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Week in Reviews: Nine Thirty at the W, Wurstkuche, the Mozzas, More Elsewhere

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Miss Irene sounds a bit surprised that the leggy, stillettoed ladies, flashy cars and loungers are no longer filling the W Hotel in Westwood as they were the last time she reviewed Nine Thirty in 2005. And now that the crowds have waned, and there's a new chef in the kitchen (Monique King), it's high time she checked in. Results are mixed:

"King's menu for NineThirty injects a down-to-earth yet completely contemporary spirit into a hotel setting, which already makes it unusual. But while the ideas are terrific, the execution is occasionally less so. Still, with a focus on local ingredients and big, bold flavors, this is real food -- dishes you'd actually like to eat if you arrived at the W after a long flight or a grueling day of racing to appointments in L.A. traffic. These days, the crowd seems to be more the merely hungry than the spillover from Whiskey Blue."
Even so, she credits King with "giving this hotel restaurant back its soul." Nine Thirty gets one-and-a-half stars for effort. Today the "S." stands for "same old song."

From around the blogosphere: Franklin Avenue goes to Tomato Pie in Silver Lake; Metromix checks out McKay's near USC; Food GPS at Chateau Marmont; Exilekiss making us hungry for Pizzeria Mozza; Mikey Hates Everything didn't hate Osteria Mozza; Caroline digs the sausages and beer at Wurstkuche, as did Diglounge; LA & OC Foodie finally does brunch at Joe's; and the other Potatomato blogger twin also digs Animal

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