11938 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA | Directions 9160434.143040 -118.392102
Weekdays 4pm-2am; weekends noon-2am; kitchen hours 5pm-11pm
Never Not Good – That's a double negative. ("YOU'RE a double negative" --Crazy Stupid Love) I rarely use double negatives, but I am making an exception here. I have never had a bad time or a bad meal at Laurel Tavern. Eric the bartender/manager is excellent - friendly, knowledgeable, helpful - they were out of the beer I wanted so he poured me four samples of beers he thought I might like. He also let us try his cherry infused bourbon (not a euphemism). Now I want to go back and get a drink with that in it. The food is all spectacular - last night we had a bacon bleu cheese burger and burrata with beets, but if you're going for the first time do yourself a favor and get the pork belly skewers. You can thank me later.
Love this place – The atmosphere here is awesome. The staff is friendly and the drinks are made well. Although, get there early it gets pretty packed in there. The is also outside seating and open exposed windows which is fun.
Awesome porkfat fries – Cool spot to have drinks and good fries. Weekends tends to get to crowded and might have a wait to get in. Not worth the wait if there's a line. Needs good music...
Cool spot, but is the line necessary? – My friend has been raving about this place so we all decided to get together for a pre New Year's outing. Everyone else was already there and got a table for our party of 8. Me and my bf got there about 10 min late. My friend came outside to get us and told the door guy we already had a table but he said we had to wait in line. Kinda didn't see the point, but ok fine, there was only about 6 ppl in line anyways. Well it took us about 30 minutes until we finally got in. It was crowded, but I'm sorry not that crowded. Especially on a week night? Lucky for this place the food makes up for it. We ordered the chorizo sliders, pork belly skewers, fries, & chorizo fondue , all of which were under $10 and yummy. The guys enjoyed their $5 beers and my martinis were poured strong. Overall it's a cool spot, esp if you can just walk right in. And it's much closer than Father's Office. But they should really keep in mind, it's a bar not a club and it's the Valley not Hollywood.
Not much of a Tavern Lately – This place used to be great! Now it's terrible. The food is fine/satisfactory and I have no complaints about the beer.
However, it seems this place has made the attempt to create a "club" type business. A waiting line outside, when there is room inside is ridiculous.
I am(was) a regular until last Sat night. About 30 ofus walked over from CBS at 10pm and were made to wait outside. There was plenty of room, but the doorman(wannabe actor) didn't like the casting person from our show. What a jack-hole.
I'm pretty sure, after everyone at the studio heard about this on Monday morning, the attendance there will suffer.
The term "Studio City Crowd" is used with disgust in many other locations. I, myself, don't care for that term. With places like this, I agree.....This is definitely a "Studio City Crowd" place.
Sage Beer & Crab Cakes – This place is very pleasant. Nice lighting, fantastic food and a huge selection of beer and wine. They have a sage microbrew, which is delicious, and a wonderful and original spin on the classic grilled cheese sandwich.
The crowd is a little more mature than the I-just-turned-21-and-I-can't candle-it or the I-heart-Cahuenga Corridor folks. The best way to describe this place is "chill". Probably a great place for singles.
A great valley bar, which is rare. The only issue is that the seating could be much more comfortable. But you can't have everything.
Best Grilled Artichoke in Town and Great Mussels! – the place feels like a trendy NY pub but upscale, light wood, industrial steel throughout -- not fancy but warm and trendy looking. the windows that face ventura blvd open all the way so you kind of feel like you're in an indoor/outdoor space which is nice. lots of choices for unique microbrews -- my fave was "Hollywood Blonde" but they try new ones a lot so they're not offering that one right now but lots of good ones to try. the real standout here is the pub food which is usually atrocious in bars but here the food is really outstanding. they have the best grilled artichoke, wonderful mussels with garlic bread, and the french fries are so delicious. I don't eat meat myself but my friends say the hamburgers are really good too. I usually go in the afternoons on the weekend where it's not crowded and it's a mixed clientele of young people/ older people/singles/couples. The only thing I don't love about the place is that they don't have table service - even if you're ordering food, you have to go to the bar to do so. But despite that, it's a really nice place and worth a visit.
Get the STEAK FRIES IN PORK FAT! – This place is almost perfect - nary a Bud or Miller to be found on the beer list, and the steak fries with pork fat are beyond amazing. A friend of mine said they served the best grilled artichoke she'd EVER had. Sadly, I've ordered burgers there twice and was somewhat disappointed both times. The last go around I ordered the bacon blue cheese burger and was hard-pressed to find any blue cheese on it; medium rare turned out to be more like super-rare, and it was really greasy - and I do mean REALLY greasy. I'm not going to let that stop me from going back though; I'll just stick with the fries, and maybe an artichoke.
Always a Good Time – I was looking forward to trying this place due to its large beer selection and promises of burgers. When I walked up and saw the doorman reading Jules Verne I knew this place would become a regular haunt for me as we had an actual intelligent conversation about "Around the World in Eighty Days." The doormen are in high contrast to the bouncers at Clear just a few doors down who seem to enjoy generally yelling "Get the F*#@ Out!" to the crowd when closing . The bartenders at Laurel Tavern are quick and friendly, at least as quick as they can be as this place gets packed every night of the week. Still if a line ever does form, it moves quicker than one would expect. This place has a laidback, community type atmosphere that is extremely rare in LA. The food is excellent, especially the burgers and fries. As for beer, the 1903 Lager is my favorite. I highly recommend this place if you are looking for a relaxed evening with good people.
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