You might not have noticed the transition from the old Laurel Hardware store into the hip new Laurel Hardware restaurant, because the new owners kept the original name up in the telltale red and white sign and blue wall. Plus, the front view only gives a slight hint of the 3500 square foot expanse that continues inside.
What you will find when you arrive to Phil Howard’s new version of the iconic West Hollywood location is a two part setup, starting with the front cafe that opens for brunch looking out through glass walls onto the meeting of Santa Monica Blvd and Laurel Ave. Continue in and you will find another dining area sprinkled with communal dining tables as well as private booths, but also equipped with a large bar and a lush outdoor patio to lounge in amongst the olive trees.
Designer Sam Marshall brought the rustic vibe to life, keeping an air of the hardware store but newly inviting and warm with details like the vintage flowered wallpaper. The floorboards have a story themselves, they’re a now endangered Brazilian wood called “ipe” that was stripped off the Coney Island’s boardwalk and resold.
Now for the food! The menu is upscale and creative new American, coming from the mind of Mario Alberto (formerly Freddy Smalls and the Lazy Ox.) You’ll often find the utilization of local famers market fare in the salads, sandwiches, and pizzas, with spins like the Merguez pizza featuring dandelion greens, ricotta, and fennel pollen. Small plates include the grilled squid paired with patatas bravas, English peas, and sartas. For brunch sit down to scrambled eggs, oysters, or a hearty chicken and biscuits. Desert options include a cheese plate or take the sweet route with the grilled peaches drizzled with ricotta, honey comb, and olive oil.
The cocktail menu has come straight to you from Cole Abodaca of Hotel Shangri-La. One notable concoction to try is the Gangster, a blend of watermelon, cucumber infused vodka, and ice. Or take the darker route with the Creeping Fig, a Bourbon based drink with lemon, fig, black tea and bitters. If you’re coming just for drinks and get an urge for a snack, grab the roasted peanuts in a bacon/spice blend.
This hot spot is all the rage right now, perfect for cool people who want to mingle with other cool people in a cool atmosphere. Weekdays Laurel Hardware opens at 11:30 AM unitl 2AM, and weekends 9AM to 2AM.
Laurel Hardware – 7984 Santa Monica Blvd. – West Hollywood - (323) 656-6070