New bistro Laurel Hardware has the goods
Ever wonder why there are so many “It” restaurants where the crowd is fashionable but the food is the pits? And why craft cocktails, sleek decor and farmers’-market ingredients, while great, can’t replace meals you actually want to eat?
Or how, once in a blue moon, there is a hot spot such as Laurel Hardware where everything from the look to the lamb belly with shishito pepper entrée ($24) is a delight? We kept asking ourselves: How did designer Sam Marshall transform a former hardware store into a sexy boîte noir? Is it his wallpapered ceilings? Floors from the Coney Island boardwalk? And next time, how can we remember to ask for a table in the twinkling back garden?
How did chef Mario Alberto manage not to over-truffle the butter in his corn ($12) with Parmesan and chives? And wasn’t that goat-cheesy butternut squash ($10) perfectly browned? How can we make our own beet salad ($9) with artfully splattered persimmons, spiced yogurt and pistachios?
And if we add watermelon juice to Rain Organics vodka, can we too make the house-favorite Gangster cocktail ($12)?
Apologies to critic Pete Wells, whose recent viral New York Times screed inspired us--but sometimes leaving a restaurant with lots of questions can be the ultimate compliment.
Laurel Hardware, 7984 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood; 323-656-6070 or laurelhardware.com