LAUREL HARDWARE - drunken young adults + good food

The other day, my dad and I went to go see "Snowpiercer" in West LA. The film is absolutely incredible and tells the story of a post-apocalyptic world in which the only remaining survivors live on a train that constantly travels around the earth. The treatment the train passengers receive is dictated by their wealth, and as expected, this creates a lot of problems. I don't want to give too much away, but I highly recommend this movie - you should definitely try to see it if it's playing in any theaters near you.

So what does this movie have to do with "drunken young adults and good food"? On the way to the theater, we drove by Laurel Hardware, a restaurant that has been on my "PLACES TO EAT" list on my phone for about a year now. 

look at these awesome stairs!

I first learned about Laurel Hardware when I was browsing Tasting Table's website. What further drew me to the foodie spot was the fact that a certain Harry Styles goes there almost every time he's in LA. Now, I need you to really listen to me here. I know I've brought up Harry in a couple of my posts now (my May Haul video, and now, this). That being said, my obsession with One Direction has pretty much died down. But old habits die hard. 

Laurel Hardware was originally a hardware store (wow, who could have guessed?!) but the space has been refurbished to perfection. And when I say perfection, I mean the place literally looks like it's come straight out of a Crate & Barrel catalog. The back patio area resembles a casual backyard setting, with couches, an olive tree, tall hedges, and a tall black picket fence. I mean, this obviously isn't your average backyard vibe. Definitely typical of West LA, though. Everything about the restaurant is actually quintessentially LA. 

The $14 salad pictured above and the drunken, freshly 21-year-old adults stumbling all over the place, giggling about their tattoos and the hottest local gay clubs? Very LA. I'm not complaining though. I loved the food and the ambiance was...lively. I don't even really know what was in my salad. I know it was called the Heirloom Tomato salad and it had romaine, incredibly flavorful heirloom tomatoes, sunflower seeds, and then some cheese I didn't recognize (almost like feta, but not at briney), and a very unusual but tasty dressing. 

My dad, who was originally hesitant about the restaurant and actually planned to skip dinner, ended up getting a burger. I ate his fries, and they were amazing. Perfectly crispy and well-seasoned without being overdone.

After the salad and fries, I was content, but my dad was left wanting more (a very good sign - he's hard to impress in the culinary department). He wanted to look at the dessert menu, boldly claiming that if that desserts weren't good, then the restaurant would be a complete failure in his mind. Eek.

With our (very expensive) parking meter running out (thanks, LA), we rushed to pick the chocolate brownie and buttermilk panna cotta, resolving to share the two.

Unfortunately, the brownie was covered with crushed hazelnuts, so I wasn't able to have any (I'm allergic to nuts) and my dad took that while I took the panna cotta.

Actually, that's a lie. I risked my life for a taste of the corner of the brownie that didn't look like it had any nuts on it. Whoops, there's another lie. I'm being dramatic. I'm not fatally allergic to hazelnuts. Just pretty allergic.

But I stuck to my dessert and fully enjoyed it. The panna cotta was creamy but not overwhelmingly so. That's one of the things I love about panna cotta. It's rich, of course, but not as rich as creme brulee. The blueberry compote added a summery lightness to the creamy dish, and the cookie crumble on the side tied everything together by providing a new textural component. Another touch I really enjoyed was the light drizzle of balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Not too overpowering, these two traditionally savory components really enhanced the blueberry flavor. 

Afraid we would be given at $70+ parking ticket for parking past the 2-hour time limit, we quickly finished our desserts and headed out for the movie, which again, I highly recommend.

Needless to say, I'll be back at Laurel Hardware soon enough (coincidentally, at the same time as Harry Styles, maybe? Just kidding). Next time, I should probably wear the most expensive, yet simultaneously young-adult hipster outfit I can put together. Did I mention I saw a mother with her teenage kids there who was wearing floral print hotpant-style shorts from Brandy Melville, and Prada sunglasses? I need to step up my game.