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Restaurants & Bars

The Bridge-dinner; Republic -dessert report

movie guru | May 21, 200607:57 PM

New in LA

We had the chance to see two new places, The Bridge restaurant and Republic, both recently opened along La Cienaga. Before I give you a rundown of my thoughts, know that these are the two newest, scene driven restaurant experiences you can supposedly have in Los Angeles right now.
So here are my thoughts.
1. The Bridge – The place is trying to be the next scene. Located where the old Alto Palato used to be, the room is enormous. They put millions into this concept, and most of it went into the room. The bar is fantastic, with bottles ascending the entire twenty by thirty foot wall. For a drink, this is a great place to start. We then made our way into the dining room, which just doesn’t match up to the cuisine. The staff wERE friendly here, but didn’t make a huge impression. The sommelier knew what he was talking about, but was working incredibly hard to make the upsell, suggested a $155.00 white from Gaya . We started with a prosciutto pizza, which was good, not great. Next, we moved onto a roasted pepper and burrata cheese, which was awful, the cheese tasting too hard and dry for burrata. The calamari and shrimp were flavorful, but again nothing special. We then had entrees, which included a terrible lasagna, two dry pieces of fish – a branzino (one of my favorite sea creatures) and a Dover sole – that offered nothing memorable, and a $38 piece of veal chop Milanese, which was dry, and for lack of a better word, as Josh put it, “lame.” There seemed to be no care, no originality, nothing that would inspire me to return. This is a place that wants to make money on the scene and on the drinks.
2. We then walked down the block to the new Republic which is a few months old. Another room, another scene—a lot of money. The menu is eclectic, and although we only had desserts, the fair looked pretty good. The most interesting aspect is the wine cellar which sits at the far end of the dining room. A woman in a black dress repels on ropes from the ceiling and finds the specific bottle of wine. It is a cool thing to see, but the cost of insurance most be so high, I can’t imagine how they make it worth the price. The four of us enjoyed a lovely bottle of Hundred Acres Gold and had two good desserts, an apple pie and the house donuts. The donuts, , were really good, and dipped in chocolate, made the other dessert pale in comparison. The only problem I had was the feeling that this restaurant again is not about the food it is about the scene. At the bar sat a hostess, dressed provocatively at what must have been the end of her shift, flirting with the bartender and chef. To me, this is just unprofessional. And while I understand people are having fun, this is still a business about taking care of people, and what was going on at the bar only put me off.

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