‘Nine Thirty’ Offers Chic Environment, Elegant Dinner

El Vaquero Staff W

Nine Thirty, the chic new restaurant at the “W Hotel” in Westwood very close to UCLA is the place everybody has been talking about.

The place looks amazing. First walking in one cannot help but notice the welcoming words and vibe of “Dream Now” displayed in lights on a virtual doormat on the ground.

One can easily tell the restaurant is trendy, full of celebrities with men and women dressed in the fanciest designer clothes waiting in front of the hotel for the sexiest sports cars imaginable. The valets are dressed in black sharp looking suits and communicate with one another in their blue-tooth headsets, which look professional.

The restaurant looks ritzy and stunning with a dark romantic setting with woven wood and bamboo walls. There is indoor seating and a nice outdoor patio as well, which is great for smokers.

The bar looks great and seems to be where all the people were hanging out in the restaurant. Anybody cannot help but notice the tropical theme and semi-transparent walls of the bamboo on the walls of the bar, which look really sleek.

But unfortunately, service does not match up to expectations; it is horrible. It takes the waiters extremely long to bring the table bread and butter and most people are starving. They cannot wait to get a hold of the waiter. One would imagine that the waiters and waitresses of a nice trendy restaurant would look a little better instead of wearing blue T-shirts and act in a friendlier manner.

Nine Thirty is an American cuisine with a menu that includes small dishes, large dishes, sides and desserts. The small dishes are from $9-$16; large plates are $23-$36; sides, $8-$10 and the desserts are around $10. The dishes are prepared very creatively on very unique style dishes coming in odd shapes.

The Caesar salad is not drenched in sauce and the thick veal rib chop is nicely creamed with organic spinach, cooked just right. The dinner is okay not being too hot or too cold. The veal cop is good enough to go back to the restaurant again for a lunch.

The menu is created by the executive chef Travis Lett who is 26 years old. The prices range anywhere from $9-$36. The menu has different types of pork chops, veal chops, steaks and different types of fish. The dishes are pretty much easy going types of food. For the same prices and better service, one would still suggest the Cheesecake Factory. But the Cheesecake Factory does not have a reservation policy or a live bar.

The restaurant just keeps getting louder and it seems more of a place to order a small dish and hang out around the bar than to sit down and have dinner. It is definitely not a date place but more for a group going out for drinks.

Prices are reasonable, but for the sake of the W Hotel’s reputation, their restaurant should have better service.

When the check arrives, it comes with chocolate truffles that hit the spot after dinner. The truffles are nicely dipped in a great tasting powder.

Nine Thirty is definitely a restaurant more for hanging around by the bar than for dinner. Many will go back there again but this time for the great Pomegranate Martini and not for dinner; but if you are planning on having a dinner party there make sure you have made reservations before hand because it is really busy and it will be impossible to get seated.

Nine Thirty is located at 930 Hilgard Ave. in Westwood. For reservations call (310) 208-8765.

Rating: * * * (out of four)