While facelifts are nothing new in Los Angeles, the recent renovation of Studio City’s Sapphire bar is definitely turning heads. Owners Will Shamlian and Mark Leddy exposed portions of the long brick walls, added a tin ceiling and built a butcher-block walnut bar in a four-month remodel that transformed the former cocktail lounge into Laurel Tavern, the now six-week-old gastropub. The beer list, designed by beer sommelier and consultant Christina Perozzi, features 16 rotating taps of California microbrews—Craftsman Heavenly Hefeweizen and Lost Coast Downtown Brown, to name just two—while the food menu offers pub-grub standards with a few gourmet twists: chorizo fondue, steak fries cooked in pork fat and a short-rib cheeseburger on a brioche bun. This is one makeover we’ll happily raise our glasses to.
Coordinates: 11938 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, California; 818-506-0777; laureltavern.net
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