Republique | Mid-Wilshire/ Hancock Park | French | Restaurant
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From ice-cold oysters through soft scrambled eggs on toast topped with sweet, saline uni, to a dry-aged, 32-ounce, $125 cote de boeuf, République in Hancock Park has the potential to be just about any restaurant you need it to be on any given night. The menu veers toward decadence, and it's probable you'll end up with a meal so rich that you long for a snap of something fresh. You are likely to be seduced by charcuterie followed by a wondrous crisp patty of pig's head topped with a fried egg and, oh, maybe a side of bread and pan drippings for good measure. Of course, this is up to the customer: It's absolutely possible to order a balanced meal here, but keep in mind the downside of all these heavier offerings — if you order just the things that call to you, you might find yourself with salty meat on top of salty meat with some gravy thrown in. So take a detour for the refreshing white salad, a jumble of endive, cauliflower, fennel and hazelnuts, with Parmesan cheese and Meyer lemon for pert contrast. Or, along with your melting braised short ribs with polenta and porcini in red wine, have a salad of Little Gem and wild arugula. --Besha Rodell

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