624 S La Brea Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036
A group of us went to the new hotness that is Republique during opening week late last month. While it’s not the fine-dining haven that most were hoping for with regards to seeing what Chef Walter Manzke can really do, it certainly does bring back pleasant memories (for most – I’ve never had the pleasure of dining at a Manzke restaurant before my dinner at Republique) of chef’s days at Church & State. Our foursome sat at the chef’s counter, which provided an excellent view of the open kitchen, but was a bit too warm for my liking, as it was directly facing the wood-burning oven. Still, a great setting for a promising meal.
The food here is just bistro fare, but there’s plenty to like on the menu. It appears that the menu has been changing on an almost-daily basis, but the highlights of our meal include: the cote de porc, the charcuterie, and the beef tartare. Definitely order those if you see them (I’m sure the charcuterie will be). Everything we ordered was at least solid, but a couple of dishes were on the saltier side (I personally have a high-sodium tolerance though, so this is more of a warning for others). Desserts were simple, but solidly executed.
I didn’t really want to go into detail because it was opening week, but let’s just say that Republique is very promising. I’m looking forward to seeing what the restaurant can do once it settles down and takes off from a creative perspective (also, there’s supposed to be a more formal, tasting-menu aspect of the restaurant forthcoming). Really can’t go wrong with the meat dishes here – the house-made charcuterie is already one of the better versions in the city, and that cote de porc was downright delicious. Will definitely be back for a more extensive experience in the future.
Grass-Fed Beef Tartare ($18) – tarragon aioli, pickled red onion, potato chips
Warm Baguette (*on request*) – butter
Eggs on Toast ($16) – Santa Barbara uni, soft-scrambled eggs
Crispy Pork Rinds ($12) – chili-vinegar dip
Charcuterie Board ($24)
Cook Ranch Pig’s Head ($12) – lentils, bacon, frisee, farm egg
Red Wine Braised Short Rib ($32) – potato gnocchi, red swiss chard
Cote de Porc ($58) – Berkshire pork chop, belly & sausage, salsify, fuji apple, spatzle, peppercorn sauce
Sage Panna Cotta ($10) – butternut squash, pumpkin seeds
Bomboloni ($12) – hazelnut ice cream, chocolate sauce
Caramel Pot de Creme ($9) – roasted almonds
Passion Fruit Tart ($?) – mascarpone sabayon