Obsessed Much: Rèpublique

Rèpublique

Rèpublique
624 S La Brea Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(310) 362-6115

I have been wanting to try out this Miracle Mile staple for a couple months now but couldn’t decide if we should commit to the reservation-less brunch option or go for dinner. After a couple of back and forths with friend group, we opted to try their brunch – deciding to meet just before 10am to avoid the true brunch crowd. Trust me, it’s like an alarm goes off at 10am and everyone and their mom is lined up outside Rèpublique, go early to avoid the line (although the line does move fairly quickly, who likes waiting in line?).

Rèpublique

As you wind your way inside to order, you are greeted by a glass encasement filled with the most delicious pastries, everything from salty and savory to sweet and crème filled. Try not to order one of everything. I settled on ordering a crème brulee bombolini, which was absolutely amazing. The pastry was crispy and flaky and the crème filling was delicious and not too overwhelmingly sweet.

Rèpublique

After ordering your choice of pastries, the cashier will take your order for brunch and beverages, to be delivered to your table. Luckily we had a group of 6, so we got to try a nibble of just about everything, but my review will focus on the two items we ordered – the French toast and the kimchi fried rice.

Rèpublique

The French toast was a huge block of fluffy deliciousness, topped with fresh fruit and paired with warm not too sweet syrup. French Toast is not normally my first choice for brunch fare, but this was a good sized serving and was filling, especially when coupled with some parties to start.

Rèpublique

Our second item was the kimchi fried rice, which I truly wanted to love but could not fully get to that point. The poached eggs were soft and delicious especially paired with the rice and the short rib was tender and flavorful, but after more than a few bites, the dish became meh. The rice quickly became spicy, but not in the multidimensional kimchi way, it kind of became a chore to finish the dish without another flavor to balance the rice. Don’t get me wrong, I like spicy, this just didn’t have another dimension to balance or compliment that spice, especially for a breakfast dish.

Rèpublique

Another friend ordered the Croque Madames- these are AMAZING! I could not recommend them more. Seriously, order them, you won’t regret it. Overall, I thought Rèpublique was a great brunch spot- you’re definitely paying for the ambiance and location, but if you opt for their classic brunch options, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

BB&B Rating 4 // 5

Make Ahead Breakfast Burritos

Make Ahead Breakfast Burritos

Bill has always been enthusiastic about camping and taking long backpacking trips, meanwhile I am a complete newbie at understanding the logistics and planning of a true backpacking trip. I experienced my first backpacking trip last year in Havasupai Falls, near the Grand Canyon, but this was nothing compared to the John Muir Trail. Don’t worry, I’m not gearing up for the 211 mile trip, Bill and I simply met his sister and her fiance at the tail-end of their trip. Bill completed the trail about 5 years ago and knew what to expect. He made the executive decision to prepare some hearty options breakfast options since the two had been eating oatmeal for breakfast for weeks straight. We prepped these burritos the night before we left to go camping and they were an easy breakfast option and kept well in an ice-chest for 3 days. I’m sure these could be frozen and heated up at home too, we just didn’t have that luxury out in the Sierras.

Make Ahead Breakfast Burritos

ingredients:
8 extra large tortillas
16-24 slices of bacon (we love bacon, so we opted for each burrito to have 3 slices in it)
12 eggs
2 potatoes
1/2 onion, chopped
cheddar cheese, shredded
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Foil, to wrap burritos

Make Ahead Breakfast Burritos

directions:
Lay strips of bacon on two foil lined baking pans. Cover with an extra layer of foil and bake at 425 degrees for 20-30 minutes. Do not preheat the oven, start the time as soon as the bacon enters the cold oven. Once bacon is cooked to your liking, remove from oven and drain strips on a paper towel lined plate.

While the bacon is cooking, thinly slice potatoes, alternatively, use a spriralizer to create thin potato ribbons. Heat a large pan over medium high heat and add 1 Tbsp of oil. Add half the chopped onions and half the potatoes to the pan and cook until crispy. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Repeat with the remaining oil, onion and potatoes. Set cooked potatoes aside until it’s time to assemble the burritos.

Crack eggs in a large bowl, season with salt and pepper, then scramble to combine. Over medium low heat, spray a large pan with cooking spray and add egg mixture. Stir eggs until mixture is a soft scramble. Do not over cook the eggs, as they will be reheated prior to consumption.

Once all the components are cooked, it’s time to assemble the burritos. Warm the tortillas, one at a time, for easier burrito rolling. Add 1/8th of the potatoes, 2-3 slices of bacon, 1/8th of the eggs and a sprinkle of shredded cheddar cheese and roll into a burrito. If desired, sprinkle the open edge of the burrito with more cheddar cheese. Pan fry to melt and seal tortilla edge closed.

Wrap assembled burrito in foil. Let cool completely before refrigerating. To reheat, bake at 300 degrees for 10 minutes, then pan fry to crisp the tortillas.

Note: We prepped these for camping and reheated the burritos over the fire for about 15 minutes, then used a griddle over our camping stove to crisp the tortillas. The results were perfect and a welcome treat while camping 🙂

Rosinson Lake at Onion Valley Campground

Coconut Pineapple Smoothie

Coconut Pineapple Smoothie

The past couple of weeks in LA have been deathly hot, like we have to leave our tiny apartment hot, because otherwise we may blow a fuse trying to cool it down or die from overheating in the process. The only saving grace has been my one true love, the vita-mix and the sheer number of smoothie combinations I can create to try to trick ourselves into thinking we are on a tropical island sipping fancy cocktails, enjoying another sunny day in paradise. Pina Coladas are one of my favorite tropical drinks, so this smoothie is a bit of an ode to that specialty cocktail. It’s chock-full of flavor, including pineapple, banana and coconut and I love the fact that it’s easy to make. In zero to sixty seconds you can be transported from your kitchen to a tropical getaway with this perfect smoothie. What are your go to smoothie recipes to cool down during the summer?

Coconut Pineapple Smoothie

ingredients:
1 cup frozen pineapple tidbits
1 container coconut Chobani greek yogurt
1 banana
1 cup almond milk
1 cup of ice cubes
1 Tbsp chia seeds
1 teaspoon vanilla
Shredded coconut for garnish

directions:
Combine all ingredients, except for the shredded coconut, in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into glasses and top with a sprinkle of shredded coconut.

Yields 2 servings // 250 calories

Coconut Pineapple Smoothie

Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta

Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta

Okay, close your eyes and imagine a yummy dish made up of crispy crunchy almond slices, salty protein packed pancetta and perfectly wilted Brussels sprouts. Open your eyes because this perfect healthy, hearty side exists and the recipe just a scroll away. I opted to pair this easy side with my famous crispy chicken sandwich, which I top with a spicy jalapeno pickle slaw. The Brussels sprouts were the perfect balance to the rest of the meal, as opposed to my normal side dish – sweet potato fries. Not only do you get some easy veggie points from this recipe, but it’s chock full of protein too! No empty calories over here.

Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta

1 pound Brussels sprouts, shaved
4 oz pancetta, chopped
1/3 cup sliced almonds
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta

directions:

Crisp pancetta in a large deep skillet over medium heat until browned, 3 minutes.

Add the garlic and almonds to the fat in the skillet and cook briefly over medium heat until toasted.

Add the Brussels sprouts and quickly toss to coat with the hot oil. Sprinkle the red wine vinegar over the sprouts and toss again to coat. Cook, stirring frequently, until sprouts are wilted. Remove from the heat, stir in the bacon and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta

Obsessed Much: Book Club Edition

Book Club Review

As part of my 101 in 1,001 list, I wanted to read one book a week for an entire month. I’ve always been an avid reader, but in recent years, reading has kind of lost its spark with me. Of course, while I’m on vacation it’s super easy to finish that page turner I’ve had on my reading list for months, but it’s a little harder to commit to daily reading during the busy week or setting aside an entire day to a good read instead of going shopping, grabbing lunch with your bff and finally stopping by the grocery store because you forgot it was your turn to cook dinner tonight. Yes, I know I’m making reading out to seem like a chore, which is how I felt before I challenged myself to read 4 books in 4 weeks. It was only after finishing the first book on my list that I remembered how fun it is to insert yourself in a new setting with new characters and try to figure out where the heck this story is going to go!
To make my goal a little easier on the wallet, I joined my local library and got to work putting books on hold, sifting through ebooks that were available for download and of course asking my sorority little sister for a list of all her favorites. By the end of four weeks, I ended up reading “Before I Go to Sleep” by S. J. Watson, “Where They Found Her” by Kimberley McCreight, “Read Bottom Up” by Neel Shah and Skye Chatham and “Second Life” by S. J. Watson.
Before I Go to Sleep

Before I Go to Sleep
Can you imagine waking up each morning not remembering the last 20 years of your life? I finished this 400+ page novel in less than 6 hours of dedicated reading – yes, I was hooked. It’s seriously such a great page turner—I knew there had to be a twist (there always is) but I didn’t know exactly what the twist was until the very end. It’s the perfect book to pick up before a weekend trip. It kept me on the edge of my seat waiting to find out the truth…

Where They Found Her
Where They Found Her
I’m giving you fair warning on this one- be prepared to meet almost every character in the first hour and be prepared to be confused on their relationships or even lack of relationships until almost the very end. Long story short, the body of a newly born infant is found in the woods near a prestigious university in NJ. Follow along through three different points of view to discover exactly what happened to said baby and uncover many other secrets from this small college town. There were just enough twists to keep me interested, but not too many that I was completely lost. “Where They Found Her” is an easy read, even easier audiobook listen, I would highly recommend it to anyone who likes these type of creepy mystery novels.

Read Bottom Up

Read Bottom Up
Literally the perfect easy beach read for the summer. It took me less than 2 hours to finish this novel without a dull moment in sight. The story details the trials and tribulations of dating in the modern world, from awkward texts and emails with your potential beau to the side conversations with your besties you know are happening but prefer to ignore in real life dating. I found myself agreeing with almost every line that came out of Madeline’s head and understanding how men, like Elliot, might think women are a little nuts. Definitely worth the read, if you’re looking for something entertaining and light hearted.

Second Life
Second Life
I’m a wee bit torn on how I feel about this novel. There were parts I loved and could not go to sleep without finishing the chapter, but other parts were slow and confusing, and then the last page left me a bit shocked, to say the least. I’d say it’s worth a read if you like thriller mystery novels, but it definitely didn’t leave me wanting more like Watson’s first novel “Before I Go to Sleep.” On to the novel deets: after finding out that her sister has been murdered, the main character, Julia vows to find her killer. Her story chronicles just how far she will go to find said killer without realizing just how much she will have to give up to do so…