Bold Statement Alert: République is the best new restaurant of 2013.
Forget all the others (I’m talking to you, Alma)
République is the one to beat.
We all agreed that no dish fell short, everything was well thought out, perfectly seasoned and cooked and just the right portion size.
After having just been to Alma and finding the ingredients in many of the dishes “weird for weird’s sake”, it was refreshing to NOT find that here. Just because fish spit and turnip poop sound interesting, doesn’t mean it will be tasty.
It was like Goldielocks trying out all the beds, Republique’s was juuuuust right.
The cocktails were all simple and understated but delicious, unique and nicely priced. None of the $15 crap here. All in the $10-12 range. I especially liked the Daiquri Martinique with its strong clove essence.
We started with the Hamachi Crudo (simple and delicious) and the Escargots en Croûte (fun little ramekins topped with puff pastry), both are must orders. I don’t even care for snails and I enjoyed the bold parsley and garlic sauce the little guy was rolling around in.
They have a nice selection of daily Oysters, which we tried as well. I can’t eat Oysters but I was told they were top notch.
They have a few tartes to choose from and the Nueske’s Bacon with Gruyère and caramelized onions is so incredible, you have to order it or I’ll seriously kill you. I’m not joking. About the killing you part.
Our favorite dish of the night came next, the Butternut Squash Agnolotti was heaven. Just sweet enough to almost be dessert but not too sweet that we all didn’t not-so-secretly hate whoever it was who took the last bite. Bastards. ORDER THIS!! I’ll also kill you if you don’t order this dish. These are not empty threats, people.
We ordered three meats to finish out the meal. The Branzino was cooked perfectly (loved the crispy skin) and the simple combo of gnocchi, mushroom and spinach accompanied it nicely.
The Prime Strip Loin with Frites was really tasty too and the fries appear to have been air fried or something. Not a hint of grease to them.
My favorite was the Sonoma Duck Breast. The sweet from the orange sauce and the bitterness of the Brussels sprouts created a nice balance with the often boring duck. The Spatzle was a fun squishy texture to throw in there. I often order duck at restaurants because I never cook it at home, but it can be too…ducky. I like sauce and seasoning with most of my meats, because…well, why not? I’m paying for a tasty meal I wouldn’t make at home. And I suck at sauces, so make a sauce dammit!
…where was I?
The desserts (Dark Chocolate Tart and Caramel Cremeaux) were both tasty but they were not our favorite part of the meal. I have no thoughts on why, but they have about 8 desserts to choose from, I bet we just ordered wrong. It appears the Bomboloni are the thing to get. Try that instead (it had run out when we were there).
I don’t often feel the need for an “In Conclusion” paragraph but Walter Manzke’s République certainly warrants it.
COME HERE NOW! You will have a great time in a fun, bustling, not-too-obnoxious setting with attentive, not-too-obnoxious waitstaff (our gal was super fun) and you don’t have to order as much as we did and pay $100 a person, but if you did, it would be worth it, so just shut up about the price and COME HERE NOW!
Ok, I’m done yelling at you and making idle threats and demands. To be frank, it’s exhausting.
624 S La Brea Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036