Chef Walter Manzke’s Republique is one of the most talked about restaurants in Los Angeles. Chef Manzke has taken over the old Campanile space, which we will truly miss and has created his own farm-to-table concept. La Brea Bakery has moved out of the old space and just down the street and now the entire space is operating as Republique.
The restaurant has wide open spaces with a bar in the front, but it also includes a second floor for dining. Republique is very dimly lit in the back with several communal style tables in the front area. The bakery is being run by Chef Manzke’s wife, Margarita who showcases her talents with pastries and freshly handcrafted breads.
The menu is large with selections of raw seafood, hors d’oeuvres as well as handmade savory tarts. The Chips & Dip were out of this world creative and delicious. The chips – crunchy pork rinds and the dip – a house cured salmon over yogurt with chives –need I say more.
The Charchuterie and Cheese section of the menu could be a meal in itself, but if you just want a small sampling of flavor, the Duck Liver Mousse with pickled Asian Pear is your best bet.
The salad and veggies section are still considered sides or small plates, but once you read the pastas & risotto suddenly you can’t remember why you eat Little Gem Lettuce.
The Spaghetti Rustichella with wild mushrooms, asparagus and soft egg was creamy and earthy due to the mushroom stock that is used in this dish. The sauce with the extra richness from the egg was some of the best.
As far as fish and meat the Spot Prawns from Santa Barbara are always delicious, but the Berkshire Pig Head with lentils and bacon were calling. The pig head is made into a terrine and then sliced and seared. Next, Chef Manzke layers the terrine with lentils frisee and finally tops it with a fried egg. Yum!
Other dishes that were hard to miss included the Lamb Blade Steak with roasted artichokes and salsa verde as well as the Strip Loin, which can be ordered in half size portions. The desserts were another item we didn’t indulge on, but the table next to us had the Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake and the Cherry Tart which looked divine, I just wanted one bite.
Republique is a food lovers paradise and needs to be on everyone’s hit list that lives or visits Los Angeles, it is that good.