The chef at Laurel Hardware is Mario Alberto, who cooked at Lazy Ox, Mo-Chica and Freddy Smalls, and most prominently at Chimu ... He is fond of long-braised off-cuts and deep acidity. He favors a complex palette of chiles, seasonal fruits and exotic herbs. You sometimes think you can spot the roots of one of his dishes, maybe in a traditional preparation from southern Mexico or the mountains of Peru, but then the sensation vanishes, and you are left with a preparation that is basically just his.
Sometimes the intermarriage works — a dish of fresh corn kernels sautéed with truffle butter and Parmesan is simultaneously bright and summery and muted and autumnal, which sounds odd but is almost cinematic in its effect ... Sometimes it doesn't: A summery toss of arugula salad with apples, tart pickled Jerusalem artichokes and lots of crunchy nuts, ends up tasting more like dessert than it does like salad.If fresh plates, a pretty space, and seasonal cocktails are your thing, Laurel Hardware "can be a good place to know." [LAT]
[Photo: Elizabeth Daniels]
The Elsewhere: Eat: LA stops by Homegirl Cafe, Gastronomy hits Noodle Boy, OCR files thoughts on Rocharin Thai, Quarry Girl dines at Sage, OCW talks about Passaparola Trattoria Italiana, and LAW explores In-Chan.