My birthday was last week on the 17th and my dad and I had dinner to celebrate at Laurel Hardware in West Hollywood. It’s two blocks walking distance from his house, which is incredibly perfect when you want something delicious without having to go too far.
I have been to Laurel Hardware once before for a birthday, and only got a cocktail. This was my first time dining at the restaurant. They so small plate style where everything comes out when it is ready, even though some dishes are entree size.
The food was great. I want hyped up on trying a bunch of things so I ordered way too much food. Which was great because I had leftovers for lunch. They had some fancy cocktails too. My dad got the LH Boilmaker (buffalo trace bourbon, luxardo apricot, lemon & magic hat #9 ale) while I enjoyed a blackberry and bourbon cocktail. Both were delicious, to me, although my dad hated his so we switched. I should have warned him he wouldn’t like the beer… he is a strict wine drinker. I, on the other hand, thought it was flavorful and light.
By far my favorite thing was the Lollipop Sprouts, which was the starter item we ordered. It had Parmesan, pepitas, avocado, and housemade ranch. The sprouts were slightly charred and crisp. It was just a wonderful way to start the meal. I honestly could have eaten three servings of it. It is probably one of the best salads I have ever had!
My dad got the burger (comté cheese, fries, peppercorn aioli) for dinner. It was good; the meat was cooked well and the burger had a good crust. But there wasn’t anything special about it. It was a burger. And the fries were not great for a place that makes everything out of scratch. The dish could have been much better with a top-notch spud. Another thing, it took about 30 minutes to get the dish. By the time it came out, I had already finished eating. I know things are brought out when dishes are done, but the timing should have been done better.
I had the Jidori Chicken (fava leaf mole, cilantro puree, pickled red onion, beech mushrooms) which came boneless and a little deconstructed. Aspects of the dish were cold, which came as a surprise at first, but the more I ate it the more I thought it was devine. The chicken was cooked very well, but the real star was that cilantro puree. It was the perfect balance between the mushrooms and the chicken, sort of tied everything together.
One thing I noticed on the menu was this incredible looking pizza. But I didn’t know whether to get the chicken or pizza… until my dad said “get both”. Great idea. We ordered the squash pizza that came with smoked goat cheese, anaheim chile, and cilantro. It was SO GOOD. I mean, perfect amount of kick, covered in squash, and the goat cheese cut the heat so nicely. The crust was super thin and it just exuded great flavor. An all around win, one of which I got to take home and eat for lunch the next day!
My dad and I couldn’t decide on dessert, so we each got our own. He wound up with the Buttermilk Panna Cotta (blueberry compote, cookie crumble, and olive oil). It was forgettable. In fact, it was sort of odd. Didn’t taste much like a panna cotta and nothing on it was something I would want to order again. A shame really.
I, however, went with my gut and it was a real winner; the Butterscotch with maldon salt, caramel, and granola. The cream custard was delicious. The caramel was delicious. And the granola was such a surprise that I really enjoyed. It broke up the palette textures of the dish nicely. I was so full and ultimately forced myself to keep eating this little pot because it was just damn good. I want one now.
All in all, we had a great time. The staff was nice, but upon entering at 6:00pm we were told we had to make sure we were done by 7:30pm because all the tables had RSVPs. I found that odd; who books all their tables with RSVPs? That eliminates your core market, the neighbor nearby, from walking in.
Another thing… my dessert wasn’t comped for my birthday. Now look; at most restaurants they have a complete dessert ready to go for birthdays, or they knock something off like your dessert or drink. Not everyone HAS to do this, but more places do, and it leaves a customer feeling special and wanting to venture back. Seemed out of character for a place like that in WeHo. To each his own.
Cheers to being 27 years young!