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Fun AND good food on a Saturday night - Laurel Tavern

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  • ZoeZ Jan 18, 2009 09:44 AM
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Went early to celebrate a friend's birthday and found, unlike the thin attendance at other restaurants we have been to this week, Laurel Tavern was jammed and by the time we left, overflowing. Absolutely charged atmosphere and noisy but the food, the good times feeling that came with all of this was enrapturing. Great great small plates and we had plenty- artichoke, chorizo dip - outstanding, fries, little hamburgers, skewers, beet salad, moules (not very flavored) marrow bones - yum and a few cold cuts plates - we must have had between 15 and 20 small plates for the nine of us, plus drinks. Three hours later a very happy party departed for home and a b'day cake (no desserts) - Small plates, $7, $8 and more for some. Nice service including lots of clean plates, napkins - attentive. This is a place to have a good time AND eat well.

Laurel Tavern,
2 blocks east of Laurel Canyon on Ventura.

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  1. Glad you enjoyed it.

    My wife and I went for the first time last Sunday for lunch, and came away with mixed feelings.

    The Pork Belly Skewers were REALLY good. Their sweet glaze worked really well when cut by a squeeze of fresh lime juice. These were pretty tasty.

    The Roasted Marrow Bones were also pretty good. Nice, buttery/fatty goodness, although the server was clearly confused when he brought it out sans accoutrements and I asked for the listed toast points. He ended up bringing me some, so it all worked out fine.

    The raved about Pork Fat Drizzled Fries were laughable. I'm pretty sure they were NOT Twice-Fried; there was no crisp skin with pillowy, fluffy potato goodness inside. Just mushy fries, and the pork fat drizzle was a huge detraction. We only ate half of these, at most. I could not in good conscience recommend these to others.

    The Chorizo Fondue ... let's just say I've had better from a can. It was WAY too sweet; almost cloyingly so for a dish that I expected to have a little heat. We left a good bit of this, too.

    So, like I said, a mixed bag. I'll go back again to give the burgers and a few other things a shot. Hopefully my faith will be renewed, but with Boneyard Bistro just a short walk away, I'm not so sure there's anything Laurel Tavern can give me that BB can't do also ... but better.