Maccheroni Republic w/pics

I meet my dad downtown for lunch roughly once a week. Occasionally we’ll go to Wexler’s or Belcampo but, more often than not, we’re at Maccheroni Republic.

We mostly go for pasta, although my dad has scarfed down an entire osso buco, which you’ll see in the pics below. After a heavy lunch like that, I had to practically carry him out of the joint.

All in all, I’m completely in love with the place. Pasta is made in house and is cooked perfectly perhaps 95% of the time. Service is casual and friendly and the space is pleasant without being fussy. It feels very much like a classic Italian trattoria and the price point is great.

I know I’ve sung its praises before but I figured I’d add some photos to go with my praise this time around.

Egg pasta with seafood in a white wine/lemon/butter sauce. The grilled prawns on top… nice! From the specials menu.

Cuffie al Nero di Sepia - squid ink pasta (never seen this particular shape before) with some sort of white fish in a creamy saffron ‘ragout’. Perhaps my favorite of the lot.

Gnocchi with beef and forest mushroom ragout. Classic preparation. Not exactly a light lunch, especially given the enormous portion. Delicious.

The aforementioned Osso Buco. I believe it was on the specials menu. Classic braise served on a bed of creamy polenta.

Another special - squid ink polenta with grilled shrimp and marinara.

Squid ink pasta in a saffron broth with bay scallops, manila clams and shrimp, topped with grilled prawns. Another special. Had this yesterday and it was absolutely fantastic. The amount of seafood you get in a dish under $20 is impressive.

Braised tripe with pasta. This is called something like the “Chef’s Favorite” on the regular menu. I’m not usually a tripe fan but this was unbelievably good. The tripe was fork tender.

Maccheroni Republic DTLA
332 S Broadway
Los Angeles CA 90013
213-346-9725

http://www.maccheronirepublic.com/

14 Likes

You both like your squid ink, eh? I don’t know what saffron ragout is, but it does sound good.

1 Like

Squid ink is all over the menu. Perhaps they bought a fifty gallon drum and are trying to get rid of it all.

As for the ‘ragout’ - that’s why I wrote it that way. It’s more like a creamy saffron bisque with a fish fumé base than what I’d call a ragout. In the end, I don’t care what they call it because it’s honestly one of the best things I’ve eaten in a while.

3 Likes

What’s the noise level like in the evenings? The photos - and menu - look incredible and might, just possibly, spare me a trip to our default “pasta-place-when-friends-and-relatives-who-aren’t-very-adventurous-eaters-are-visiting” (I will not 'fess up to the name of that place).

It’s pretty dead at night. At lunch time, the din can be quite boisterous.

1 Like

Never been for dinner. I guess “boisterous” is a good modifier to describe lunch but I’ve never found it to be overbearing or distracting.

1 Like

It’s Olive Garden, isn’t it?

Old Spaghetti Factory?

It’s ok. You can tell us. We won’t judge.

Maybe we’ll judge a little.

4 Likes

Y’know, their meatball sandwich made with their garlic breadsticks is pretty good, in a very primal sort of “I’m just going to eat a bucket of Thrifty’s ice cream using a Kit Kat bar as a spoon” kind of way.

5 Likes

The garlic breadsticks were the only reason Olive Garden was ever a thing in the first place. Much like sister restaurant Red Lobster’s cheddar bay biscuits. And even then it was only a thing because you could ask for a side of alfredo sauce to dip them in. Then they started charging $4-5 for the alfredo and that was that.

So what I’m say is… judgement. So much judgement.

2 Likes

I only went once – on a weekend night. The place was hopping (but not at all unpleasant). We sat outside.

2 Likes

Actually I’ve always had to wait for dinner. It’s very popular with locals and the event goers in downtown at night.

–Dommy!

2 Likes

Bwahahahaha!

You’re possibly close - though it’s not a corporate chain (I think they have more than one location, possibly).

Trust me…If I’M judging me, you’re going to be really judging (and deservedly so). What FTC cred I’ve managed to accumulate - which is likely negligible - would completely evaporate and I’d be ostracized, cast out into the wilderness with no hope of ever finding a decent place to eat! And you wouldn’t want to cause that kind of suffering…would you?

1 Like

well dayum

3 Likes

Never been disappointed there (though it looks like their duck ragu may have left the menu temporarily, which would be a disappointment for the Woman In The Hat, if true). Prices reasonable, sound level reasonable, attitude reasonable, food tasty…what’s not to like?

2 Likes

clams and mussels aren’t that expensive

LOVE that place! I don’t get downtown to lunch very often, but that is pretty much my favorite. A little too far to walk for a jury-duty lunch, especially given the long uphill slog on a full stomach, but if I’m just meeting Mrs. O and some other Times people it’s perfect. I was tempted by the tripe last time – now I know I need to try it.

2 Likes

Oh good. Maccheroni Republic has its own thread. I adore them. I’m planning a baby shower in their private kitchen.

They’re participating in Dine/LA, which will make their already inexpensive menu really sweet. Although I don’t know how possible it will be to get in as they don’t accept reservations.

Good report! Delicious!

Let’s make it a guessing game (just kidding paranoidgarliclover). Buca di Beppo?

P.S. You’re being too hard on yourself my ElsieDee. We all go places with our family and friends we wouldn’t dream of if left to our own devices. I secretly like a couple of them. That might be a good idea for a thread.

2 Likes