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Week in Reviews: Chateau Marmont, The Bazaar, Palate, Animal, The Wood and More Elsewhere

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S. Irene Virbila hits another classic this week, perhaps waiting for some of the newcomers to get up to snuff: The restaurant at Chateau Marmont. Exec chef Carolynn Spence has been overseeing things at the hotel and nearby Bar Marmont for about a year-and-a-half now, and Miss Irene thoroughly enjoyed the latter (two stars). The restaurant, however, is another story.

She's made the food accessible and more homey, which is appropriate since so many of the Chateau's guests use the place as a home away from home. But not all of it is as polished as it could be, so the results, at this point, are mixed. And it feels as if perhaps she's taken the title executive chef rather too literally and is spending more time in the office than the kitchen.
The first notch against the restaurant is the wine list: high markups and no outside wine, a total no-no for the critic and her husband who always take wine. This sets the scene for her take on the food: "fairly standard rustic Mediterranean fare without much passion in the choices." There are a few hits, but then she actually calls the osso bucco "scary." The dining room gets one star. Today the "S." stands for "snubbed."

ELSEWHERE: Another blogger hits The Bazaar by Jose Andres at the SLS hotel; Triplecreme did not enjoy breakfast at The Wood in Venice; Caroline does tapas at Bar Pintxo, as does Diglounge; on day 80 and 83 of his culinary trip around the world in SoCal, Man Bites World hits Mozambique in Laguna Beach, and Ngoma for Senegalese food; LAfoodblogging still finds The Oinkster "so damn good"; Exile Kiss hits the Sunday jazz brunch at Pasadena's Red, White + Bluezz; Eating L.A. tries N'ice Cream on Abbot Kinney; and Animal is Potatomato's new favorite resto, but doesn't get what the fuss over Palate is all about.