Hefty plates of fresh housemade pasta fill the dining room of downtown Los Angeles’ Maccheroni Republic. Chef Antonio Tommasi and Jean-Louis de Mori, the founding team behind Italian mainstays Locanda Veneta and Ca’Brea, dialed back the swank to create a breezy trattoria tucked away from bustling Broadway. For a traditional setting, the menu—with prices in touch with reality—is surprisingly vegan friendly. A handful of standard (or easily modified) vegan items litter the menu, plus at least one hand written special can be found on the chalkboard. With pride, the menu boldly state that all their pastas (except squid ink) are vegan.
After cracking into a bottle of bottle of red, we started off with the Insalata Della Casa ($7.95). A crisp simple salad of carrots, radishes and cucumber with a light vinaigrette served on the side. I totally appreciate the dressing on the side as restaurant salads are usually overdress for me.
I’ve eaten a billion pounds of pasta pomodoro and primavera. So the Spaghetti ai Quattro Sapori ($13.95) caught my attention immediately. Rarely do I see omni restaurants offering a vegan protein in a pasta dish (yes Pasta e Fagioli is common, most restaurants muck it up with chicken broth or prosciutto). Tender strands of vegan spaghetti are slathered with garlic, roasted tomatoes, spinach and robust lentils. It’s total vegan comfort food and should be on every Italian restaurant’s menu.
The dessert menu only offers one vegan option, the Limoncello Sorbet. This delicate and creamy soft serve compliments the generous pasta serving—with generous portions of its own. This is the small.
Steady and strong since early 2013, Maccheroni Republic offers a satiating vegan meal in a heavily omni setting. It’s the perfect downtown LA gathering spot for blended groups of vegans and non-s to enjoy a meal together.
332 S Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90013