Photograph courtesy of remodelista.com
Other than the luxury cars at the valet stand, there’s little indication from the street that this place is anything but a hardware store. Transformed into a bar and restaurant, the front room functions as a casual eatery, while the chic back lounge is where beautiful people nibble (or not) on Mario Alberto’s small plates, which are a notch above your average bar food. Black barley forms the base of a snap pea salad; softshell crab joins sweet corn pudding; Hatch chiles spice up a cracker-crust pizza. Take a cocktail out to the gravel courtyard. » 7984 Santa Monica Blvd., 323-656-6070 or laurelhardware.com.