The only thing missing from Tortilla Republic are Mayan ruins and a sandy, crystal cove.
Tucked along chic Robertson Boulevard in West Hollywood, the new modern Mexican restaurant is a quintessential space reminiscent of Mexican Riviera paradise. Rightfully so since its sister location lives on the island of Kauai.
Intricate décor, dark wood and warm lighting set the intimate tone for this airy venue that offers lounge seating on the patio (perfect for girls night outs) or a table inside its dimly lit dining room with a sculptured tree that divides the formal dining room and a private area draped with hanging ropes (perfect for impressing that first date or hosting an event).
Facing the dining room is a white onyx bar framed with contemporary art and home to a growing collection of more than 50 tequilas made only from 100-percent agave. Margaritas are the golden child of this restaurant, so we suggest the refreshing Cucumber Lavender with homemade lavender syrup or the tropical Hydration made with coconut water and sweetened with agave fresh lime.
To start off the epicurean adventure, the duck confit tacos are an appetizing mix of sweet and tangy with its sour cherry salsita and cilantro crema. Also of note is the ceviche, which offers a cool blend of chilled citrus-marinated fish of the day, shrimp and a variety of fresh citrus juices and salsas.
For its main entrees, the restaurant offers a sophisticated spin off traditional south of the border fare, as evident in its lobster enchiladas. Seafood lovers will appreciate the luxurious dish featuring generous amounts of tender lobster tail amidst a harmonious medley of truffled tomatillo seafood bisque, creamy manchego and jack cheese, and topped with shaved black truffle. On the greener side, vegetarians will adore the savory Relleno Poblano stuffed with eggplant, mushrooms, spinach, pinenuts, raisins, goat cheese, in a creamy cilantro poblano sauce.
In keeping with its mission innovating classics, the dessert round sealed the deal with its spicy chocolate cake, an exquisite blend of heat and luscious dark chocolate, and its churros plate served with a trio of dipping sauces.
Tortilla Republic was founded by Morten Kaag, John Halter and Mina Azami, the masterminds behind the Taste restaurants on Melrose and in the Pacific Palisades.
“For years we have seen the need for a modern Mexican concept, serving traditional cuisine in a sophisticated setting,” says Kaag. “We did just that, offering modern Mexican fare with fresh ingredients in a restaurant space that highlights authentic Mexican materials.”
The restaurant, which first launched as a dinner-only service, is now open for brunch and lunch, and also features a new weekly DJ series.