I’ve been venturing over the hill for lunch with Ravioli. Though Loteria’s opened up nearby, somehow Laurel Tavern’s become our regular spot.
At 12:30, we easily find a table in the back; by a few minutes after 1, the place is packed. Not surprising: the prices are reasonable, the place is cool and dark (a welcome refuge from the blazing temperatures in the valley) and the food is good, better than expected. There are juicy burgers on artisanal buns, including a blue cheese and bacon burger, the unexpected crunch of thin slices of granny smith apple cutting through the fat, bratwurst with dijon and homemade applesauce served with grilled baguette, a chopped salad molded into a neat mound, steamed mussels, roast marrow bones and fat-drizzled french fries. Sometimes the bartender will come over and take your order but if you’re pressed for time, best to head to the bar and order it yourself. Consider a beer if your afternoon workload is relatively light — they’ve got a good selection of craft beers — a Mexican coke if it’s not.
Where: 11938 Ventura Boulevard, Studio City, CA 91604, 818.560.0777
Eat: any of the burgers, french fries
Drink: craft beers, whiskey, Mexican coke.