- ONE WOMAN ON A MISSION TO DISCOVER & EXPERIENCE ALL THINGS LOS ANGELES
I’ve been relentlessly teased with pictures of some of the most delicious looking desserts and tasty beverages for what seems like months on end from fellow Angelenos enjoying said items at LA’s latest and greatest hot spot: Republique (pronounced: rey-pooh-bleak – say it with me now). Really though, the teasing never began and ended with just desserts and drinks… somewhere along the way there were baked goods thrown into the mix, shots of the fabulous geometric colored tiles that pave the interior, gorgeous lights that hang from the high vaulted ceiling, a chic almost medieval long family dining table, and not to mention images of dishes featuring cheeses and meats on more cheeses on meats. I’m not entirely sure how I managed to hold out for so long from trying the new spot on the block, it possibly had something to do with the fact that quick reservations proved to be as difficult as expected, but needless to say I finally made it LA’s new favorite spot and it was as fucking glorious as I knew it would be.
I have a weird obsession with anything and everything French. French food, French inspired decor, French films, France in general, and I’m very much so drawn to anything that seems to share my appreciation. In the case of Republique, Republique pretty much had me at “Republique”. Then the rest of the world at least in Los Angeles helped solidify my new-found love with plenty of more reasons to obsess over its French-ness. First impression starts with the incredible space: from the tall floor to ceiling windows, the gothic stonework, geometric mosaic tiles, the one and only picture of a young Marco Pierre White, to the warmly lit interior, it’s a space that is so beyond magnificent and grand that it’s almost impossible to explain and give it the justice it truly deserves. One thing that’s for sure is you truly feel transported: whether that’s to a movie set, a place in another time, or a city somewhere in France, it’s undoubtedly an exceptionally unique space.
What they serve in unparalleled ambiance they match in actual eating department. Prepare though, because dinner at Republique is definitely your cheat meal for the week. You will not be able to escape cheese, butter, bread, and meat and truth be told you won’t want to. The menu is classically French inspired, surprise!, with updated seasonal twists that will have you craving seconds. I myself have a new-found obsession for what Republique calls “Normandy Butter”; I’d love to try to explain this properly, but I’m afraid all I heard was “it’s like butter-cheese”. I don’t know about you… but that’s kinda all I needed to know anyway – go ahead and pass that butter-cheese and bread.
Besides the buzz and the whole “French” thing, admittedly what was really drawing me in to Republique, as mentioned previously, was pictures of their incredible desserts. I am the dessert Queen, as some of you may already be aware of, so the true test to winning my affection begins and ends at the end of my meal. Fortunately I’d like to share with you all that Republique passed the taste test with flying colors – Gold. Fucking. Star. I knew it was a good sign that the menu was twice the size as a normal dessert menu and had a variety that would leave me with no choice but to order more than one. I personally ordered the Meyer Lemon Tart and the Salted Carmel Chocolate Cake but I tell you, if I hadn’t shared two salads, two loaves of bread, a strip loin, french fries, and a whole lotta fish, there’s a pretty good chance I would have tried to order the whole damn menu. Good news is Republique ain’t goin’ no where any time soon and I cannot wait to revisit to feed the rest of my curiosities.
Republique is quite the show stopper all the way around and us Angelenos are quite pleased with what the Republique team has brought to the table thus far, literally and figuratively. If you are in need of a place to impress your company this is certainly the place to go. Or if you’re like me and simply happen to be a fan of craft cocktails, sugar, great food, and everything “French”, Republique should be next on your list too.
I don’t know if you knew this but… calories don’t count in November or December. I know it’s weird, but if there were a time to feed those pie cravings, it’d definitely be now. I’ve been on a pie adventure lately, well truthfully I’ve been on a pie adventure all my life, but in the spirt of the holidays and giving slightly less f*cks about sugar consumption, I’ve been doing a bit of taste testing with proven positive results. Some slices I’ve revisited, some I’ve just discovered, but in honor of truly #treatingyoself these are my top 5 favorite pies in LA right now!
Outside of the occasional delightfully purple ube treat, I can’t say I’m terribly familiar with Filipino cuisine. But my best friend/fellow Angeleno/food blogger Nastassia of @letmeeatcake fortunately is. She’s not only 1/2 Filipino and a foodie by trade, but she actually started the first Filipino food truck in LA back in 2010. Though Nas (as I like to call her) has moved on from her food truck days, she is still the authority on the local cuisine and I have loved learning about the delicious and colorful culture through her recommendations.
Nas is a dessert blogger, an excellent choice in profession if you ask me, and when she’d heard that Jonathan Gold had high praises for Sari Sari Store and their buko pie, it was decided that Sari Sari would be the perfect destination for our next “bff foodie adventure”. Take Grand Central Market, plus a lesson in Filipino food, plus eating said delicious Filipino food, plus friendship, and you’ve got a recipe for a wonderful quintessential LA experience.
There are T O N S of restaurants in LA, and it can be near impossible to stay on top of whats actually good and worth your time. No need to fret or feel overwhelmed my friend, that’s why I’m here! I have spent about 50% of my time in Los Angeles dining, the other 50% has been spent in the gym just in case you were wondering, and this my go-to list of “Love & Loathing LA Approved” restaurants. They’re in no particular order and the list will change from time to time so be sure to check back in!
Toscana (and Bar Toscana)
SOMEWHERE IN THE MIDDLE
Sugarfish (tons of locations all over LA)
*Yes – I have personally been to ALL of these. No these are not ALL of the best restaurants in LA, these just happen to by my (keyword my) personal favorites!*
Somewhere up there at the top of the “LA’s Most Picturesque Restaurants” you’ll find places like Republique, Gracias Madre, and most recently – Manuela. Oh Manuela. I’ve been hearing nothing but amazing things about this place and once I finally had the chance to go, I completely understood why. As mentioned, Manuela is easily one of the most beautiful restaurants in LA right now; it’s located right in the heart of the Arts District in the Hauser Wirth & Schimmel arts complex which is of course complete with art galleries, a garden, and most importantly – chickens. I damn near screamed (in delight) when I saw REAL LIVE ADORABLE HENS in Downtown LA, just sitting there hangin’ out in a garden. Very casual. This garden and those chickens however belong to Manuela who clearly have taken the quality of their ingredients to a whole other level. It’s not all that often that a restaurant has such close access to their very own garden in Los Angeles. (Real estate is quite hard to come by in case you didn’t know!)
Every now and then there’s a restaurant that pops up in LA that suddenly becomes the standard, the test, that determines just how on top of your restaurant game you actually are. For weeks while engaging in foodie talk I’ve been frequently asked by friends and peers if I’d been to Winsome yet, and every time with a hint of reluctance I was forced to answer “no”. I’m never certain how it happens, why it happens, and how which particular places become the “chosen ones”, but when the community speaks, I listen. Winsome is one of the latest chosen ones. Now that I can finally say I’ve been I’m aware of the many reasons that may be, but even before having visited it was clear that solely by the looks of it, the place had appeal. Winsome is exactly as advertised: it’s winsome (adj: attractive or appealing in appearance or character.)
Farmers Market finds + spirits – who knew the two would make such the dynamic duo? Like yin and yang, vegetables/fruits/herbs and liquor seem to surprisingly compliment each other. Adventurous bartenders and “mixologists” all over the city are crafting cocktails inspired by all that is in bloom and currently in season, so let’s just say if you haven’t had vodka with your beets or arugula, it’s time we get you with the program. Here are 8 of the freshest (literally) and most inventive ‘garden to glass’ cocktails to sip on this Spring!
Picture this. It’s Saturday morning, the sun is shining, it’s brunch time and you’re on the hunt for mimosas, a delicious meal, and with any luck you’ll stumble upon a donut. What do you do? Where do you go? You go to the one place, centrally located in LA, that not only offers $14 bottomless mimosas, but a huge menu of all of your favorite brunch items, AND freshly made warm sprinkled donuts – you go to The Wallace in downtown Culver City.
She may be cute, she may be little, but her spicy zest and funky free spirited attitude surprises even the most intuitive of foodie people. Little Sister in Manhattan Beach offers some of the most incredible “East-meets-West” inspired dishes the Los Angeles greater area has to offer. (Serious statement huh. I know. Because I said it and I meant it.) Just when you walk by or even pop in, assuming you’re in for another great California bistro style meal by the looks of the joint, you’re handed a menu that completely surprises and delights you. And by you I really mean me, I have a particular appreciation for all things Asian food related, but follow along if you’re with me. This small and cozy corner joint is consistently buzzing from afternoon through evening, and its attractive rustic chic exterior, and cozy dimly lit interior have all who are hungry curious about what Little Sister is up to. Between the undoubtedly inviting casual beachy vibe, the intriguing “anti fusion” menu, and the nod to Fugazi and Black Flag with their lyrics written on the walls like art, it was quite easy to quickly fall head over heels.
1. Stir Market
“A modern California take on the classic European food hall experience”, Stir Market is your next go-to casual spot to sit down for a meal, where you may also pick up a few locally sourced groceries/in-house baked goods while you’re at it. Breakfast is offered 8 – 11 am daily with the option of brunch that is served until 1:30 on weekends, and lunch/dinner are also served daily – in other words, come in anytime, all day, everyday. Expect all things farm fresh from rotisserie chicken, fresh salads, artisinaly crafted sandwiches, and of course freshly baked treats, wine, and quality everything. This is the perfect spot to head for lunch/brunch with friends, and from the looks of the food and interior, Sir Market is an excellent place for some seriously gorgeous Instagram photo-ops.
Fairfax: 7475 Beverly Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90036 | Open: 8 am – 10 pm daily