…And To The Republic For Which It Stands
Restaurant Type: Italian
As a non-recovering pasta-holic, I’d have to say the ravioli at Maccheroni Republic on South Broadway (in the Broadway Theater District) in Los Angeles ranks as the best pasta I have tasted in Los Angeles. Not only that, but it also tops most (if not all) the pasta I’ve tasted on our numerous trips to Italy.
One of the keys to eating at Maccheroni Republic is getting there early. Located virtually across the street from the historic Grand Central Market on South Broadway…
…the restaurant opens for dinner at 5:30, and it takes no reservations. Both times we have visited we arrived at opening time (or a few minutes before)…
Two veteran Los Angeles Italian restaurateurs, Antonio Tommasi and Jean-Louis de Mori, opened Maccheroni Republic. They created a simple and tasty menu (and cheap by L.A. standards) for their trattoria-style restaurant.
On a warm evening, I definitely recommend grabbing a table on the patio. They will bring out some glasses for your vino that you hopefully have brought with you. Then, it’s time to eat. Four of the five appetizers we have tried, we enjoyed immensely.
The Fritto Di Calmari…fried calamari with “pummarola” vegetable dipping ($11.95)…was excellent. According to the website cookingintoscana.it, “The red queen of the Italian cuisine (is) La Pummarola. The fresh tomato sauce is a base for many local dishes, not only as a pasta dressing. It is perfectly conserved and therefore worthwhile cooking in summer time, when tomatoes are ripest.”
…the Carpaccio di Bresaola (which I selfishly did not share)…fresh homemade cured beef carpaccio ($12.95). I didn’t even know that the Carpaccio had been ill, but was certainly glad it was cured before I devoured it.
Both times I have dined here, my main pasta dish was the Ravioli Di Zucca…pumpkin ravioli with butter cream truffle cheese sauce ($13.95). It was as fresh a pasta dish as I have ever tasted, and the raviolis seemed to melt in my mouth.
On our first visit with friends Greg and Gloria, other delicious dishes included Agnolotti Di Osso Buco…tortelloni filled with osso bucco meat and marrow in a salsa verde ($12.95) along with a very, very good Bianchi & Neri (sounds like an Italian accounting firm), which consisted of black and white pasta thin vermicelli, shrimp, mushroom toasted pancetta in a creamy bisque ($14.95).
We ordered two Insalata di rughetta…aka Arugula salad ($7.95).
Surprisingly, the coffee was not only not strong…it almost tasted watered down.
Even with a $5 corkage charge, you can easily get out of here for about $50 – $60 dollars per couple, which is an unbelievable bargain.
There is parking right behind the restaurant, but it’s expensive (however I believe the restaurant will validate). Just a block or two away are a couple of lots that only charged five bucks. The Red Line also has a stop near the restaurant. Although the neighborhood could look a little sketchy to some, we never feel any sense of fear walking in the area.
We passed by a Gwen Stefani concert at the famed Orpheum Theater on the way.
Speaking of downtown events, the restaurant is situated nearby to the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Ahmanson Theater and Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. It provides an inexpensive and delightful alternative dining option to the very expensive Patina-owned restaurants that are seemingly everywhere in this vicinity.
Downtown Los Angeles has had a restaurant renaissance for about the past seven to 10 years, and Maccheroni Republic is by far the most affordable of the bunch that we have visited. Combined with great food and a very reasonable corkage fee, I’m sure you’ll see Tracy and me on the Maccheroni Republic patio in the very near future. Look for the couple with two bottles of vino (yes, we’ll take the metro to the nearby stop). And remember…get there early!
Maitaitom rating: 4.3 maitais out of 5
332 South Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90013
Hours: Lunch: Monday – Friday 11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. • Dinner: Monday – Saturday 5:30 p.m. – 10 p.m. & Sunday 4:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Parking Lots nearby: $5
Red Line Stop: Pershing Square