Republique French bistro in Los Angeles is highly-acclaimed, and with "best of" awards in multiple categories after only a year, I was excited to visit. A late lunch on a Monday provided an uncrowded scene inside what appears to be a French market. The open, two-story atrium offers views into several kitchen and prep areas full of constant activity. Be sure to check out their special event spaces, particularly the Left Bank Wine Room.

The walk-up counter to order lunch runs alongside the bakery, which displayed dozens of beautifully arranged goods. I later enjoyed a selection of desserts, including Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake and Matcha Green Tea Bundt Cake with Yuzu Glaze, which delivered the strong flavors of their descriptive names. My favorite item from Republique, though, was the Hazelnut Paris Brest, a sliced pastry with creamy hazelnut frosting filling, and fresh chopped hazelnuts resting on the chocolate-iced top. It was stunningly delicious.

The menus change daily, with specials in most categories. The iced beverage offered that day was Blood Orange Lemonade, which had nicely balanced flavors and milder sweetness. For lunch, I had the so-called Regular Breakfast, complete with bacon steak, a slightly sweet, pleasantly tender, quarter-inch thick cut of...bacon! 

I had only a glass of the featured French white wine, served in a Schott Zwiesel glass. That I was so impressed by Republique, from a lightly-serviced lunch, and without experiencing the wine program of sommelier Taylor Parsons, is saying something. I am eager to return for the full meal deal.

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