Laurel Point a Great Place for Seafood

For years, I used to meet my father at The Daily Grill on Laurel Canyon on the second floor of the Laurel Promenade at the corner of Laurel Canyon and Ventura Blvd. It was a convenient location for the two of us to meet. My dad enjoyed sitting in a comfortable booth and ordering a bowl of soup with a thick slice of delicious sourdough bread. Every now and then he splurged and ordered one of their iconic pot pies.
I noticed our favorite haunt closed last year, and wondered what would take its place. Fortunately, Grill Concepts, Inc., the hospitality company behind The Daily Grill, Grill on the Alley, and Public School gastropubs, renovated the space into a new seafood concept eatery called Laurel Point.

Photo by Jill Weinlein
Photo by Jill Weinlein

I recently met my dad there for brunch to see if Laurel Point would be our new meeting spot. There are tables located outside and inside there is a nautical theme. The flooring is warm wood with white, gray and charcoal tiles laid out as fish scales near the galley and raw bar. Golden lobster traps with lights hang down from the painted white beam ceiling illuminating the room. Accent colors are an array of blue hues and nautical white ropes decorate the long banquette.

The designer cleverly added hooks underneath the bar for guests to hang their purse or shopping bag, and convenient plug-in outlets to charge a cell phone or computer.

Looking over the menu, we noticed an array of interesting brunch fare dishes. Unfortunately they don’t offer soup during brunch, yet they do prepare a “chowda” for lunch and dinner.

Photo by Jill Weinlein
Photo by Jill Weinlein

After our server took our drink order, he came back with a silver fish-shaped serving plate with two small cheddar and chive buttermilk biscuits and a greenish spread with seeds. It’s a housemade green and red pepper jelly.

Chef Andre Brown has been at Laurel Point for three months. He was a culinary instructor at The Art Institutes in Indiana and a private chef for an Indiana family before arriving in Los Angeles.

Chef Andre Brown - Photo by Jill Weinlein
Chef Andre Brown – Photo by Jill Weinlein

At the raw bar “undressed” dishes are prepared including ahi tuna, salmon, hamachi and trio of sashimi. “Dressed” sushi includes a tempura sushi roll, crab and hamachi roll, spicy tuna and a rainbow roll.

Our first dish arrived on a wood board with appealing colors and textures. The rainbow roll was made with thinly sliced hamachi, salmon, avocado, crab and tuna. It was fresh and offered a mild flavor profile of the sea.

Photo by Jill Weinlein
Photo by Jill Weinlein

My father ordered the market vegetable frittata served in a small cast iron cooking skillet. It was a perfectly cooked egg dish, similar to an omelet with chopped spinach, red peppers, tomatoes and Gruyere cheese.

The bread is still delicious here. They now serve it grilled with a black checkerboard pattern on each side and it comes with a variety of dishes on the menu, including the vegetable frittata. The couple sitting next to us were spreading warm crab dip made with blue crab, pimento cheese (now the new fad in the Los Angeles food scene), and chopped jalapeños on the thick grilled bread.

Photo by Jill Weinlein
Photo by Jill Weinlein

Our server suggested the lobster Benedict and returned minutes later with a plate of two slices of brioche toast layered with large pieces of lobster and topped with an ethereal Béarnaise sauce.

Enjoying our meal, we looked over the lunch and dinner menus and noticed a variety of innovative seafood dishes that include cast iron cooked mussels and a smoked trout brandade. This is a baked French dish similar to a dip made with smoked trout and olive oil. It’s served with pickled vegetables and grilled bread.

Those seeking a decadent treat will enjoy the baked oyster Rockefeller with creamed kale.

The fishmonger selection on the menu includes ruby-red trout, King salmon and Pacific swordfish. Each of these can be prepared blackened, grilled or served Cantonese style. The fish can also be enhanced with a Remoulade sauce or Tabasco compound butter.

They also make the requisite lobster roll that continues to be a popular item in most seafood restaurants. The chefs also make a Cajun spiced fish sandwich for a zip of flavor and heat.

A burger with pimento cheese and a K-town chicken sandwich with a Korean barbecue sauce are non-seafood options.

For heartier plates choose from a vegetarian linguine that can be heightened with chicken or grilled shrimp; cioppino fish stew; crispy fish with waffle fries or a lobster pot pie in a puff pastry.

Seeking lighter fare there is a lobster and shrimp salad with a green goddess dressing and a scallop salad with frisee, farro, butternut squash, pepitas, crispy prosciutto and drizzle of maple vinaigrette dressing.

After our brunch, my father said he enjoyed our meal together and made plans to meet me here again for lunch to try the soup.

Laurel Point offers nautical fun and brings the essence of the sea to locals in the San Fernando Valley and Westsiders coming over the hill to meet them.

During 3:30 to 6:30 p.m., Low Tide time is celebrated on Monday through Friday, with $1 oysters, $5 oyster shooters and $4-off wine. $$ 12050 Ventura Blvd. Studio City (818)769-6336.

This article is featured in the Dec. 1, 2016 issue of the Beverly Press and Park LaBrea Newspapers.

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