It was pretty good…lots of perfectly poached lobster bites in each bite. I shared with a friend so I only ate half. Eating the whole thing may be a tad too rich because of the cheese and the Hollandaise, but the mixed greens are a good foil. We both enjoyed it.
Great restaurant. Outclassed recent meals at Rustic Canyon, Cassia, and Bavel.
After heeding the pictures and posts of @PorkyBelly recents visits to Republique up thread, I had to make it back for a return visit. Republique, as usual, delivered, again. In fact, it was fabulous, especially when some of my favorite items are in season, namely the corn agnolotti and eggs in toast.
Eggs on Toast
Order this now. Ridiculous butter flavor, rich custardy egg, and more sweet custardy urchin eggs on top. Top those luscious ingredients on Republique’s toasted baguette and it only gets better. The eggs were soft scrambled, luscious and delicate and packed with butter flavor. Recent sea urchin has been pretty fuckin great.
This was really good, bright, and quite interesting in terms of the flavors. It was mainly acidic with the lime juice at the forefront, yet taking a bite with a little of everything brought just a ridiculous amount of unique flavors. The fuckin melon was so damn sweet. Each ingredient worked perfectly together to cohesively provide texture, balance, and a bevy of flavors into this dish. To note, it appears my dish is slightly different than @PorkyBelly version. IMO, the melon was one of the best parts of this dish.
Soft Shell Crab
Another good dish, the crab was crispy and tender and full of flavor. The chili sauce was quite tasty, this dish could have used a touch of acidity but still good. The cilantro was a nice touch.
Corn Fuckin Agnolotti
My favorite dish at Republique is back on the menu, and for me, the dish of the night. Each bite was a reminder of how ridiculous this pasta is. Rich butter and sweet corn wrapped in perfect pasta. The tomatoes added just enough acidity and another type of sweetness. Fairly certain they made the sauce with the milk from the corn and their amazing butter. Must order.
This dish was really good. I enjoyed this dish quite a bit, the sweet lobster and uni sauce, the perfect pasta, and the chunks of lobster all were great. My lobster was a touch overcooked. The predominant flavor I got was lobster with a subtle hint of sea urchin. For my taste, I think Redbird’s version was a notch above.
Skip this, too bad it ended with a dud. Way too sour, it needed twice the amount of crumble or even a richer ice cream to balance this one out, or both. No cheesecake on the menu.
Overall, a great meal. Had they wowed the dessert, they would have knocked it out of the ballpark. Service was great. Pacing was just right. I’ll be going back soon before some of these items disappear from the menu again.
Did they use fish sauce in your dressing? Mine reminded me animal’s hamachi tostada or a Vietnamese chicken salad, light, bright, and refeshing.
Looking at the menu you posted I’m going to have to try that clam and chorizo pasta now, plus some corn agnolotti, malfaldine and the eggs on eggs again.
Too bad they didn’t have the cheesecake. Thanks for the report.
Post can’t be empty.
I went to Republique last weekend.
There were some slight changes to the dishes.
Started off with Eggs on Eggs again. Fuck yes.
Also Foie Gras Torchon , this was damn good. Super balanced with interesting flavors. Sweet, rich, fresh, crunchy, creamy, and smooth all in one bite.
Octopus Salad was slightly changed, using watermelon instead of cantaloupe. The watermelon was good, but nowhere near as good with the cantaloupe. Still good and yes @PorkyBelly can confirm the very faint fish sauce flavor.
Corn fuckin Agnolotti order this, so damn good.
Rock fish with Crab Fried Rice was pretty good. The skin on the fish was flaccid, the crab fried rice was pretty tasty.
White Chocolate Sabayon with berries and strawberry sorbet good lord was this good. I despise white chocolate but the waiter recommended and it was the perfect ending to another great meal. The sabayon was slightly sweet, rich as fuck, beautiful texture, and coated the palate nicely. The berries were awesome quality and provided a break from the rick sabayon. There was dehydrated raspberry powder and some crispy meringue like shards for texture and sweetness for more complexity. I cleaned that plate for sure. The sorbet was super balanced, the texture was amazing and coated your palate differently than the sabayon, and added another temperature. Beautiful.
@A5KOBE are you related to my 15-year-old? He, too, called the white chocolate sabayon beautiful when he tried it. I think we may have had the same waiter at Republique…our waiter recommended it to us, too. I need to come back for eggs on eggs…and roll over to Raku for more eggs.
Possibly? He has good taste and diction.
@PorkyBelly Now they have! Went last night with some friends with a rezzie for 4 — they sat us in the back dining room and my friends were grateful to actually sit in chairs with backs instead of bar stools in the communal dining area.
Billed by me as the “Malfadine lobster pasta dinner” to my foodie friends, the reservationist warned me the dish is not always available so as suggested, I also called the day of around noon to make sure it would still be offered that evening.
We ordered octopus salad, “chips and dip” (eggplant dip and veggies) and a medium charcuterie board to start.
As for the Malfadine lobster pasta, we each got our own plate ($43):
Definitely the highlight of the evening along with a 2nd serving of complimentary baguette & butter, thanks for the suggestion PorkyBelly!
For dessert, we went with the server’s recommendation of peach en croute — she said it had to be ordered at the start of the meal. I asked if it was a whole peach enrobed in pastry and baked and she said it was, but not quite . It was more like lobster pot pie or a ginormous version of the escargot en croute, but with small chopped peaches instead. Delicious, but the peach portion was skimpy.
Enjoyable dinner, I look forward to trying the pastries for breakfast or lunch.
As for lobster pasta, our next stop might be Redbird to try their lobster pasta since @A5KOBE raved about it.
Nice report! I was intrigued by the chips and dip, is it ordering?
And yes, definitely try the Redbird lobster pasta, I’ll be back soon.
@A5KOBE Thanks for reading Not a must get dish like the Malfadine pasta, but a fun and tasty dish to fiddle with while waiting for other courses. This visit’s iteration consisted of perfectly mandolined and fried sweet potato chips and artfully arranged crudités atop a small smear of smoked eggplant and yogurt dip ($23 for ingredients and tweezer fee).
Any of their fruit salad desserts are a must order for me.
Glad you got a chance to try the lobster pasta, thanks for the report.
@PorkyBelly Now I see why you said there was no comparison between Republique and Otium.
My friends preferred a la carte so it came out to $96 each incl tax and tip (before drinks), but Republique also told me they could do a $160 and up tasting menu for solo diners so mebbe I’ll do that someday if I have a windfall
eggs on toast - soft-scrambled eggs, santa barbara uni
uni, toast, tres…
roasted summer corn, australian black winter truffles, parmesan, lime
Uni-corn. Good but didn’t need the truffles.
live santa barbara spot prawns, munak ranch tomatoes, olive oil, basil
prawns were excellent and perfectly cooked, the tomato coulis was a bit too acidic.
channel islands rock fish, crab fried rice, chanterelle mushrooms, sugar snap peas
fish was good, sauce was pretty rich, didn’t taste much crab.
creme caramel, harry’s berries strawberries, elderflower ice cream
A balanced diet is saving room for dessert. Delicious.
I see ur on dat seafood and salad diet
Wowzers, the colors in your pics really pop @PorkyBelly I’m guessing you were in the communal dining room with the skylight ceiling.
Catching up on our last 3 visits to Republique.
Chef Walter Manzke’s flagship restaurant, his pedigree having worked at El Bulli and Alain Ducasse is on full display here. Occupying a historic space originally built for Charlie Chaplin and then later as the restaurant Campanile, it is still as photogenic and beautiful as before.
While the entire bar staff looks different on this visit, I decided to see how the Cocktails were faring.
Mandarinquat (Gin, Basil, Yuzu):
This sounded amazing, but it was a touch too boozy, off-balance, but drinkable.
Amuse Bouche: Potato and Leek Beignet (Gruyere, Horseradish Aioli):
Perfectly crispy, light, piping hot (freshly fried). A delicious way to start the meal.
Coleman Farms Little Gems (Pinkerton Avocados, Breakfast Radish, Toasted Seeds, Green Goddess Dressing):
In a city where Salads are ubiquitous, but many feel like an afterthought (as if the kitchen was forced to offer some Salads out of necessity for customer demand), the Coleman Farms Little Gems Salad is simply outstanding: Crisp, bright, vibrant, the quality of the greens is without question, but it’s also the composition of the Breakfast Radishes, Toasted Seeds and Radish Sprouts. Bits of ripe, creamy, buttery Pinkerton Avocados elevate it even more, and the Housemade Green Goddess Dressing gives it just enough of a spark. One of the better Salads we’ve had recently.
Charcuterie Board (featuring a selection of all Housemade Charcuterie):
Housemade Pork Rillettes, Pork Terrine, Rabbit Terrine, Duck Terrine, Coppa, Guanciale, Duck Liver:
They were all pretty delicious, but my favorites were probably the Rabbit Terrine and Duck Terrine on this visit. Just perfectly balanced: Creamy, fatty, but not overwhelming, not overly salty, so good, especially with their Housemade Baguette.
Mafaldine (Maine Lobster, Santa Barbara Uni):
While their Appetizers and Salads have some hits (and some misses over the years), one thing that Republique excels at are its Pastas. They were so consistently good over the years that it inspired @Porthos to create a thread based on that years ago and it still holds true today, especially with their Mafaldine Pasta.
Resembling a squiggly Fettuccine Noodle, the Mafaldine is glorious: Supple, nicely cooked chunks of Maine Lobster, a bit of Santa Barbara Uni mixed into the Pasta Sauce and the nice mouthfeel and chew of the perfectly al dente Pasta. It is a must order! (There’s a reason @PorkyBelly raves about it so much, it is fantastic!)
We fell in love with it months ago and was glad to see it remain on the menu until now (usually they rotate Pastas quite a bit).
Mary’s Organic Roasted Chicken (Braised Greens, Fingerling Potatoes, Dijon Mustard):
Their large format dishes can be hit-or-miss at times, and on this occasion it was a slight miss: The Mary’s Organic Roasted Chicken wasn’t bad, but it just didn’t sing either. It tasted like a solid, competent Roast Chicken, seasoned well (not too salty), but with flabby skin (not roasted enough to crisp the skin) and a safe seasoning profile, it tasted like a typical “Roast Chicken.” You get plenty of food for $39 in this dish, but it’s not something we’d order again.
Brown Butter Almond Cake (Citrus-Raspberry Sauce, Thyme Ice Cream):
Pastry Chef Margarita Manzke has been delivering excellent Pastries and Desserts for Republique since it opened up, and the Brown Butter Almond Cake is a wonderful example of that. The Almond Cake itself is fragrant, delicately sweet and with nice Almond notes, the Citrus-Raspberry Sauce a nice counterpoint and the Thyme Ice Cream is interesting, complementing the dish instead of overwhelming with more sweetness.
Mille-Feuille (Hazelnut, Banana, Chocolate):
This was tasty, but not really a traditional Mille-feuille that you might expect (which is what I was hoping for). It lacked the super crisp, light thin layers. It was still delicious, but kind of big and bulky and disparate at times.
On another visit…
I started with their Hotel Nacional (Rum, Pineapple, Apricot, Lime):
This definitely was not as good as before. The change in bartending staff is real, and it’s taken a hit. The Hotel Nacional was unbalanced, with way too much Rum and it tasted rough. A far cry from the excellent Nacional I had with Republique about a year ago. And a far cry from the great drinks that Beverage Maestro Julian Cox and his students would generate from the Rivera days (to early Bestia, Picca, Fiscal Agent and many more places).
Housemade Bread & Normandy Butter:
Potato and Leek Beignet (Gruyere, Horseradish Aioli):
Just as good as the last visit.
European White Asparagus (Sauce Maltaise, Baby Mache):
Excellent, beautiful, deeply savory White Asparagus. Great recommendation, thanks @PorkyBelly! I loved the Sauce Maltaise as well; never overpowering the Asparagus.
Hudson Valley Foie Gras (Pudwill Farms Blackberries, Braised Tokyo Turnips):
Buttery, luscious, perfectly cooked Foie Gras. Outstanding.
Brussels Sprouts (Thao Farms Arugula, Salsa Verde, Drake Family Goat Cheese):
This was a refreshing Brussels Sprouts Salad, a great interplay between the bitterness and slight crisp leafiness of the Arugula with the tender, slow-roasted Brussels Sprouts. The Drake Family Goat Cheese added just the right amount of pungent punch that only Goat Cheese can provide.
White Salad (Endive, Hearts of Palm, Sunchokes, Creme Fraiche, Hazelnuts, Parmesan):
Another refreshing, quality Salad that stands out from most offerings around town. We liked the Brussels Sprouts Salad more.
English Pea Agnolotti (Nigel’s Pancetta, Andante Dairy Goat Cheese, Mint):
Simple-sounding, but Chef Manzke and staff exhibit the understanding that you don’t always need a myriad of ingredients or extravagant preparations to make a delicious dish: The Agnolotti were perfectly cooked, the fresh English Peas give that unmistakable bright, green sweetness that only fresh English Peas can give (nothing like the frozen Peas more commonly found), and the bit of porky fattiness from the Nigel’s Pancetta and the creaminess from the Andante Goat Cheese made this another great Pasta offering.
Duck Confit (Sweet Potato, Roasted Beets, Blueberry-Peppercorn Sauce):
The Duck Confit had wonderful crispy skin and a tender, long-cooked flavor. However, it was a touch too salty (not by much, but just a bit oversalted to make it slightly off). If the sodium was dialed back just a bit this would’ve been outstanding.
Handmade Ice Cream - Hazelnut, Vanilla, Earl Grey, Pistachio Raspberry, Black Sesame Orange:
We were celebrating one of my best friend’s birthdays, and Republique was nice enough to give us this selection of Ice Creams to celebrate. They were all well-made Ice Creams, with Earl Grey being my favorite, with a strong Bergamot scent coming through.
And while I really like and love many of Pastry Chef Margarita Manzke’s Pastries and Desserts, they just don’t compare at all to the burst of pure flavor that Bulgarini’s legendary Gelato has. Yes, they are different things, but I’m just completely spoiled by Bulgarini and any kind of “Ice Cream” or “Gelato” that I come across post-Bulgarini is just OK in comparison.
Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake:
If you love Chocolate or anything that even hints of Chocolate, this Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake is for you! This Dessert is so decadent and pure Chocolate madness that my best friend, the birthday girl, couldn’t stop raving about it. It was delicious.
On another recent visit (15th visit?)…
Amuse Bouche - Potato & Leek Soup:
"Eggs On Toast" - Soft Scrambled Eggs, Santa Barbara Uni:
This perennial classic has been on the menu (mostly) since they opened years ago. In honor of @A5KOBE @PorkyBelly we had to revisit this classic again. It was excellent, with the uneven Uni (this year) being thankfully “even” and fresh and vibrant on this evening.
House G & T (Gin, Tangerine, Yuzu, Basil):
No bueno. At this point, I’m going to be skipping Republique’s Cocktails until they get back better Bartenders. Yet another unbalanced, not very pleasing Cocktail, mainly Gin, almost no taste from Tangerine or Yuzu. Oh well.
Hudson Valley Foie Gras (Pudwill Farms Blackberries, Braised Tokyo Turnips):
Octopus Salad (Harry’s Berries Strawberries, Cabbage, Pistachios, Chile, Lime):
I forgot who first recommended us to try the Octopus at Republique (was it @CiaoBob? @J_L? @Porthos or @kevin?), but the Octopus was cooked perfectly, tender (not rubbery), lightly smoky, and when paired with Harry’s Berries’ legendary Organic Strawberries? Do you even need to ask?
Another great Salad!
Bucatini Cacio e Pepe:
I’m always looking for a great version of Cacio e Pepe, and we finally saw that Chef Manzke & crew were offering one this evening. We had to order it!
The Bucatini is cooked perfect al dente, a wonderful chew to the Pasta, and with a nice burst of Black Pepper and a great balanced flavor overall. I liked it more than Felix’s version, easily. I’ll let the Pasta experts like @Novelli @PorkyBelly and others decide, but for me on this visit, Republique’s was the winner.
Mafaldine (Maine Lobster, Santa Barbara Uni):
Because this great Pasta deserves to be ordered again (and again). As flawless as the previous visit. Thanks again @PorkyBelly. If you have one Seafood Pasta to order and find yourself in the area, give the Mafaldine a try at Republique.
Cook Ranch Pork Loin, Belly & Sausage (Anson Mills Polenta, Long Beans, Oven-Dried Peaches, Whole Grain Mustard):
Unfortunately, another case where Republique’s large format proteins just aren’t worth ordering: The Cook Ranch Pork Loin, Belly & Sausage dish sounded great. But just one look at the Pork Loin above and you could tell something was wrong.
It tasted like it looked: Super dry, chalky, completely overcooked. I am not a great cook at all, but I’ve made Pork Loin that was more juicy, tender, and better tasting than this. It was downright bad.
The Pork Belly portion was much better thankfully. But just a bit too fatty. The outer Pork Skin was crisped, but not crispy enough (but decent), and the lean portion of the Pork Belly was very good. But we had some phenomenal Roasted Pork recently that just made this taste like fast food in comparison.
The Boudin Noir (Blood Sausage) that came with it was quite tender and flavorful, and (sadly) much better than the Pork Loin.
The Cook Ranch Sausage was nice and zesty, somewhat tender, a touch dry, but generally moist.
The Anson Mills Polenta and Corn side that came with it was probably the best part of this dish, creamy, lightly sweet and just pleasing with every bite.
Beef Short Rib (Applewood-Smoked Bacon, Roasted Carrots, Potato Mousseline, Maui Onion Sabayon):
Thankfully their Beef Short Rib righted the ship, delivering this amazing, slow-roasted, tender, almost melt-in-your-mouth bite of Short Rib goodness.
It just delivered that hearty, slow, home-cooked taste that’s made with care. Definitely the best of the main meat dishes that we’ve tried recently.
Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake:
As rich and decadent as before.
Trio of Ice Creams - Vanilla, Pistachio-Raspberry, Black Sesame:
Because our friends wanted some Ice Cream, even though we offered to drive them to Bulgarini after this. They were fine, but really tame. @paranoidgarliclover definitely skip the Black Sesame Ice Cream here (Shunji’s Black Sesame Ice Cream is much better and has a strong Black Sesame flavor).
Service has been pretty casual in the 15 or so visits to Republique. Some servers have been more attentive than others, but it’s a very laid back “L.A.” type of service. As noted before (with @Porthos’ thread), the one downside to Republique is the price for dinner: It’s definitely on the pricey side, with many visits averaging about $100 per person.
Republique continues to be one of these dependable, excellent, elevated, but not too elevated restaurants that represents some of L.A.'s best cooking (at times). Stick with their Appetizers, Housemade Charcuterie, amazing Salads, and Pastas and you’ll be having some of the best dishes L.A. has to offer in those categories. Republique also has that lively, dynamic atmosphere that just adds to the fun over dinner.
624 South La Brea Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Tel: (310) 362-6115
So glad you got to try the mafaldine and enjoyed it. I’ll have to try the cacio e pepe next time, thanks for the rec. Republique definitely has a higher hit to miss ratio than Felix right now. Love that octopus salad too. Great report as always.