Le Mediocre

Prairie Prime Pork Chop & Belly
There has been a lot of press lately about the 3% Obamacare surcharge added to all patrons’ checks at LA’s hot new French restaurant, Republique. The surcharge is intended to pay for health care insurance for restaurant employees, and for those diners who find the surcharge objectionable, the restaurant recommends deducting it from the gratuity. Whether this is a well meaning attempt to provide better benefits to restaurant employees, a slam on Obamacare, or a brilliant publicity stunt, personally, I don’t like it. What’s next? A surcharge for electricity or for paper towels in the bathroom? Republique should do what all other restaurants do; factor its total overhead into its food prices.

But the problem with Republique increasing food prices to pay for healthcare insurance is that the food there is overpriced to begin with. Sure, the place (it’s in the old Campanile space) is hip and fun and they offer a mezcal-based cocktail called “Speaking in Tongues.” But to me it’s all about the food, and the food at Republique, just like the Lakers this season, is sadly mediocre; merely good and unfortunately not great. Dining there recently left me thinking of that Peggy Lee song “Is That All There Is?” — the answer to which in this case is “yes and you get to pay an additional 3% for it.”

Republique is located at 624 S La Brea Ave, Los Angeles (Mid-City).

Grass-Fed Beef Tartare with Tarragon Aioli, Pickled Red Onion and Potato Chips

Grass-Fed Beef Tartare with Tarragon Aioli, Pickled Red Onion and Potato Chips


"Eggs on Toast" with Santa Barbara Uni and Soft-scrambled Eggs

“Eggs on Toast” with Santa Barbara Uni and Soft-scrambled Eggs


Tart a L'Alsacienne with  Stinging Nettles, Asparagus, Leeks and Drake Family Farms Goat Cheese

Tart a L’Alsacienne with
Stinging Nettles, Asparagus, Leeks and Drake Family Farms Goat Cheese


Hand-Cut Fettuccine with Maine Lobster Bolognese

Hand-Cut Fettuccine with Maine Lobster Bolognese


Maine Bouchot Mussels with French Fries, White Wine and Garlic

Maine Bouchot Mussels with French Fries, White Wine and Garlic


Mediterranean Branzino with Thai Curry, Carrot Coconut and Peanuts

Mediterranean Branzino with Thai Curry, Carrot Coconut and Peanuts


Banana Cream Pie with Hot Chocolate and Peanut Buttter

Banana Cream Pie with Hot Chocolate and Peanut Buttter


Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake with Milk Eau de Vie

Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake with Milk Eau de Vie


In the old Campanile space on La Brea

In the old Campanile space on La Brea



Republique on Urbanspoon

13 Comments

Filed under Mid-City

13 Responses to Le Mediocre

  1. Peter Steinfeld

    I believe the restaurant is called Républiquan.

    • ConsumingLA

      Hilarious! They seem to have pissed off people on both sides of the aisle. A conservative friend of mine said they should start serving Chicken Kiev.

  2. KARL

    obamacare for business does not start til next year. also some places have eliminated Gratuities altogether, and adjust their prices accordingly. and pay their employees a living wage.

    • ConsumingLA

      I haven’t been to a place like that here. In Japan, there are no gratuities and sevice is generally great. Not sure it would be the same here.

  3. melissa

    The photos look AMAZING especially the uni with scrambled egg….

  4. ethan winthrop

    The food in the pictures look very delicious to me.

    • ConsumingLA

      Thanks. I always try to make the food look as appealing as possible in my photos. And it’s not bad, just overpriced and not amazing.

  5. David Meyers

    A very good review and a good statement. Let us not start mixing entertainment i.e. restaurant dining with the stress of the political world.

  6. someone's mama

    1) no good can come from stealing a property out from under a long time resident
    2) being slick doesn’t make you good
    3) having an iconic building doesn’t make YOU iconic
    4) if Republique is destined to be great it will have to have heart

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