- Republic Kitchen & Bar
- 9470 S. Eastern Ave., 463-3500
- Daily, 10 a.m.-2 a.m.
Valley denizens can attest there’s a pretty distinct divide east and west of the Strip. As a westsider, I think of the eastside as Bizarro World—an imperfect copy of my stomping grounds without the quirky dining spots strewn throughout. With the arrival of Republic Kitchen & Bar (in the spot along Eastern previously occupied by Fado Irish Pub), I might begin to change my opinion.
Republic’s claim of “home cooking in a stylish setting” is soundly achieved. The menu reads like a shopping list of homey favorites with contemporary twists. Two spot-on appetizer selections are the pigs in the blanket ($9) and the tuna nachos ($13). The former is a nice twist on the cocktail party standard—the wieners accompanied by a savory cheese fondue—while the latter finds ahi tuna generously heaped upon fried wonton chips, with wasabi guacamole sauce for a bit of bite.
A duo of pot pies highlight the entrees: lobster with edamame, sweet corn and scallions ($23) and turkey with peas, corn and carrots ($15). The crust on both is impeccable, with the lobster the slightly superior filling. The Republic Kobe Sloppy Joe ($11) is also a good choice; though the profound Kobe flavor gets inevitably lost amidst the tasty housemade sandwich sauce, it won’t leave you wanting for a Manwich.
Republic isn’t without faults. Service lags when the room gets busy, and the restaurant’s baked goods are not exceptionally strong. Among a trio of cupcakes ($6), only the banana with maple icing felt worth the calorie splurge. Come dessert, head instead for the PB&J ($6), best described as peanut butter-filled, deep-fried dumplings. Pure decadent goodness, particularly when topped with chocolate sauce.
If Republic is on your side of town, you should make it a regular haunt. For those of us not nearby, it’s even worth the trek to the other side of the Valley.