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Week in Reviews: Bar Marmont, Osteria Mozza, Charcoal, Intelligentsia, and Neighborhood Eats Elsewhere

Miss Irene is spending a lot of time on the Sunset Strip these days, carefully seeking out "adult" spots or ones that actually serve decent food. This week she heads to Bar Marmont, a bar in every sense except now chef Carolyn Spence (former chef de cuisine from NYC's Spotted Pig) whips up a serious gastropub menu that almost seems wasted on the wasted:

Spence's lusty food is no dream, though. It's rustic and direct -- she doesn't know how to do dainty -- and comes on like a powerhouse. The menu isn't massive, maybe a dozen appetizers and first courses, 10 mains and some sides.

Her bar snacks are smart and delicious with drinks. First up, "boozy bacon prunes," deliriously delicious bites of soft, velvety prune wrapped in crisp salty bacon. Make that two orders. Then there are her famous potato chips.

After waxing poetic on the size and saltiness of said chips, we hear more about the entire menu, mostly hits. Miss Irene's pumpkin arrives around 11pm when the bar crowd gets really thick, but before leaving she gives license to the ramped-up music: "In most places, it's annoying, but here the eclectic soundtrack grabs your interest." In most places it is annoying, but thankfully she realized she was in a bar. After a three-paragraph rant about being served too-warm red wine, Bar Marmont gets two stars. Today the "S." stands for "scenester." [LAT]

ELSEWHERE: Still loving Osteria Mozza; Charcoal "Dolce meets Applebee's," plus lots of neighborhood eats this week: La Korea at the Farmers Market; Café Zella in SM; Wok and Noodle in Alhambra; dim sum at Triumphal Palace. Special bonus: Intelligentsia Coffee creates tons of buzz (that never gets old). Visits from Silver Lake Boulevard, Ritz Bites, LAist, Eating L.A., and even Miss Irene.

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