Less than a ten minute drive from my home, Republique LA is absolutely my favorite new spot. Sadly, I discovered this restaurant about a year after it opened. Once the old Campanile I have been told, this La Brea dining spot close to Wilshire is the best food gem in LA in years.
Not only because I like the fun communal tables, or the fact that I am dining in this beautiful vaulted space once the offices of Charlie Chaplin (1929), or that the crowd is so hip and attractive, but the reason I keep going back is the FOOD.
Owned by Chef Walter Manzke and Chef Margarita Manzke (once the pastry chef at Melisse) along with their partner, restaurateur Bill Chait, I have read up on both chefs, and they have a long list of experience in this town at some of the top restaurants. Add Carmel to that list. What I find fascinating is they have also opened several successful cafes in the Philippines too, along with Petty Cash Taqueria on Beverly Blvd.
In some ways, I feel like this restaurant is the Gjelina of the east side. Republique doesn’t complicate things; they prepare food the way I like to eat it – simple, not covered in sauces, and the right combination of interesting, fresh ingredients. I have been pleasantly surprised by everything we have ordered.
One of the best things about going out with friends to dinner is they order things you would never possibly imagine trying. This has expanded my savorings at Republique. My first experience was on a Friday night where we (7 girls) sat next to some San Fran techies from Google and The Apprentice. We were entertained by them all night as we literally ordered pretty much every dish off the menu. The surprising thing was that our bill was about $50, including our drinks. I went back soon after for a girl dinner of three, and was still shocked at how amazing the quality of food was. Everything we ordered was delightful.
Here are some of my favorite bites:
Chips and Dip – Scottish King salmon tartare, cucumber, mint, yoghurt, crispy pork rinds
Wild Arugula and Little Gems (like nuts, avocado, and strawberries)
Maine Bouchot Mussels
Squash Blossom Pizza
Braised Beef Short Rib
Croissant Bread Pudding
Valrhona Dark Chocolate Tart
Republique is known for their fluffy complimentary warm baguettes. Also, I love starting a meal with cheese. The charcuterie board has an interesting selection of cheeses from Vermont, France, Spain, and Italy. The oyster selection from my hometown area too (Fisher’s Island and Cape Cod) made me very excited. The menu is forever changing.
For breakfast, you walk in and order off their wonderful menu in front of their breathtaking pastries, then they bring your food delights to your table. You may have a hard time just ordering one thing with their long avenue of pastries. Treats like the pecan sticky roll, blueberry danish, lemon poppy seed cake, bomboloni (sugared, Boston creme, strawberry jam filled), fluffy apple and lemon tarts, moist danishes, and flakey croissants make me feel like I am at a patisserie in Paris. It is that good!
Although it can be quite loud at peak hours, I enjoyed a quiet breakfast at Republique LA, and they have cute outdoor tables. Walk-ins are encouraged. Valet is out front or parking at meters on La Brea. You may find it shocking that 3% is added to your bill for their employee’s health insurance costs, but when you think about it, that’s a very small fee.
Run to Republique LA. You will only dream of when you can drive fast enough back to this supreme foodie power that just like the name, its influence rests in the Angelenos that know where to find quality.
624 South La Brea Ave.
Los Angeles, CA
310 362 6155 or email info@republiqueLA.com
open air cooking