I had heard about République LA a while back and knew it was one of the places I really wanted to try. The rest of the LA trip was open to suggestions but MB Post and République LA were not open to negotiation.
The other thing not open to negotiation was seeing my friend Azita and spending precious 1:1 time catching up. We met some years ago, instantly became friends and spending time with her is always a priority!
Republique LA is a big space but the restaurant is separated into many different spaces making it much more intimate than it might be otherwise. The menu is HUGE and there are way too many mouth-watering options that change constantly and as such we struggled to choose what to order.
What we ate:
Duck liver and foie gras pate with tenerelli farm plums chutney, Santa Barbara pistachios: you would never guess by looking at her how much Azita loves foie gras, and every time she sees it on the menu she orders, her rationale being “you never know when they are going to start prohibiting it again in LA”. She ordered the foie on toast versus the actual foie starter as it seemed smaller and we were going to share many things. Plus, I am not a foie lover. I had one bite and liked the plum chutney, but it is not my thing and I left it all for her, who professed it to be delicious.
Hiramasa crudo, roasted banana curry, coconut, peanuts, pickled pineapple: they had two crudos on the menu and they both sounded delicious but this one seemed more special and unique – the other had avocados and peaches – and it was absolutely delicious. Generous portion with gorgeous cubes of perfectly cubed fish in a light and fragrant tropical meets Indian preparation.
Wood oven Brussels sprouts, frisee, Applewood smoked bacon and poached egg: once again we were torn between this dish and a cauliflower curry starter that sounded divine, but since the crudo had curry, our friendly waitress suggested we go with the sprouts instead. The Brussels sprouts were perfectly roasted with a healthy dose of burned edges to go around and tossed with generous amounts of porky smoked bits. The egg was soft poached which I loved but Azita thought was a bit too undercooked……A very good dish but probably not the most creative, as the bacon and Brussel sprout combination has already taken over a lot of menus in the US.
Charcoal-grilled Octopus, watermelon, cabbage, pistachio, chili: we both LOVED this dish – unique and creative combination of flavours and it all worked well together. The octopus was thinly sliced and the small pieces got mixed into the shredded cabbage….and we had to play hide and seek to find the tender little bites, but the search was worth it. The flavour profile of the dish was just so new and special with the watermelon, cabbage and chili but I would have preferred chunkier pieces of octopus, and more of them…
Chocolate banana bread pudding with hazelnut ice cream: this dish was originally meant to be served with chocolate gelato but we changed for hazelnut. The portion was huge and we didn’t think we would eat even a third of it… and many bites later, we left less than a fourth on the plate as it was rich, gooey, toasted and served piping hot. The best bread pudding I’ve had in ages… and it would be a perfect meal for breakfast, lunch or dinner (fruit, dairy, bread…). The waitress said that they use the leftover pastries (unbitten ones hopefully) from brunch for it and we lucked out that ours were croissants. Yummmmmmmmm!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Corn ice cream: I saw this on the menu and couldn’t resist having one scoop as I grew up on sweet corn ice cream in Brazil and love it! This version was utterly creamy and the corn taste was very subtle, but still delicious.
In sum: great LA spot, tasty menu, fun vibe and varied and diverse menu.
Republique LA Republique Los Angeles
624 La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036