Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Restaurant Review: NINETHIRTHY and the W Hotel Los Angeles

A few weeks ago I was invited to dine at NINETHIRTY, one of the restaurants nestled inside of the W Los Angeles. Now, I know there is a certain stigma that comes with "hotel restaurants". They tend to be overpriced and underwhelming. I must say that NINETHIRTY is as far from that as you can get.

Chef Dakota Weiss is the mastermind behind the eclectic menu. Sourcing ingredients and inspiration from local farms Weiss has created a culinary carnival with dishes that range from innovative to nostalgic.

The parade of dishes started off with a fresh Cousa Squash Carpaccio (pictured above) dressed with a yuzu-pumpkin vinaigrette as well as a warm white corn bisque that had a hint of smoked queso fresco and jalepeno for an extra kick. My favorite starter that was presented to us was the Beet Cured Diver Scallops. After reading a few of my restaurant reviews, you may have figured out by now that I'm a bit of a scallop lover. This dish seriously blew my mind. The ceviche-like scallops were sliced thin and boasted a fuchsia stained trim. Paired with cantaloupe creme fraiche and mint made this dish unlike anything I have had before.

Next up was a delightful Grilled Abalone, a first for me. The presentation alone was a stand-out! Served in it's naturally gorgeous shell, the charred abalone was meaty yet delicate. Chef Dakota added a habanero vinaigrette to bring in some acidity to the dish which in my opinion was an excellent touch. 

As the array of dishes continued to hit our table, two things became clear, NINETHIRTY was without a doubt the hidden gem of Westwood, and I should have worn stretchier pants.

Before closing out the night, we sampled pretty much the whole dessert menu. I seriously felt like Belle during "Be Our Guest" with all the sweets that were being presented. We tried the Stout Sticky Toffee Pudding, the Bittersweet Warm Chocolate Cake, and a dish called "Oops! I Dropped My Ice Cream Cone". The stand-out dessert for me though was the Salted Hazelnut Pot de Creme. This tasted like the best grown-up PB&J in the world. It was smooth and sweet where it needed to be a tart just where you wanted it to be. If you happen to be staying in the hotel, this is the perfect way to finish off a night on the town before hitting the hay.

Nine Thirty on Urbanspoon

*Photos Courtesy of W Los Angeles and @kaseys_kitchen via Instagram