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.
2 blocks east of Laurel Canyon on Ventura.