We have been wanting to visit James Republic ever since it opened. I don’t know why we haven’t sooner except for the fact that it’s in Long Beach and I’m lame when it comes to traveling out of Orange County even though it’s really not THAT far.
We used the excuse of Long Beach Restaurant Week to come with some friends who have been here before. In the end, we didn’t partake in the Restaurant Week menu, but decided to go a la carte instead. The restaurant is inside the Marriott, parking is available in the structure attached to the hotel, there is validation offered if you dine at the restaurant.
Start with some cocktails, they are well worth it! We tried a variety including Tajin Margarita ($12), Eve’s Lemonade ($12), Whiskey Tea ($12) and Oro Blanco ($12).
Naturally, we began our meal with a charcuterie board. There were so many items to choose from and we took advantage of a lot, as you can see. Meats are $6 each, cheeses are $5 and housemade jams $2. Our favorites include the Smoked Fish Dip, Liver Mousse and Country Pate. I also highly recommend the House Ricotta, Apple Butter and Cranberry Tartare.
The chilled Beet Gazpacho ($6) is absolutely delicious. The creamy texture of this soup is created only from the puree of the beets themselves. The creme fraiche and crispy pancetta may be omitted for a vegan or vegetarian option but they take the chilled soup to another level when mixed in.
I’m a huge fan of mussels and there was no doubt in my mind we were ordering Pacific Mussels ($13). A combination of thyme, garlic and habanero, the spicy kick leaves your mouth wanting more.
My son honed in on the Crispy Brussels Sprout Salad ($11) — his favorite vegetable — add to that another of his favorites, bacon, and some frisee lettuce, topped with a sixty minute egg, the makings of a perfect side to share.
Whenever I see duck on the menu, I’ll most probably order it. Duck Confit Casserole ($19) arrived bubbling hot with chunks of duck cooked in its own fat together with chestnut beans, kale, gruyere and topped with herb bread crumbs. I was so full already by now, but managed two mouthfuls. The chestnut beans tastes very much like chestnuts but are texturally a little different.
One of my favorites of the evening was Farro Fried Rice ($16). Farro is a great option, so nutty and chewy, just the perfect consistency and much more nutritional than rice. This is a hearty dish with cashew butter, farm egg, local fish, short rib and arugula, one I highly suggest you share with others. They will love you for it.
We also ordered some sides to share, one of which was Black Tuscan Kale ($6) with avocado and mandarin orange segments. I loved the kale and avocado, but not so much the oranges.
Buttermilk Biscuits ($4) are a must. These buttery biscuits are dotted with scallions and Fiscalini white cheddar and a carb lover’s dream.
While we’re on the topic of a carb lover’s dream, here’s another. The Potato Puree ($4) is to-die-for. And why wouldn’t you buckle at the knees from this? Bacon, chives and blue cheese foam, literally like air on your tongue. Enough said!
James Republic offers tasty comfort food in a very comfortable dining room. Whether you’re here for cocktails and a few bites, or a full on dinner, you will leave highly satisfied. I can’t wait to come back again.
500 East 1st Street
Long Beach, CA 90802