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Week in Reviews: Chinois on Main, Matteo's, and more Mozza

(1)LA Times food section editor Leslie Brenner fills in for S. Irene Virbila this week with a review of Wolfgang Puck's Chinois on Main, which opened in 1983. Puck (and chefs Luis Diaz and Rene Mata) have changed the menu, the first time in 20 years. And although Brenner seems to rave about almost everything she ordered in "six visits in six months," she finds a few hiccups:

Does all this come at a steep price? Yes. Would it be fun if there were some interesting house cocktails besides the fragrant lychee martini? Sure. Could the dining room use a face-lift? Absolutely. Would it make sense to offer a selection of carefully brewed fine Chinese green, white and oolong teas after dinner instead of just plopping a green tea bag in a cup? You bet.
These seem to be (wink wink) mere criticisms, but we know they're suggestions from one long-standing institution to another. The restaurant is still there and draws big crowds, so its obviously doing something right, and she awards it a generous two-and-a-half stars. Fair, even if it's really just another venue for Puck to stroll around the room and sign autographs. As for the vacationing Virbila, today the "S." stands for "slacker." [LAT]

(2) Brenner does double duty this week, masking a review for old-timer Matteo's as a "food news" story, including the history (once a Frank Sinatra hangout), the recent change in ownership, and Don Dickman, former chef/owner of Rocca in Santa Monica, coming on board to helm the kitchen. [LAT]

Elsewhere we have rustic Italian at Farfalla Trattoria, more and more Mozza, a potentially dangerous taco hunt?but not this one. And way elsewhere: Taking Phlight in Whittier.