This new SoCal Italian restaurant will have you dreaming of California with feel-good vibes of yesteryear



One could almost imagine The Jackson 5 rolling out in a choreographed sequence, performing their signature dance moves to ABC or I Want You Back in their signature bell bottoms. But you probably won’t even hear any of those 1960s classics play in this room. There are also no Californian icons like The Beach Boys on the playlist.

Instead, every bite (or sip) transports you to a West Coast stroll while Tame Impala’s remix of Miguel’s Waves plays in the background.

Like the inspired space, the kitchen at California Republic is steeped in creativity tempered with simplicity and freshness; a hybrid celebrating the coast and the farm created by Goodman and further refined through the lens of Co-founder Rohit Roopchand and Operations Manager Mike Pekarsky.

The restaurants The SoCal Italian menu is near the heart of Goodman and Pekarsky, both of whom spent much of their childhood on the east coast on a steady diet of New York Italian food before leaving the bite of the Big Apple for the shores of California.

“American-Italian food is something Mike and I grew up with; he’s from New Jersey, I’m from New York and we both moved to California (but we didn’t know each other until we moved here). When we both moved out [to California], we were both blown away by what SoCal Italian food is all about. And it’s really cool; it’s lighter, it has this vibrant vibe, it’s based on what’s happening in California with food and farms,” ​​said Goodman, who moved to Asia about 20 years ago and has called Singapore home for 11 years.

And to give it that distinctive vibe and approach that SoCal Italian cuisine is really about, the trio turned to another old pal, David Almany, the former chef to Mozza and Angeleno who has since relocated to Los Angeles is.

As with a true pandemic tale, Almany has refined the recipes and enlisted advice from his home kitchen in SoCal-over-Zoom sessions to bring the authentic California dining experience across the oceans.

Start with the coastal flavors of The Grilled Oysters Inspired by Goodman’s Goto spot in Marshall, California: A quaint little cabin owned by the Hog Island Oyster Company, located on the side of the bay where the oysters are farmed and served fresh with a gentle touch of seaweed.


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