Ysabel.

A2 Rating Scale (out of 5):

Ambiance: fork-knife-blk-whitefork-knife-blk-whitefork-knife-blk-whitefork-knife-blk-whitefork-knife-blk-white
Food & Drink: fork-knife-blk-whitefork-knife-blk-whitefork-knife-blk-white
Service: fork-knife-blk-whitefork-knife-blk-whitefork-knife-blk-whitefork-knife-blk-white
Likeliness to Return: fork-knife-blk-whitefork-knife-blk-whitefork-knife-blk-whitefork-knife-blk-whitefork-knife-blk-white

 

When the owners of Laurel Hardware opened a new restaurant/lounge in the old Lola’s space on Fairfax, we had mixed emotions. On the one hand, we love us a night at Laurel (so many beautiful people in one place), but on the other hand, Laurel’s food is so-so and we were sad to see Lola’s go.  But, we couldn’t let our emotions get in the way; and boy are we thankful. As soon as we walked through the narrow arched entryway into the restaurant, IT WAS LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT.

3 patios. 2 bars. a marble staircase with large pillows and blankets to lounge that lead up to a more intimate patio (for those trying to “get cozy” or pull some “lets look at the stars” corniness). booths. couches. small and large intimate and exposed tables. a private dining area enclosed in a beautiful canopy of white drapes with a chandelier hovering above (we may or may not make up something to celebrate as an excuse to be in there soon).  indoor and outdoor fireplaces. twinkle light covered trees (can you say romantic?). Pretty sure we walked through the whole place speechless before we took our seats.

You can find the waitresses because they’re wearing cross-bodied black purses (looked pretty silly to us and they blended in with the crowd- which was maybe the point?). Oh and also, they are all the most attractive people at the place — clearly they hired the right casting director. Our waitress was SO nice and helpful.  She took a seat next to us (don’t blame her it was pretty toasty under the heat lamps) and walked us through the menu drink by drink and item by item. For the non-foodie, the menu is pretty confusing and bleak at first glance–  we had a ton of questions but didn’t feel stupid for asking. The only downfall to staring at our waitress’ perfectly flat abs through her crop top — our hunger turned into feeling the need to hit the gym. But we quickly pushed that feeling aside and ordered so we could report back.

From the outside, while the building is huge, it has no sign and blends in so you need to know what you’re looking for (see pic in the gallery). The only indication is a little valet stand out front. On a Wednesday at 8PM, the place was PACKED.  And Alex went back this last Saturday night and it was crowded, but no lines… yet.  We were told they have chosen to opt out of press and let the hype spread word of mouth, so you are hearing it semi-first from us (our first exclusive? ok no but let us dream here).

Obviously we’ll need to see how it develops over the next couple of months, but we may have found our NEW FAVORITE SPOT.  Definitely read below before committing to a full meal, but for DRINKS or a NIGHT OUT; get your crew together and plan asap… before the rest of L.A. catches on.

What We Ordered:

Chloe ($14) – [Alex] bamboo, lemongrass & kaffir sous-vide w/ bacardi heritage, coconut, giffard orgeat & angostura. Tasted Pina-Colada-ish.  Felt like I should be on a beach drinking it (daydreaming now, one moment please).  If you’re out on the town or just enjoying drinks, try it.  If you are about to eat your brains out, skip it as it’s not the type of drink that compliments a meal.

Lola ($12) – [Alie] red apples, lavender de Provence & lime all sous-vide with Kettle One. This has to be one of the best drinks I’ve ever tried. Not too sweet, fairly light, and topped with lavender. When can I have it again?
Kale Salad ($13) – crispy kale & nori truffle vinaigrette. Nothing too crazily unique but so light and refreshing. Maybe we should’ve JUST ordered this to get those rock hard abs.  While Alie would order again, Alex would pass.  Some pieces were tough and the stems were hard to chew. Great size to share though.

Brassicas Gratin ($12) – asiago & raisins. This is basically a fancy name for one of the best cauliflower dishes you’ve ever had. With how delicious it tasted, they can call it whatever they want for all we care.  It tasted more like mac & cheese, without the carbs.  Although we were patting ourselves on the back for ordering from a more health conscious food group, you could taste the calories adding up with all the ooey gooey cheesy-ness.

Sierra Gold Potato ($12) – rye crumble & sage. Why play down one of the fanciest and tastiest ways we’ve ever eaten potatoes. A mixture between lightly whipped and mashed, and the sage and rye added such an unexpectedly pleasant crunchiness. Our only question is can you make the portions bigger please?  And they may need to work on their name game here…

Duck Breast ($24) – lemongrass and pickled beets.  While it was cooked to a flawless medium-rare, it was fine, but not sensational.  For only two small pieces the price was a tad steep.  Alie only had a couple of bites, while Alex finished it off.  Steered by our server (she was so pretty we were under her spell), we should have kept our first instinct and opted for the flat-iron (another life lesson courtesy of EDDR — never doubt yourself).  Let us know your thoughts if you’ve tried other mains?
Binoffi ($10)–  A banana toffee pudding with graham cracker layers.  Don’t even know how to describe this one except to say Alie hates bananas and she ate away. And Alex debated taking the last bites home for breakfast the next day…except there was nothing to take. Fairytale ending.
Dinner. Apps. Drinks. Lounging. Beautiful People. Even more beautiful space. This place WINS on multiple levels. We will be back. Again and again. 

You can find us at the bar,
A2

Ysabel ↔ 945 N. Fairfax, LA, CA, 90046 ↔ 323-366-2940

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