Arguably one of the hottest tables in town, Republique has been going strong since December 2013. With it's beautiful, airy interior and modern French tasting menu, it's no wonder the restaurant is considered one of LA's essential eateries. Well, considering the hype, we figured it was about time that we gave it a go.
For drinks, I ordered The Italian Greyhound. It's an addictive mix of vodka, grapefruit, and really, who cares what else? I'll order these all night.
One of Republique's signatures is their mini toasts, one of which is the "eggs on toast," which features scrambled eggs and uni. While the uni toast is a great idea, in execution, it wasn't as dreamy as expected. The textures of the scrambled eggs and uni seemed to fight each other, and it didn't quite have the decadence that you expect from uni dishes. The other was a duck liver and foie gras pate with an apricot jam. The apricot really made the dish here, and added a bit of sweetness that cut through the richness of the pate. Overall, the toasts were fun, but surprisingly lacked the oomph you would expect from these ingredients.
Second up was a charcoal-grilled octopus dish. The octopus was cooked nicely, and the asian pear and pomegranate added a nice, light, fruity take on the dish, while the chile and lime provided plenty of acid. Overall, the dish was very refreshing and pleasing, and the Vietnamese-style flavors added a well-rounded element to the meal.
The charcuterie board was definitely a highlight of the meal. The bread was fantastic-- crunch on the outside, soft on the inside. The pickled vegetables and olives were really well done and flavorful, making them more than the average garnish. There was a little cup of duck liver mousse, which was out of this world, and when paired with the stone fruit chutney, was a fantastic combination. The rest of the meats were similarly great.
The pasta was quite good. It was rich, decadent, well-balanced, and well made. The sweet corn was surprisingly good, and we all really enjoyed it.
Last but not least was the beef short rib, which was tender, juicy, and really good. The tomatoes added a nice bite of acidity, while the mushroom farro was actually quite decadent. Another great dish.
Overall, the meal was really good, and I've been back since and enjoyed it. It's definitely a good spot for a fun dinner...but...there's somehow a but. While the meal was really good, it wasn't necessarily blow-your-socks-off-great. For the price of everything, and the endless hype, maybe our expectations were just too high. It's definitely a bit difficult to justify the price of the bill when the meal wasn't mind-blowing. The restaurant seems to be doing everything right-- a beautiful space, a trendy menu, great cocktails-- and we can see why people love it. But with the multitude of amazing options that pop up everyday, we're not sure that Republique will become our go-to spot.