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.
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