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Week in Reviews: The Hall at Palihouse, The Waffle, The Hungry Cat, Creperie by Jack 'n Jill's and MORE

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The Hall at Palihouse probably isn't one of the places S. Irene Virbila's readers put at the top of their must-do list, but she braved the stylish brasserie to tell them: Don't bother. It's not that people aren't going---actors, actresses, those who aren't really eating the food, are there. And it's not that chef Stephanie O'Mary's menu is all bad; there are a few hits. It's just that Miss Irene is generally disenchanted:

Chef O'Mary's handmade agnolotti have a delicious, deep-flavored kabocha squash filling. And the thick-cut baby lamb chops -- two of them -- served with a little olive tapenade make a strange first course, but order them as a light main course. They're beautifully cooked a true medium rare and very tender.

[But]?

If you've ordered the skate wing or loup de mer, you're bound to be sorely disappointed. My skate wing is tired when it should be pristinely fresh. Whole loup de mer is a tiny fellow, overcooked, and with a funky taste. For another main course, a trio of seared scallops sits on top of shredded short ribs. The whole thing is just awful.

She assumes the crowd isn't that much into the food anyway ("Guests pick at their plates desultorily, but they're mostly talking.") because the room and patio have a nice ambience, the lighting is good, the staff "endearing" and "affable." It's just not enough: The Hall gets a half a star. Today the "S." stands for "shot down." [LAT]

ELSEWHERE: A first look at Creperie by Jack n' Jill's; still with the test tubes at Ortolan; one dish can feed "three normal-sized gals" at The Waffle; brunching at the Hungry Cat; more Jitlada love; Akasha doesn't have the "wow factor" but it's a nice restaurant.

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