Now open on Melrose, The Republic Of Laughter (ROFL for short -- serious!) is a casual cafe inspired by a dude nicknamed the Giggling Guru (even serious-er!), with an interior featuring low-dangling, circular light fixtures and walls filled with seemingly random, happy-making-unless-you're-a-USC-fan words written on them like "Luck" (zing!), "Joy", and "Laughter". Amaze-ness outta the kitchen'll come from the Post & Beam Top Chef Master and include a house-blended burger (w/ Gruyere, charred onions, roasted mushrooms & garlic aioli), roasted pork sauteed with bacon (!), and the chef's notorious, Food Network-featured short rib grilled cheese, or what peanut butter did that time he thought jelly was cheating on him with ham. As gross as that sounds. They've also got a pizza oven cooking up classics available on thin or hand-stretched crust, like a pepperoni guy w/ crushed tomato, and a white pizza w/ roast chicken, red bell peppers & white wine-doused "lemon butter", or what Jack Donaghy says whenever his bread basket arrives. They've sadly got no booze yet, but are going full-steam for breakfast, with the signature dish a liege waffle with your choice of toppings ranging from kiwis, to chocolate ganache, to danish cream, a topping descriptor that'll no doubt have you ROFLing. For serious.
Acquired Taste: Live Octopus With Timothy DeLaGhetto and Trevor Wallace