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Tortilla Republic Brunch Preview
Tortilla Republic Laguna Beach Brunch

Tortilla Republic Brunch Preview

Tortilla Republic Brunch Preview

Tortilla Republic, Newest Laguna Beach Restaurant

One of the newest restaurant openings in Orange County is Tortilla Republic, in Laguna Beach. It is located just off PCH, in the same location that  Javier’s occupied. The restaurant is very impressive inside, with open air ceilings and a very airy feeling. 

Tortilla Republic Laguna Beach Interior

Tortilla Republic Laguna Beach Interior

Tortilla Republic describes themselves as “contemporary Mexican fare.” In my opinion the food tastes like the tapestry of Southern California, with a Modern Mexican and California Costal cuisine mash up.

Tortilla Republic hired Orange County’s more talented and colorful Chefs, Christopher Tzorin previously from Savanah Chop House, to lead the new Laguna Beach Location.

Tortilla Republic Laguna Beach

Tortilla Republic Laguna Beach

Brunch Preview

Brunch is entrée based format, with breakfast and lunch items. I was invited, as part of the media event to taste a variety of their brunch dishes. This article is based on a group media tasting format, so I was not able to taste more than 1-2 bites of each dish.  Expect a full blind review of Tortilla Republic in the near future. Brunch at Tortilla Republic runs on Saturday and Sundays. 

With that said, I really liked each of the dishes I tasted, although some dishes clearly stood out better than others. I have listed these dishes in order of “Most to Least Favorite.”

What I tasted at Tortilla Republic Brunch Menu

Egg White Omelet 

This is the dish that I would have skipped if I saw it on the menu, but liked it the most. The concept is very simple, yet flavorful. The chef created a thick egg white omelet and folded it over sautéed black kale, zesty chipotle shrimp, cherry tomatoes, oyster mushrooms, and a delicious grilled corn relish. 

Tortilla Republic Brunch -  Egg White Omele

Egg White Omelet

This dish had a wonderful layering of flavors and I would not feel guilty about eating this dish, since it is made with egg whites. In fact, ordering this dish would afford me the calories to me to eat lots of chips and extra cocktails. 😉 $13

Fresh Roasted Corn & Blueberry Pancakes  

This was perhaps one of the better pancakes that I have eaten. Soft and fluffy pancakes are loaded with sweet blueberries and sweet corn. This is a great combination of ingredients that plays well with the pancakes. $9

Tortilla Republic Brunch - Blueberry and Corn Pancakes

Fresh Roasted Corn & Blueberry Pancakes

If you go “brunching” with a large group, someone has to order this dish. With that said, the person who ordered will probably have this dish “tasted” to death by their table mates. This happened to me, although I was able to salvage one bite of these delicious pancakes before they were out. 

Mole Enchilada 

I love mole and enchiladas, so this dish was perfect for my tastes.  The enchiladas are stuffed with simmered and pulled free range chicken from Mary’s farms. The enchiladas are topped with a sweet mole, which had a slight tingle.  The enchiladas are garnished with tinga sauce, crema, queso fresco, and toasted sesame seeds. $17

Tortilla Republic Brunch -  Mole Enchiladas

Mole Enchiladas

Pescado a la Parrilla / Seared Albacore Tuna Taco 

The seared albacore tuna tacos are very refreshing, especially on a hot day. They were very filling, without leaving you with a post brunch belly bloat.

Tortilla Republic Brunch -  Seared Tuna Tacos

Tortilla Republic Brunch – Seared Tuna Tacos

The albacore tuna is seared and served on corn tortillas with a tequila passion fruit slaw, pico de gallo, avocado, salsa de mesa, cilantro, and crema. I liked the balance of sweet, acidic and creamy flavors in these tacos. $16

Seared Albacore Tuna & Sweet Potato Hash 

This is another albacore dish that I thought was made well. This dish is made with sweet potatoes that are cooked in small diced cubes and cooked to a “home fries” style hash. It is topped with ½ inch sliced cubes of cooked albacore.

Tortilla Republic Brunch - Seared Albacore Tuna & Sweet Potato Hash

Tortilla Republic Brunch – Seared Albacore Tuna & Sweet Potato Hash

The menu said the albacore is seared. Although to me, the albacore was 75% cooked through, leaving it juicy, although not pink. The dish was topped with two poached eggs, wilted micro greens, caramelized onions, and jalapeños.

 I recommend that you pop the eggs and mix it all together for the best experience. $16.50

Machaca Burrito 

This was a good Machaca Burrito, made with high quality ingredients. Although, it was just “good” in comparison to my favorite Machaca burrito.

Tortilla Republic Brunch - Machaca Burrito

Machaca Burrito

If you are looking for something hearty, this is burrito is weighty, yet it still has some very nice flavor subtleties that you would expect from a restaurant like Tortilla Republic. It is made with scrambled eggs, prime shredded beef, potatoes, Monterey jack cheese, pico de gallo, and served “wet” with ranchero sauce. $12

Chilaquiles 

This is a nice presentation and preparation of the classic Chilaquiles dish. It is made with roasted poblano, queso fresco, crema, black beans, crispy corn tortillas, choice of ranchero or tomatillo sauce. It ate like a fully loaded nacho plate with the chips getting a little soggy on the bottom. $9

Tortilla Republic Brunch - Chilaquiles

Chilaquiles

I recommend that you top the dish with eggs over easy (add $2) and Spanish Chorizo (add $2) to really make this dish pop. I sampled it in its standard format and it fell a little flat, it needs the eggs and protein.

Huevos Divorciados 

This dish did make its way to my side of the table, so I am ranking it last. I did not taste it. Visually I really like the way it was constructed. My table mates said that they really liked it. I will order it next time to find out. $13.75

Tortilla Republic Brunch - Huevos Divorciados

Huevos Divorciados

Desserts

Churro

This was a pretty standard “made from scratch” churro, with a chocolate and caramel dipping sauce. I am a big churro fan, so I enjoyed it. I would suggest that they provide more of the chocolate and caramel dipping sauces as it was awkward trying to dip the churro is a shallow puddle of the sauce. I like to “Dunk” my churro.

Tortilla Republic Brunch - Churos

House Made Churos with Chocolate and Salted Caramel dipping sauces

Spicy Chocolate Cake

This is a coffee and chile cake that had the density of a ganache. I like how the flavor profile quickly changed from first bite (coffee) to spicy (swallow). It comes with a house made ice cream.

Tortilla Republic Brunch - Coffee Chile Cake

Coffee Chile Cake

Brunch Cocktails

First and most important is that if you are going for a brunch, then Mimosas should be your order of business. They are $8, although if you plan on having more than two, I highly suggest the Bottomless Mimosas for $19. Settle in and enjoy the company of your friends with some mimosa induced laughter.

If mimosas are not your thing, then I suggest the Margaritas. Here are the Tortilla Republic margaritas that I tried

Cucumber Lavender Margarita

This cocktail was fresh like summer mornings and really easy to drink. El Jimador Blanco Tequila, Fresh agave lime sweet, house made lavender syrup, muddled cucumber.  I really like the light aroma of lavender in this dish paired against the cool cumber flavors. It is a little too easy to drink, so pace yourself.

Tortilla Republic Brunch - Cucumer Lavendar Margarita

Cucumer Lavendar Margarita

Sweet Chili

This is a really fun cocktail in flavor and presentation.  It is made with Cazadores resposado tequila, fresh agave lime sweet, passion fruit puree, and Ancho Reyes liquer. I liked the sweet, tangy and spicy nature of this margarita.  The rim is lined with chile lime salt, which matched the flavor profile of this margarita. This would be my #1 choice of cocktails.

Tortilla Republic Brunch - Sweet Chile Margarita

Tortilla Republic Brunch – Sweet Chile Margarita

My Final Thoughts

Overall I had some very positive impressions of the brunch items I tasted at Tortilla Republic. Some dishes clearly stood out, like the Mole Enchiladas, Egg White Omelet and Fresh Roasted Corn and Blueberry pancakes. 

I felt that the menu was very affordable with the most expensive item ringing in at $17 and many items hovering around the $10 mark. I can easily imagine spending more money on delicious margaritas then food.

Tortilla Republic on Urbanspoon

Tortilla Republic Laguna Beach Address, Phone and Website

480 S Coast Hwy Laguna Beach, CA 

(949) 393-4888

Tortilla Republic Website

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.

12 comments

  1. Great dishes I would try some if I ever get a chance to make a pit stop over there.

  2. The place sounds really nice but food descriptions and pictures had me drooling. Too bad I live so far. I would love to visit and eat until I could not eat no more… lol

  3. Oh me gee, food bloggers make me so hungry with their delicous posts. Those look so tasty.

  4. These dishes all sound so different and flavorful. I’ll definitely put this restaurant on my “must visit” list!

  5. Amazing dishes to try to! It deserves a try. Lucky you!

  6. Daniele Holmberg

    Great review honey!! I look forward to going back to this brunch in the near future!! The pancakes were my personal favorite! :)

  7. Now, this is my kind of brunch! My whole family lives in Newport Beach, and we often go to Javier’s (one of our favorites!)…so next time I’m in town I will try this restaurant! Thanks for the tip. :)

  8. I see quite a few things that I would love to sink my teeth into. I would love that egg white omelette

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