One quickly notices that everything at the tiny West End luncheonette Maurice has been arranged with an uncanny eye for detail. The perfectly shucked oysters are totally grit-free and ice cold, and slide out of their shells with a burst of pristine brine. The warm scone ($3) has a sweet crust that gives way to a seamless, ethereal texture. Even the serviceware, an assemblage of mismatched gold-rimmed china and archaic flatware, is obviously hand-picked.

The orchestrator behind Maurice is pastry chef Kristen Murray, who honed her craft in Paris. In addition to the scones, there are delicate butter cookies, rich Korova chocolate wafers, and a series of wonderful desserts and treats. But the highly seasonal small-plate menu shouldn't be missed. The Smorbrod ($12) is a Swedish open-faced sandwich topped with beet-cured salmon and cucumber, with a blanket of micro-herbs hiding little parcels of roe that burst with an unexpected saltiness.

A warm, custardy slice of quiche ($10) provided a more substantial portion, while the carrot, plum, and parsley leaf salad ($8) was thick with cumin and spice. You can't fake this level of awareness to things like temperature, texture, timing and style—you just have to have the eye.

(Emily Joan Greene)
(Emily Joan Greene)

Eat: Oysters ($3 each) are a perfect introduction to eating everything else on the menu.

Drink: A pot of Smith Tea, or a glass of vermouth.

Most popular dish: The menu changes often, but the pastries are always a highlight.

Noise level: 68/100. The small space tends to get noisy when it's full.

Expected wait: No reservations, and a wait can be as much as 25 minutes if you come with more than a couple of people.

Who you'll eat with: Trendy young people with clear-rimmed glasses, handsome, monied older folks who have spent enough time in Europe for this restaurant to feel familiar.

Year opened: 2013

(Emily Joan Greene)
(Emily Joan Greene)

921 SW Oak St., 503-224-9921, mauricepdx.com, 10 am-7 pm Tuesday-Saturday. $-$$.