Review: True Laurel.

One of the most anticipated openings this winter comes from Lazy Bear’s chef and their bar director.I’ve been waiting months to dine at True Laurel, essentially a funky hip gastropub offering unique inventive cocktails and small fun bites. Chef David Barzelay wanted to create a place where people could get a sense of what Lazy Bear offers in terms of food and drinks without the hefty price tag and committing to a tasting menu.

Left: Lightning in a Bottle (Pink Lady Cider, Rainwater, Jersey Lightning, Barrel-Aged Maple, and Salt), Right: A-Dilla (Our Aquavit, Makrut Leaf, Passionfruit, Coconut, Pomegranate, and Dill).

Of course we had to try some cocktails and these didn’t disappoint. Fun, exciting, and completely different from other drinks I’ve had recently.

Bar Nuts with Brassicas and Meyer Lemon (8/10).

We started off with bar nuts which may seem ordinary but these were freakin’ addictive with roasted brassicas. Sweet, savory, and delicious!

Crispy Hen of the Woods Mushrooms with Sour Cream ‘n’ Alliums Dip.

I can’t rate this dish since I’m not a mushroom eater but this is a signature at True Laurel so I wanted Tommy to try it since he loves mushrooms. I only tasted the whipped allium dip which was superb. Think sour cream and onion on crack.

Broiled Oysters with Green Garlic Herb Glaçage and Lardo (9/10).

These broiled oysters are similar to a version that I’ve had at Lazy Bear and oh man they’re out of this world. Plump oceany oysters are topped with a vibrant green garlic sauce and melted lardo. How can you go wrong? I could have ordered another round of these easily.

Dungeness Crab and Aged Cheddar Fondue with SF Old Bay, Crudites, and Toast (8.5/10).

My favorite dish of the night was of course cheese related, duh. Fiscalini aged cheddar was made into a fondue with chunks of Dungeness crab served with little toasts and beautiful crudités that were raw and pickled.

TL Patty Melt with Griddled Old Beef, Caramelized Onion Special Sauce, Melty Cheese, and Pickles (8/10).

The patty melt just hit the spot. Melted cheese, caramelized sweet onion, and their special sauce. Too good.

Bone Broth Soup with Ramen Noodles, Country Ham Sausage, Lots of Greens, and Marinated Egg (7.5/10).

Basically a fun take on ramen with a meaty rich broth, sausage, and leafy greens. Perfect for a cold winter night. My only criticism was that the broth was just a tad salty.

Laurel Ice Cream with Candied Bitter Citrus, and New Olive Oil (8/10).

We ended the meal with their laurel (bay or evergreen tree) ice cream with various citrus which was a nice combination of sweet and savory with the new pressed olive oil drizzled on top.

True Laurel has been open for a little over a week now and I already know it’s going to be a favorite amongst foodies. It’s the perfect chill place to grab a fun cocktail and some small bites for dinner or late snack since the kitchen is open until 1am. Therefore my rating is an 8/10.

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