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A Damn Good Grilled Cheese: Laurel Tavern in Studio City

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Last fall, Will Shamlian of 4100 Bar/The Chalet/Library Bar fame, opened the Laurel Tavern--a contemporary American pub as he calls it--in place of his previous popular bar, The Sapphire. As much as it was sad to see the popular (and extremely dark) Valley bar go, the new space is much more cozy and useful than ever before.

Like other pubs in Los Angeles, great local beers such as Craftsman from Pasadena are served on tap. But even more interesting is their menu that includes pork belly skewers, chorizo fondue and the grilled artichoke. On our most recent afternoon lunch and beer tasting (yes, this place makes for an excellent and chill weekend spot), we went for the grilled cheese. And, oh my god, it's gooey. From the menu: "Asiago and gruyere cheese melted over green apple relish on toasted curcuma hazelnut bread. $8."