Republique - Stunning Brunch, Lunch & Pastries Galore [Thoughts + Pics]

Much has been said about Republique, Chef Walter Manzke’s newest restaurant in the mid-city area. From cooking at El Bulli in Spain to Patina and Church & State, it seems Chef Manzke’s cooking has found a steady home at Republique. I’ve enjoyed some of his dishes on the dinner menu, but never thought of the place as a Breakfast / Brunch destination.

Then thanks to @BHAppeal’s great list of recs, it was time for a visit, LOL. :smile:

The first thing you might notice passing by Republique on the weekends is the insane line out the door. For Breakfast / Brunch, Republique is first-come-first-serve. You order at the counter (after picking out any pastries you might want) and then find a seat. Thankfully there’s plenty of seating inside, the line moves quickly.

The second thing you might see is this glorious long glass case filled with pastries, pastries and more pastries! LOL :laughing: It’s so tempting!

The third thing you might notice after ordering is just how gorgeous the space is. This is the former home of Campanile, and by day, this is a stunning place to relax and have brunch.

Mille-feuille:

I love mille-feuille and can’t resist ordering this whenever I see it on the menu somewhere. The puff pastry is light and flaky, the pastry cream is airy, but sadly what brought it down was the overly tart raspberries. I’d imagine if they used something like Harry’s Berries’ Organic Strawberries this would be ridiculous. Or I’d love to have it without the tart fruit, and it’d be great.

Kouign-amann:

I am not an expert on this pastry, so I need to page @ipsedixit @bulavinaka (and, who else was it on our old boards who were experts? @J_L @Porthos?), but Republique’s version was tasty enough. Better than the last few I had at various bakeries I’ve since forgotten. :smile:

Lemon & Poppyseed Cake:

Super fragrant, crumbly, light. I was hoping it’d be a bit more moist, but it was nice and went great with some tea. :smile:

Creme Brulee Bombolini:

This was another airy pastry, an Italian donut of sorts. Loved the custardy filling. The top layer featured caramelized sugar, like a creme brulee.

Hazelnut Paris Brest:

But the showstopper was their Hazelnut Paris Brest. Luscious, but delicate and with a cloud-like pastry cream filling. WOW! :open_mouth: Fresh Hazelnuts, the touch of Chocolate. Seriously legit!

Yuzu Pear Lemonade:

Really fragrant, lovely Yuzu citrus. Awesome, refreshing version of the classic Lemonade. :smile:

Kimchi Fried Rice (Soft Egg, Beef Short Ribs):

I forgot who recommended their Kimchi Fried Rice, but “Thank you!” for the rec! Just a bowl of awesome! While it looks daunting (RED), it actually was only mildly spicy, and it was just lovely with the Kimchi, tender, chunks of Beef Short Rib, and then you break open those 2 delicate Poached Eggs. Pure win! :smile:

Shakshouka (Fried Egg, Stewed Tomatoes & Peppers, Black Kale, Yogurt, Cilantro, Baguette):

Another great dish. Liquidy yolks, savory, tart Tomato and Red Pepper Sauce. And something should be said about their house-made Baguette bread. Seriously fantastic! It’s pliable, pillowy in the center, and not overly crusty on the outside. Perfect for sopping up the Egg and Tomato / Red Pepper Sauce.

Wild Mushroom Toast (Soft-Scrambled Eggs, House-Cured Ham, Red Wine Sauce):

Looking at the menu description, this sounds rather pedestrian. But nothing is further from the truth:

Imagine delicate Scrambled Eggs (not the overcooked stuff you usually see everywhere LOL), moist, fluffy, topped with an umami bomb of tender Mushrooms in a beautiful Red Wine Sauce and then mixed in with some of the most beautiful, thinly sliced house-cured Ham, which tastes more like thin slices of Prime Rib (ala Gjusta’s Prime Rib Butcher!).

It all melds together in this bite of AMAZING! And easily the best thing I ate this weekend. :heart: So good! Thanks @BHAppeal!

Definitely surprised at the Brunch menu at Republique. While some of the pastries fell short, some of them were outstanding, and their savory brunch dishes so far seem to be pure winners. :slight_smile: Need to go back for more.

Republique
624 S. La Brea Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Tel: (310) 362-6115

http://republiquela.com/

Update:

Stopped by for another brunch. Looking at their cured meats case, I suddenly had a craving for Charcuterie. :slight_smile: I wish they served that for brunch.

Purple Juice: Carrot, Beet, Pomegranate, Ginger:

Fresh-pressed juice was pretty delicious and I loved the Ginger to kick-start my morning. :wink:

We had 3 pastries today, starting with their Mini Chocolate Bundt Cake:

This was intensely chocolatey, and moist. It’s not as insane as Gjusta’s Pumpernickel Fudge Brownie, but this was just the right amount of sweet and airy.

Lemon & Poppyseed Cake:

Had to get another Lemon & Poppyseed Cake. This time, it was better than our last visit: There was enough moisture and flaky, crumbly texture.

Creme Brulee Bombolini:

Forgot to take a picture because my friend inhaled half of it before I noticed. :smile: It was the highlight of our pastries today. Perfect glaze on top, airy, and the inner Custard was just sweet and fragrant enough without it being cloying. Really, really good! :slight_smile:

Adobo Fried Rice (Pork Belly, Fried Eggs):

I was looking forward to this second style of Fried Rice at Republique after the delicious Kimchi Fried Rice last time, but it wasn’t as good. It’s not bad, but the Adobo sauce tasted rather flat (basic salty-soy sauce flavor), and the Pork Belly was a bit overcooked (dryish).

Their Kimchi Fried Rice with Beef Short Ribs was much better, so we’d probably stick with that next time.

Dry-Aged Beef Burger (Cheese, Caramelized Onions, French Fries):

I was really looking forward to this, since I heard so much about the Burger and especially the twice-fried French Fries that came with it.

First, you can definitely taste a good beefiness with their Dry Aged Beef. It arrived a solid medium-rare, and it was gargantuan.

However, it was oversauced and too messy: The Cheese, Caramelized Onions were OK, but the Thousand Island-style sauce was too much. It made the whole thing taste like a glorified McDonald’s Big Mac. :unamused: Their Thousand Island-style sauce was just so potent, it overpowered the Burger. To be fair my friend liked it more than I did. It’s not bad at all, but just not my style of Burger. :slight_smile:

The French Fries were very good, but not amazing. Maybe we heard too much hype for the Fries, but they were crispy on the outside, and not too dry on the inside, but they just tasted “good” but not “this is the most amazing French Fries I’ve ever had!” type of reaction that I was anticipating.

Republique
624 S. La Brea Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Tel: (310) 362-6115

http://republiquela.com/

Update 2:

Met a good friend for Brunch, and she chose Republique. Couldn’t wait to see how Chef Walter Manzke and Pastry Chef Margarita Manzke’s creations had progressed. :slight_smile:

After getting through the line, a smile started to build across my face as we reached the Pastry counter:

So many good things to choose from! :smile:

Unburnt Bread:

The interior of Republique is really one of the prettiest in the city. Such a relaxing place to enjoy Brunch! :blush:

Bostock (Almond-filled Tea Cake with Matcha Tea, Raspberries and Toasted Almonds):

This was restrained, not too sweet, really fragrant from the Toasted Almonds and Almond Paste Filling. The Matcha Green Tea added a nice counterpoint to the general moist, lightly sweet Tea Cake. :slight_smile:

Blood Orange Vanilla Donut:

This sounded too intriguing to pass up! Sadly it was just OK. It wasn’t bad, but it was slightly dryish (a Cake Donut), but the Blood Orange Vanilla flavors were nice.

Coffee Caramel Eclair:

Now this was amazing! A beautiful, fragrant Coffee flavor mixed with a light, nutty Caramel whipped into a delicate Cream. A good Eclair. :slight_smile:

Strawberry Coffee Cake:

This was a “Coffee Cake”-style of sweet, not “Coffee-flavored,” so this worked well with the fresh, seasonal Strawberries now coming into season. Moist, crumbly Coffee Cake, really fragrant, sweet Strawberries with just a note of tartness, which worked great here.

LA MILL Loose Leaf Genmai Cha from Japan:

Surprisingly good Loose Leaf Japanese Genmai Cha from LA MILL, wonderful Sencha Green Tea flavors, with the nuttiness from Toasted Brown Rice.

Creme Brulee Bombolini:

This must be my favorite Pastry from Republique currently.

Sugar-glazed exterior, fluffy interior gives way to this amazing silky Custard. This is fantastic! :blush:

Mushroom Omelette (Local Chanterelle Mushrooms, Bloomsdale Spinach, Goat Cheese):

The Arugula Salad is wonderfully bitter, and a good contrast to their Omelette. The Omelette is nicely cooked (thankfully not overcooked like most Omelettes around here are), still relatively moist and airy enough. The Chanterelle Mushrooms and Bloomsdale Spinach are a great combination, and the Goat Cheese gives just enough funk to enliven the dish. :slight_smile:

Kimchi Fried Rice (Beef Short Ribs, Soft Farm Eggs):

I don’t remember our first Kimchi Fried Rice being as good as it was today. This has to be one of the best Brunch dishes in L.A. that we’ve had! :blush:

Imagine soft, tender, nearly melting morsels of Beef Short Rib sauteed with Kimchi and Rice, and then topped with Farm Fresh Soft Eggs. Break it apart and mix it all together and you get this luscious taste from the Egg Yolks, the meaty tender Short Ribs, and this fermented tart light spiciness from the Kimchi all sauteed together with Rice.

It’s absolutely delicious! :heart:

Now that we’ve explored enough of the Brunch menu (but not even close to enough for the Pastry case :smile:), Republique has really grown on me. From the beautiful, sunny interior, to the massive array of Pastries and some standouts on their Brunch Menu, Republique is just a great place to meet up with friends and family and start your day. :slight_smile:

Republique
624 S. La Brea Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Tel: (310) 362-6115

http://republiquela.com/

Update 4: Fantastic Cream Puffs, Austrian Pancakes and more!

Update 5: Don’t miss Mango Passion Fruit Cream Pie, Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake, Fried Chicken Sandwich, Cuban Sandwich and more!

Update 6: To-Go Menu

Update 7: To-Go Menu, Part 2:

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I am glad you liked it. Republique can be a bit of a zoo on weekend mornings, but the food is so great. The Wild Mushroom Toast is one of my favorite dishes around town.

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Everything looks delicious. The lukewarm reviews on CH and FTC have deterred me from visiting; looks like I’ll have to reconsider.

Thanks for the report and extensive visual coverage.

Was it on savory side? Or was it simply sweet?

After trying many versions of Kouign-amann, I find that I prefer this Breton cake on the savory-sweet side.

Just one sweet flavor tone and the thing tastes too much like a donut on a butter binge.

Fabulous report, by the way. Kudos.

The untouched eggs on the kimchee fried rice look truly SEDUCTIVE… :smile:

Thanks @BHAppeal! I wouldn’t have bothered with the crowds if it wasn’t for your recommendation in the first place. :wink:

@Sgee: Oh there are definitely some dishes at Republique’s dinner that my friends and I didn’t like; not everything on that menu is a hit. But there were some good dishes as well, and my first time for brunch (above) was definitely a surprise. If you go, report back! :smile:

the crowds for brunch have deterred me as well----but that wild mushroom toast is making me consider either getting up early on a Sunday or dealing w/ the line. great photos too!

Bouchon does a pretty sweet and very good version.

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i’m hardly an expert on this sort of thing, but thoroughly enjoyed the kouign-amann at mccall’s.

I was a bit disappointed w/ my brunch meal at Republique. I also ordered the Shakshouka, and while it sounded and looked fantastic, the flavor profile didn’t deliver. It was very one note, and that note was tart. Maybe the tomatoes weren’t fully ripe or something, but it just didn’t work for me. Agree that their pastry selection is great and their baguette is really fantastic. It used to be free upon request during dinner but I think they have since started charging for it.

Hi @ipsedixit,

It was just sweet, no savory. But your description sounds intriguing for Kouign-amann!

So is this savory-sweet version you like sort of like the idea behind “Salted Caramel” type desserts?

Where would you recommend some good savory-sweet versions. I must try it! :smile:

Thanks~

Thanks @Porthos, @linus. Got it. I’ll have to try Bouchon and McCall’s versions. :smile:

I love mccall’s also. So buttery, delicious and not too sugary.

The Bouchon one was excellent the 1-2 times I’ve had it. I vaguely recall Huckleberry having one, but I also vaguely recall it not being at all similar to the one at Bouchon (although I think I still enjoyed it).

No, not exactly.

The salt is understated and almost muted, unlike a salted caramel ice cream for example where the two flavor dimensions often take center stage, each providing a nice counterpoint to the other.

The salt in the kouign-amann, by contrast, is there to provide the an inconspicuous hint of savoriness, and not something you pick up on unless you are told about it, or are looking for it. Sort of like how in certain chocolate desserts some people will add instant espresso to create an extra dimension of taste, and unless you look for it, you just think that you’re eating kick-ass chocolate.

Dominique Ansel Kitchen (not the Bakery) in Manhattan.

You’re welcome!

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If you’re in the bay area get a pair of kouigns at b patisserie.

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My favorite kouign amann that I’ve tried is the white miso kouign amann from Sugarbloom Bakery. http://www.sugarbloombakery.com/about/. The umami from the white miso takes it to another level. You can get it all around town; places are on the website.

I have to check out republique

For me, the kouign-amann is all about the butter (as you probably already know, the word “amann” means butter in Breton). My distant relatives are from Brittany, and they use half salted butter, half unsalted butter when they make the buttercake. And a ridiculous amount of butter, at that…

My favorite iteration of this cake in L.A. is at Pitchoun. My very favorite kouign-amann ever comes from a little patisserie just outside Rennes (France), and it’s sweet/buttery, with just a tad savory, with exquisite flakiness & layering.

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I’ve always been disappointed by the one at Pitchoun. It’s never tasted particularly buttery to me. A chacun son la vie.

I like the croissants okay at Pitchoun. Certainly way better than many atrocities around DTLA.

I like the kouign amann at bread lounge on Santa Fe in DTLA better than the one at Pitchoun. But I like the white miso one at stumptown next door better.

Concur. And that brings us to the problem with so many of the kouign-amann around town nowadays.

Cheap butter.

And then the use of sugar, and copious amounts of sugar, to hide the cheap butter.