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Oct 11, 2008 09:22 AM

New LAUREL TAVERN: Studio City Winner

Last night I checked out Laurel Tavern on Ventura Blvd in Studio City, CA. The place just opened and it looks like Studio City has a new hot spot on its hands:

Food was great and prices were reasonable (all under $10 bucks). Here is thre breakdown:
-- Burratta & Heirloom Tomatoes - Very nice portion and just as good as Mozza's presentation. Tomatoes were high quality.
-- Bone Marrow - 3 medium sized bone marrows came out and they were fantastic. Well seasoned and accompanyed by toast points.
-- Pork Belly Skewers - I liked this very much, the sauce was a bit overpowering but the pork belly tasted fresh and the skewers idea allows you to eat a small portion of this highly indulgent food.
-- Fries - My friend ordered a side of the fries (they have a regular and one cooked in pork fat) -- I believe he just got the reular fries and they were delicious-- they were freshly cut and had a nice smoky meaty taste.
-- Grilled Cheese- Two grilled cheeses - tasted like a version of swiss cheese and the bread had nuts which added a nice flavor to the sandwich.
- Croque monsieur - Friend ordered this -- portion seemed a bit small but my friend didn't seem to have any complaints as it was gone without me trying it

They utilize the Father's Office system- order at the bar and they hand you a ticket. It can be a bit difficult to grab a table during peak evening hours but it wasn't that bad. I recommend they have a devoted cashier for food orders becuase the bartenders seemed a bit overwhelmed (they were friendly however). The servers were very friendly I must say.

They offered about 10 wines and double amount of beer -- I had a Pinot Noir and girlfriend had a Syrah -- decent not award winning. I laso tried the Hollywood Ale which was OK.

Bottom Line:
VERY solid first visit -- and anytime the menu and wine / beer list is only found on a blackboard you know the food is going to be good (other examples of this theory: Bowery Bar). Let's hope this is a start to a culinary renaissance on the Ventura Blvd strip

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  1. I'm curious, when you mention "They offered about 10 wines and double amount of beer..." is the beer on tap, bottles or both? More specifically I'm wondering how there selection on tap is.

    3 Replies
    1. re: sel

      From DailyCandy:

      "sixteen draft beers"

      I believe this establishment is owned by the same people who own several other hip bars on the East Side. E.g. 4100 in Silverlake, The Griffith in Atwater and the Library Bar downtown.

      1. re: Maxmillion

        The owners of the 4100, Goldfinger's in Hollywood (now closed), and The Library Bar. Not the Griffith.
        Beers are all draft. No bottles. I don't drink, but I had a big selection of "old school" sodas, and good non-alchy beer.

        1. re: malico

          That's the Griffin (in Atwater).

          They also own the Chalet, a block from Casa Bianca in Eagle Rock:

    2. Wow -- you're quick. I only heard about this place from DailyCandy a couple of days ago, and it's in my 'hood!

      Is it where the old Sapphire Bar was?

      Fantastic report -- now I really can't wait to try it. I was gonna go with my guy who likes beer. But I don't drink beer at all, so it's great to hear about the decent Pinot Noir etc on offer.

      Oh and this quote of yours about the Pork Belly: "...the skewers idea allows you to eat a small portion of this highly indulgent food."

      means that I am DEFINITELY going very soon! My sentiments precisely!

      2 Replies
      1. re: Maxmillion

        yep - right where Sapphire Bar was

        I think you will very much like this place...pork belly was perfectly cooked - let me know what you think of the marinande glaze on it.

        1. re: Maxmillion

          We went back last night just for those pork belly skewers!

        2. The original comment has been removed
          1. Does anyone know if they are open for lunch?

            1 Reply
            1. re: Obessed

              Not open for lunch, per their website here:

              However, as they get their act fully up and running, there might be a need, although restaurants are having troubles making lunch profitable.

            2. I thought the Chorizo Fondue was so good. Rich yes, but really comforting.