Outstanding Peach & Blackberry Pies, Legendary Mango Passion Fruit Cream Pie, A Treasure Trove of Pastries, Great Brunch and Lovely Dinner - Republique [Thoughts + Pics]

It seems like only yesterday that we were talking about this new upstart French-Californian restaurant opening up from Chef-Owner Walter Manzke and wife, Pastry-Chef-Owner Margarita Manzke. But 7 years later(!), Republique has firmly established itself as one of L.A.'s endearing restaurants where you can get a veritable treasure trove of glorious Pastries and Desserts from award-winning Pastry Chef Margarita Manzke during the day, or stop by for a wonderful Dinner from Chef Walter Manzke and team at night.

Given Chef-Owner Walter Manzke’s pedigree, from cooking at El Bulli in Spain to Patina, and Church & State, it seemed like a given that he’d finally establish a flagship restaurant to let his cooking shine, and Republique has blossomed into that, thankfully surviving the pandemic in 2020 (it had closed a few times during 2020, but managed to pivot and offer a limited takeout menu a few times last year).

Walking into Republique for the first time in a long time, you are greeted by the familiar, beautiful array of Pastries and Desserts that are arguably some of the best in the city:

Matcha Green Tea Latte (with Almond Milk):

Lovely Matcha Green Tea aromas on the first sip. :slight_smile:

Chocolate Brioche:

Pastry Chef Margarita and her team can probably be called “Chocolate Whisperers” by now, for their penchant of making glorious Pastry creations with Chocolate. This Chocolate Brioche is a new menu item, beautifully executed, light and pull apart airy Brioche with a deep, rich Chocolate swirl. :slight_smile:

Pastel de Nata:

Oh yah! :blush: Chef Margarita making Portuguese Egg Tarts? Must order! :slight_smile: These had a beautiful, rich, creamy custardy filling. Far more balanced and light compared to most Egg Tarts around town. You can taste the quality ingredients. The outer crust was delicate but also sturdy enough to hold the filling without crumbling apart easily. This was an outstanding Portuguese Egg Tart. :heart:

The only small nitpicky wish was to serve these warmed or hot, but even at room temperature, they are quite delicious. (@ipsedixit @ColinMorey @paranoidgarliclover @attran99 and all)

Peach Rose Madeline:

These aren’t really shaped like the traditional Madeleine I’m used to seeing, but there was still a fragrant, pleasing aroma from the Honey, Peach and very delicate Rose aroma coming through.

Another Visit:

This marked the very first time having Dinner at Republique since well before the pandemic in 2019. All the tables were socially distanced and it was a sold out dining room.

Watermelon Cocktail:

(Complimentary) Amuse Bouche:

The Amuse Bouche was a nice way to start the evening with a Roasted Carrot & Basil Oil Soup that was creamy, earthy, comforting and elevated at the same time, fitting the slow return to normalcy.

Munak Ranch Heirloom Tomatoes (Gioiella Italian Burrata, Watermelon, Centonze Olive Oil, Basil):

A beautiful celebration of Summer on a plate: Sweet, fragrant Heirloom Tomatoes, aromatic Basil, creamy, but light fresh Burrata and that Centonze Olive Oil was standout, so fruity and with pleasing aromas. :blush:

Bucatini Alla Carbonara (Housemade Guanciale, Black Pepper, Parmesan):

While perhaps Republique started out as a French-leaning California / American cuisine restaurant, their Handmade Pastas have become the cornerstone of their Dinner menu. The Bucatini Alla Carbonara is stellar: Fantastic al dente Bucatini Pasta, a deep porcine Guanciale (made in-house no less!), and in a creamy, silky peppery Carbonara Sauce to bring it all together. :heart:

Mary’s Organic Chicken Tagine (Roasted Cauliflower, Merguez, Oven-Dried Arnett Farms Plums, Cous-Cous):

The Mary’s Organic Chicken was nicely cooked: Moist, tender Chicken pieces. The Moroccan spice could be a bit punchier in the Chicken meat itself, but still quite tasty. :slight_smile: We really enjoyed the combination of Roasted Cauliflowers, Arnett Farms Plums as well to go with the Cous Cous.

Another Visit:

If there’s one area of strength that gets overlooked at times, it’s the fact that you can order Whole Pies from Pastry Chef Margarita Manzke and team, so you can have more slices of joy at home, whenever you want.

Banana Caramel Cream Pie:

While I’m not the biggest Banana in Dessert fan, Chef Margarita’s Banana Cream Pie is another beautiful offering: Extremely fragrant Banana and Caramel flavors, and a Housemade Pastry Cream that is so light and airy, together with her flaky, buttery Pie crust. It was just what we needed at that time. :heart:

Mango Passion Fruit Cream Pie:

But if there’s one Pie to get at Republique, if you could only have one piece of Dessert, it would have to be her legendary Mango Passion Fruit Cream Pie. Available only for a limited time each year, when it arrives, you would be remiss not to order it.

Perfectly ripe, tender, juicy Mango slices adorn the top of a glorious tropical Passion Fruit Cream Pie base. The combination is just stunning: Sweet Mango, tropical tart and sweet Passion Fruit with the airy Housemade Cream and quality, buttery Pastry crust. We hadn’t had this in well over a year+! A must order. :heart: :blush: :heart:

Another Visit:

Basque Cheesecake:

I’m embarrassed to admit that after all these years, I’ve never tried Republique’s Basque Cheesecake. :sweat_smile: Perhaps it’s the thought of eating something too heavy first thing in the morning, or just the mood, but it never was a craving whenever we showed up in the morning hours. But this time, we remembered…

Chef Margarita’s Basque Cheesecake is fantastic! :blush: Just look at the lovely creaminess, oozing out of the center, but still having some structure around the outside. It is deeply rich, but not overwhelming, decadent without overpowering, a bit of tart to balance the sweet.

Green Tea Matcha Latte:

Just what I needed for these Morning Pastries. :slight_smile:

Strawberry Rose Madeline:

This Strawberry Rose Madeline was still quite tasty, not as moist as I’d like, but fragrant and the Rose added an elegance to the Pastry.

Chocolate Hazelnut Marble Cake:

This is exactly what I meant earlier by the “Chocolate Whisperer” moniker: Yet another Chocolate Pastry / Dessert where Chef Margarita delivers something incredible! It starts with the glorious Dark Chocolate Glaze on top, which gives way to a moist, fluffy Chocolate Marble Cake underneath. Bits of Roasted Hazelnut add a refined nuttiness as well. :heart:

BLT Benedict (Oven Dried Tomatoes, Nueske’s Bacon, Arugula, Avocado, Calabrian Chili Hollandaise):

Luxurious, but oh so good! It evokes the familiarity of a BLT Sandwich, with Oven Dried Tomatoes that concentrate the flavors dramatically, the Arugula is masterfully utilized here, adding much needed bitterness to counter all the richness. Then Avocado creaminess, fantastic local farm Eggs (deep rich, orange yolk), the Calabrian Chili Hollandaise Sauce binds everything together. :heart:

Kimchi Fried Rice (Beef Short Rib, Pickled Radish, Sesame Seeds, Soft Poached Eggs):

To be clear, there is zero Wok Hei (Breath of the Wok) here. There never has been, and it’s not something that can be compared to a masterfully prepared, legit, old-school Chinese Fried Rice. However, despite it being a bit too wet, having no Wok Hei, Republique’s Kimchi Fried Rice has been a mainstay on the menu for years for a reason:

It just hits all the right notes of satisfying a craving desire. Something deep. It’s got delicious Roasted Beef Short Rib meat, the tart and tangy Pickled Radish Kimchi is a great foil to the richness and oiliness, and add on the nuttiness from the Sesame Seeds and the perfectly Poached Eggs, that break apart and add that luscious creaminess to each bite, and you have a dish worth waking up to. :heart:

Strawberry and Mango Passion Fruit Cream Pie:

When I first saw and read the description, it seemed too good to be true: Chef Margarita’s legendary Mango Passion Fruit Cream Pie, with the addition of in-season Farmers Market Strawberries?! The actual final version (see above) feels a bit sparse on the actual Fruit on top of the Pie (normally her Mango version or Strawberry version is completely covered with the Fruit on top).

But it is so refreshing. Here, her Passion Fruit and Cream base is the star, with some accents of Mango and Strawberry. It works. :slight_smile:

(Special) Peach & Blackberry Pie:

But the biggest surprise was partaking in Chef Margarita’s favorite version of Peach Pie: She likes making it with Peaches and accents it with Blackberries to balance out the sweet with some tart. We had asked her 2 years ago about making a Peach Pie and then the pandemic hit. Well it’s finally here and it’s glorious:

Perfectly ripe, beautiful Summer Peaches, so fragrant that only in-season Peaches can achieve. It’s sweet and lightly tart (inherently with great Yellow Peaches), and the Blackberries add more sweet and tart on a Berry level. Add on the fragrant Crumble and the high quality Butter Pie Crust and it is the best Peach Pie I’ve had in years! :heart: :blush: :heart:

It is SO GOOD! (@ipsedixit @attran99 @paranoidgarliclover @js76wisco @A5KOBE and all!)

Republique has thankfully survived 2020 (at one point it was selling groceries and bulk items to survive during the pandemic). While still operating at less than original capacity with a limited menu, Republique continues to shine. It is a place to grab a cheery Breakfast or Brunch, greeted by a massive glass case full of wonderful Pastries and Desserts, immediately bringing a smile to your face. Thankfully most of the offerings are outstanding due to Pastry-Chef Margarita Manzke and her team.

Then as the sun sets, settle in for an excellent Dinner from Chef-Owner Walter Manzke and team. Handmade Pastas, delicious Appetizers and Small Plates that celebrate California’s bountiful produce and main Protein courses are also worthwhile, like their Beef Short Ribs, Duck Confit or Chicken Tagine and beyond.

624 South La Brea Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Tel: (310) 362-6115



Fantastic report.

Any idea if the Crèmerie is open?

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Hi @ipsedixit,

I hope you get to try her Peach & Blackberry Pie. :slight_smile: The Cremerie is not re-opened yet, sadly. They said they’re just trying to slowly re-open (Breakfast & Brunch menus, Dinner). Thanks.

Gonna need that peach blackberry pie, sounds great warmed up with some vanilla ice cream.

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I hope you get to try it this Summer. It is amazing! :blush: And a great idea for that combo, with vanilla ice cream. :slight_smile:

Update 2:

As the end of stone fruit season draws near, it was time for another visit (or two) to Republique to partake of Pastry Chef Margarita Manzke’s outstanding pastries and desserts.

Green Tea Matcha Latte:

As tasty as always and a great pairing with Pastry Chef Margarita’s creations.

Banana Cream Pie:

While not a big fan of Banana desserts, there are some exceptions, such as this excellent version from Republique. It’s filled with just ripe Bananas, decadent, rich Caramel, bits of Dark Chocolate and an ultra-light, fluffy Whipped Cream. And Chef Margarita’s pie crust is buttery rich and an excellent base. :blush:

Pastry time!

(New) Dulce de Leche Cremadette:

Flaky, buttery crust gives way to a very sweet, thick, lush Dulce de Leche filling. Creamy, sweet, smooth, the filling was the right amount without overpowering the Pastry.

Creme Brulee Bomboloni:

Probably one of Republique’s signature Pastries, the Creme Brulee Bomboloni never disappoints. The sphere is filled with a delicious Custard, and the top is lightly torched (like a Creme Brulee). The resulting Caramelized Sugar on top is addicting and a beautiful textural contrast to the soft, fluffy Bomboloni Pastry itself, and the silky Custard within. So good! :heart:

Almond Brown Butter Cake:

Another excellent offering. Moist, crumbly Brown Butter Cake, fragrant, nutty Roasted Almonds and fresh, Farmers Market Peaches, Raspberries.

(New) Lemon Calamansi Twinkie:

But the surprise star of this Brunch was Pastry Chef Margarita Manzke’s new Lemon Calamansi Twinkie. First, yes, this is indeed an award-winning Pastry Chef remaking the mainstream American junk food classic Twinkie. And…

It seriously tastes like a super, high-quality, delicate Twinkie! :open_mouth: The outside if soft and yielding, moist, and it has a Twinkie-like texture. But it tastes of real high quality French Butter, moist cake, and the filling is a stunning citrus blast of sharp Lemon and fragrant, aromatic Calamansi fruit! Wow! The contrast of sweet and tart, super delicate cream, expert execution makes this a must-order and highlight of Brunch! :heart: (@ipsedixit @paranoidgarliclover @A5KOBE @attran99 @js76wisco and all, don’t miss this.)

Breakfast Sandwich (Pork Belly Sausage, Mayonnaise, American Cheese, Fried Egg):

The Housemade Brioche Bun (one benefit of their excellent Bakery) is pliant, soft with a nice chew to it, the Pork Belly Sausage is juicy, zesty and nicely seasoned, and that Farmers Market Egg (just look at that gorgeous orange yolk!) just ties everything together. Delicious and one of the better Breakfast Sandwiches in town. :blush:

(New) Carne Asada Breakfast Burrito (Fried Egg, Black Beans, Cheese, Avocado, Morita Chili Sauce):

A new Breakfast menu item, I wasn’t expecting too much from Republique tackling a Breakfast Burrito (they haven’t really been known for Mexican cuisine). This was fine. There was good quality Carne Asada at the core of this dish, meaty chunks of Steak (but zero smokiness, clearly not grilled over charcoal a la Tijuana-style Carne Asada specialists we’re used to around the city).

This was a “Wet Burrito”-style of preparation, with the Burrito covered in their Housemade Morita Chili Sauce and Crema. This actually was a mild, but very flavorful Chili Sauce that helped elevate the dish. Overall, decent, not bad at all.

(Special) Peach & Blackberry Pie:

And the reason for our visit, Pastry Chef Margarita Manzke’s amazing Peach & Blackberry Pie! It was outstanding the last time we ordered it, and with stone fruit season drawing to a close, we wanted to enjoy it one more time before it was gone for the season.

As delicious as it was the 1st time we had it, there’s a crumbly baked top giving way to fragrant, tender chunks of Farmers Market Fresh Peaches, baked until soft and concentrated, it’s complemented by tart-sweet Blackberries, and the amazing Pie crust from Chef Margarita, firm, buttery, and full of flavor. It is the best Peach Pie we’ve had since I can remember. Outstanding! :heart: (@attran99 @ipsedixit @A5KOBE and all)

(Special) Matcha Dark Chocolate Bundt Cake:

One of Republique’s underrated offerings, they offered this by the slice before the pandemic. We hadn’t seen it return yet, and our friend was craving this Matcha Dark Chocolate Bundt Cake, so we surprised her. :slight_smile:

It is very good: Moist Matcha Cake with Dark Chocolate swirls, and coated on the outside with a Dark Chocolate glaze on top. It is not as decadent as Chef Margarita’s famous Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake, much lighter, and you get a nice herbal, leafy Matcha Green Tea flavor in the Cake, then Dark Chocolate and then more Dark Chocolate from the glaze on top.

Republique continues to be a great place to visit for Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch and Dinner. While their Breakfast and Brunch savory items have some standouts, don’t miss out on Pastry Chef Margarita Manzke’s wonderful creations on display (the massive Pastry and Dessert case). During the evening hours, you get 1 or 2 of her creations, but during the day, it’s where she shines the most.

624 South La Brea Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Tel: (310) 362-6115



I want that Twinkie lol!

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Thanks for the heads up! I may need to stop in tomorrow and grab a Twinkie or 3.

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