You know when you hear about a restaurant that supposedly has amazing food, fantastic ambiance, and is just all around hyped up but it ends up falling flat? Well, this is the opposite of that. After drooling over a picture on Insta of Republique’s famous kimchi fried rice, I doodled the LA restaurant’s name on my culinary bucket list. The name suggests a French vibe, and it didn’t disappoint. The bright cafe perfectly blends local LA style and some classic Parisian flair. I finally found myself there for brunch on a gloomy July Sunday and oh my… see for yourself.
Before I even talk about the orgasm-inducing food, check out the beauty that is Republique’s architecture. I’m too lazy to actually research this, but I’m pretty sure the location must have been a former church or something. The ceilings arch high over the family style tables and the rustic brick walls add a cozy and homey effect to the dining experience. The long line out the door might frighten you, but the queue offers time to browse through the various fresh pastries. With a large lot, finding seats isn’t a problem despite the crowds.
Let’s move on to the food. The kimchi fried rice lured me to Republique, but standing in the light-filled atrium, I couldn’t help but be torn between something sweet and savory. To get the best of both worlds, I opted for the “regular breakfast,” which includes eggs (any way), crispy roasted potatoes, thick bacon, and a French-style baguette. Although simple, everything was delicious. The bacon had the soft consistency of pork belly, melting in my mouth. The baguette was wonder bread compared to the bread I used to eat in Paris, but the outer shell crackled deliciously and the inside was warm and soft, the best I’ve had since returning to the U.S. The entire meal was a bit Parisian, with a bunch of samplers of different items – only missing my frothy cafe creme!
For the sweet side, I settled on this massive cherry glazed donut. The glass case of sweets made choosing difficult, but I couldn’t pass up a donut the size of my hand, right? It was perfectly sweet and obviously freshly homemade, so no complaints here. For something a bit boozy, Republique offered a rose sangria with vibrant pears, berries, and apples. It was crisp and refreshing, but missing the fruity flavor I was looking for in a sangria.
You’re probably wondering about that freaking kimchi fried rice I keep mentioning. Luckily for me, someone else ordered it so I could sneak a little (read: big) bite. It was savory with a hint of soury sweetness, and speckled with fresh green onion and buttery soft beef short rib. My only regret of the entire meal was not getting a shot of dat #yolkporn as the egg was broken over the sticky rice. Next time, next time.
Also on the table was the mushroom toast, with sliced ham, soft egg, and a red wine sauce, as well as the croque madame with an equally perfect egg on top. I didn’t try either, but feast your eyes on the food porn.
And because I’m a glutton, I picked up another pastry to
eat on the way home take home with me. The (adorable) server cut a piece of this pistachio cherry braid right in front of me, exposing the gooey, delicious inside within the flaky crust.