When does a trending LA restaurant transition from fad to forever? Just ask Chef Walter Manzke of top-ranked (and plausibly trend-proof) Republique, where seasonal California food is given the French treatment in a truly memorable way. The restaurant’s name nods to the bustling Métro station in the heart of Paris, but the energy feels more like a charming rustic marketplace. Located in a 20’s era stone building (formerly occupied by iconic resto Campanile), every detail of Republique feels grand — from the dramatic facade to the green and white tiles — and the food has always measured up.
During the day, Republique operates as a neighborhood cafe with pastries and other down-to-earth daytime eats. Dinner takes everything to the next level with updated classics like beef tartare, European white asparagus, little gem salad with green goddess dressing, octopus with pistachio, organic roasted chicken and so much more.
Chef Walter Manzke is the mastermind behind the menu. He and his wife, pastry chef Margarita Manzke, created Republique together after having worked in some of the top kitchens in the world. Walter’s resume includes the renowned El Bulli in Spain and Patina in LA.
We love Walter’s use of seasonal ingredients and traditional techniques in his work at Republique, as well as in his previous projects which include Church & State and Petty Cash Taqueria. We asked the top chef to join our In The Kitchen series and below he’s divulging everything from his midnight snack of choice to his best food memory to date…
In my kitchen you’ll find plenty of:
Recipe staple always on hand:
Ingredient that makes everything taste better:
Best food memory:
When my wife, Marge (who is the pastry chef/owner of République and Sari Sari Store), cooked a multi-course dinner for my birthday at home.
Le Grand Livre De Cuisine by Alain Ducasse.
Food philosophy in one sentence:
The results are most dependent upon the ingredients that are used.
Favorite ingredient lately:
Food you love to eat with zero prep/additions:
Any kind of fresh fruit.
Most impressive dish:
The caviar course at Saison in San Francisco.
Healthiest habit in the kitchen:
Red Rooster Hot Sauce.
Best bargain tip:
Eat in Thai Town in Los Angeles.
Vacation in Paris.
Your idea of an ideal dinner setting…
Brooklyn Fare in New York.
Simple go-to recipe: