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Review of James Republic in Long Beach
James Republic Brussel Sprout Salad

Review of James Republic in Long Beach

Review of James Republic in Long Beach

James Republic generates a solid buzz

All the way in South Orange County, James Republic in Long beach has gained a solid word of mouth buzz for their Chef Driven menu. James Republic is one of the latest projects of restaurateur and Chef Dean James, DJM Restaurant Group. James Republic describes itself as “Modern California Coastal”, meaning they source local and seasonal ingredients from the land and sea.

 

James Republic Entrance

James Republic Entrance

The restaurant, like most progressive restaurants, is Chef Driven, farm-to-table and ever changing menu based on quality ingredients “of the moment.”  In Long Beach, there are very few restaurants doing anything similar.

Location and Interior

James Republic Interior with Patio Doors Open

James Republic Interior with Patio Doors Open

James Republic is located at the Marriott Courtyard on 1st street in Long Beach. The hallway from the lobby to the restaurant is decorated with large prints that pay homage to the port of Long Beach’s maritime history.

James Republic Inertior at Night

James Republic Inertior at Night

The interior of the restaurant is rustic modern and accentuated with nautical artifacts. Although I have seen this design before,  it felt fresh with James Republics open air dining room. With the door and shutter’s wide open to the street, it actually felt like I was eating at a restaurant in Hilo.

Cocktails at James Republic

 The cocktails at James Republic are are all made with craft ingredients were very delicious. Below are a couple of the cocktails that I tried. If you like cocktails from the bourbon family, then the Whiskey Tea is a great option as it  has the classic rye flavor. It has a summer balance with the lemon and bitter.   The Gin Cocktail is light and refreshing, perfect for a summer evening. The cool cucumber flavor was more refreshing than spa water. 

  • Gin Cocktail-Gin, cucumber, rosemary, lime juice, tonic
  • Whiskey Tea – Templeton Rye, agave, lemon, bitters
  • Cara Cara Martini– Hangar 1 vodka, Cara Cara juice, mint, sugar
  • Eve’s Lemonade- Hangar 1 vodka, St.Germaine, lavender infused syrup
James Republic Cocktails

James Republic Cocktails

Appetizers

Build Your Own Charcuterie Board

The build your own board lets you specifically pick items that suites your tastes. My tablemates and I each had the opportunity to pick our favorites and then enjoy together in an communal meal sharing. Sharing food helps build friendship bonds. I suggest you do the same with your main dishes as well.

We choose the Chicken Liver Mouse and salami, Point Reyes Blue Cheese and Humbolt Fog. On the side we ordered honey comb.  I really enjoyed the chicken liver mouse, it was creamy and went really nicely with the honeycomb and cowgirl creamery red hawk.  On the downside, things can add up really quickly if you get get fancy, you fancy hah! The grilled bread that comes with the charcuterie is really good, although not quite enough is provided. We had to ask for two refills of the bread.

James Republic Build your own Charcuterie

James Republic Build your own Charcuterie

Charcuturie Board Choices and Prices

  • Meat Choices ($6 each) Smoked Fish Dip, La Quercia Rossa Prosciutto, Chicken Liver Mousse, Chicken Mortadella, Salami Tartufo, Corned Beef, Country Pate
  • Cheese ($5 each) Bellwether San Andreas, Bellweather Carmody, Humboldt Fog, Cowgirl Creamery Mt. Tam, Cowgirl Creamery Red Hawk, House Ricotta, Point Reyes Blue Cheese, Purple Haze, Redwood Hill Bucheret, Redwood Hill Terra
  • Sweet Stuff ($2 each) strawberry chutney,  apple butter,  honey comb
James Republic Build your own charcuterie bread

James Republic Build your own charcuterie bread

Crispy Brussel Sprout Salad

 If I ate no other dish than their Crispy Brussel Sprout Salad, I would have left happy. I admit that I am fickle like a spring lover when it comes to Brussel sprouts. I am always finding a new favorite, although my current Brussel Sprout crush goes to James Republic. Their Brussel sprouts are roasted with Benton Farms bacon and finished with wilted frisee.  The Brussels sprouts are garnished with a slow egg. ($11)

James Republic Brussel Sprout Salad

The “60 minute egg” that barely holds a poached egg shape and viscously oozes when popped. The plate is exquisitely garnished with a sweety and tangy aioli sauce around the rim of bowl, barely covering the rim like a sexy draping of silk scarf over your lover. Just like sex, this dish is best enjoyed get messy. I recommend that you pop the egg open and let the yolk ooze out on the Brussels sprouts and then mix it all up together before your partake in this most carnal of dishes. If you smoke, feel free to take a puff after this dish.

 

Main Courses

House Blend Grass Fed Burger

 

James Republic Grass Fed Hamburger 2

James Republic Grass Fed Hamburger 2

Singular is the best way to describe this burger. James Republic nailed this burger by putting the focus on the beef. The ½ pound burger is cooked on two ¼ pound patties, presumably to control the final temperature and allow the stacking of ingredients between the patties. The supporting components of this burger is simple, are very simple, Fiscalini white cheddar, onion jam, “fancy sauce”, and a small amount of picked vegetables. The Burger comes alone, no fries, no sides. ($13) If you need a side, order it. 

James Republic Grass Fed Hamburger Cut Open

James Republic Grass Fed Hamburger Cut Open

I really liked the bun, with is fluffy and topped with sesame and poppy seeds. What they did right was to ensure the bun is thin enough to allow the beef to take center stage in the flavor profile. When you take the first bite, you are actually tasting the natural grass fed beef flavor first and that flavor remains dominate as the yeasty bread comes in next, followed by the creamy cheese and sweet / acidic flavors from the accouterments.

 

Mary Farms Half Roasted Chicken

This is a very simple dish, that again allows the natural flavor of the protein to take center stage. Mary’s Chicken grown organically resulting in a cleaner flavor. The chicken is simply roasted with modest seasoning and served on creamy polenta. It is topped with braised mushrooms, spinach leaves and pan jus from the chicken. The meat was juicy, tender and full of natural flavors. ($19)

James Republic Marys Farms Chicken

James Republic Marys Farms Chicken

 

Brandt Farms Hanger Steak

The day I visited James Republic, I was intent on eating the Brandt Farms Rib Eye, but unfortunately they were out that night. Instead and offered instead a hanger steak ($28).  The hanger steak was simply marinated and cooked over high-heat to lock in the juices to a perfect medium-rare. It was served sliced,against the grain to ensure tenderness,  and drizzled with it’s own juices.

James Republic Hanger Steak

James Republic Hanger Steak

The dish is accompanied with braised greens and grilled asparagus. The dish is very simple, yet flavor dense meal. The beef was truly remarkable with lots of potential flavor energy locked into the muscle of the beef. The Hanger steak was served with a warm potato salad made with roasted baby gold potatoes, cream, scallions and grain mustard.  This dish was extremely impressive and reminded me of the version I tried in Germany many years ago. 

 

James Republic Warm Potato Salad

James Republic Warm Potato Salad

 

My Final Thoughts

 

Sometimes you find a restaurant that is truly remarkable and acts as a beacon for others to imitate, James Republic is that restaurant for Long Beach. I believe that Long Beach in the process of a culinary revival and restaurants like James Republic are at the vanguard of downtown revival. Tom’s Foodie Blog highly recommends James Republic.James Republic Interior

 

James Republic Address and Hours

At the Courtyard Long Beach Downtown  – 500 East 1st Street Long Beach, CA 

James Republic on Urbanspoon

About Tom Holmberg

Tom grew up in a cultural diverse neighborhood and a culturally diverse family, so he has learned to appreciate all types of food. "I am not a Chef, nor do I play one on T.V., but I have learned to appreciate food from years of eating and cooking." Tom also spent 10 years in the restaurant industry in various roles, from Prep Cook to server.

10 comments

  1. The food at this restaurant sounds and looks amazing. I’ll remember it when I travel to Long Beach next year!

  2. Sounds like a perfect meal. The hanger steak looks amazing! The charcuturie board is also something that I would definitely order. Thanks for sharing this great review!

  3. Oh my gosh everything looks delicious!!! I just love your foodie blog!!! You always make me hungry!!

  4. You certainly have an eye for great eateries. Sounds like some really good options on their menu

  5. The interior looks very good to me.
    If I’ll go there, I’d like to have the Charcuterie board for sure.

  6. Ohhhhhh it looks SO good! Wish I was back in CA!

  7. Go you Brussels sprout fiend!! You are a very good writer but some of the things you write that flow on to the paper make me feel like a bashful teenage girl…lol

  8. I am in love with this place and never have been! Great concepts!

  9. Marjory Johnson

    Wow! I love the build your own idea. Great pictures that you always take too!

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