The first impression of NINE THIRTY as you walk in is one of casual and warm elegance. The design is sophisticated and romantic; there is a patio as well, which evokes a bit of the tropics. Surrounded by private cabanas, beautiful women, and a pool, you will likely convince yourself to stay for an extra drink to soak up some more atmosphere.
The kitchen has recently poached chef Dakota Weiss from the Shangri-La hotel in Santa Monica, which can be described as a major coup for the folks at the W. She is known for her modern take on Mediterranean cuisine using farm fresh ingredients and her stints at the Tower Bar and Jer-Ne.
A quick scan through the menu reveals lots of small dishes to share. Think of charred broccoli with lemon, Parmesan and red chili oil or seared Hamachi with porcini mascarpone, pickled mushrooms and Napa cabbage salad (my favorite), or maybe mac ‘n cheese with smoked bacon, granny smith apples and garlic breadcrumbs. There’s lots of creative tasty food here!
Chinese grilled short ribs with hot pickled cucumber, lotus chips and red chili marinated cabbage–wow! The larger dishes, like the drunken mussels in white wine, garlic, hominy and grilled bread or the pan roasted scallops with a celery root risotto, wild mushrooms and scallion puree are great as well.
The chef has thankfully included a very nice steak frites and a grilled NY Prime steak with lobster mashed potatoes and red wine braised pearl onions.
There’s a lot to like about NINETHIRTY. A capable and charming new chef, nice atmosphere inside or out, great food and a lot of inventive cocktails all contribute to an enjoyable experience. They also offer a brunch at $20.11 a person, giving you a choice of two items, as well as an endless supply of Bloody Marys, sparkling wine or Mimosas.
Whether it’s an afternoon lunch outside or a romantic dinner inside we think it’s worth a try.
NINETHIRTY is located at the W Los Angeles – Westwood, 930 Hilgard Ave., 310.443.8211