturdy mains, like grilled halibut ($24) and moussaka ($17). But we fill up the table instead with fritters of shredded zucchini ($7), creamy-centered gigante beans ($7) smothered in bubbling tomato sauce and spiked with salty nuggets of feta, and a classic Greek salad ($8) of tomatoes, olives and crisp cucumber.

Skip the gummy grilled octopus ($11) in favor of saganaki ($9), deep-fried Kefalograviera cheese doused with a squeeze of lemon, a classic Greek bar snack better than any mozzarella stick.

With its slate-colored walls, hung with giant mirrors and honeycomb-like sculptures, you'd never know the restaurant was once a Round Table Pizza.

Owners John and Effie Loufas do bake flatbreads and pizzas, but their new ovens are best put to use baking puffy pita rounds, crisp-edged vehicles for scoops of melitzanosalata ($6), a dill-laced roast eggplant dip.

If that doesn't seem like enough, remember: The desserts come on small plates as well.

Orexi, 243 West Portal Ave. (at 14th Ave.); 415-664-6739 or orexisf.com