Church & State Bistro – Los Angeles, CA

Church & State Separates Itself

P1020879Church & State Bistro – Los Angeles, CA

Restaurant Type: French

As you get closer to Church & State Bistro in Los Angeles, your first thought might be, “Where the hell am I?”   The restaurant is located in the warehouse district of Los Angeles, a few blocks away from the Los Angeles Produce Market that is located at Olympic and Alameda.  P1000568When looking at the surrounding area, you’re very thankful there is a manned parking lot very close to the restaurant, but this is definitely a burgeoning restaurant area here in Los Angeles (photo below from C&S website).

014276549d69f354d73a5c800cd532bc_full_sizeTracy and I had heard great reviews about Church & State from both friends and business acquaintances, so we have visited here on a few occasions.

P1000575The first time we ventured to Church & State, we asked our friends Burt and Paula to join us for a Sunday evening dinner.

Since we were going to a concert after dinner, the group arrived when the place opened at 5:30, and there were already people sitting at the comfortable bar.   By the time we left, the place was packed.

P1000571We started with a Kir Royale, sparkling wine with Crème de Cassis ($13).   Upon being seated, we were notified that on Sunday evening, there was only the $39 prix fixe menu available, which was fine with us (I will add to our review for the regular menu after this, foreshadowing the fact we really enjoyed this place).

P1000583The prix fixe meal had three choices for the Plats Principaux.  It was time for he “open” kitchen to get cranking.

P1000573We all started with an amuse-bouche (a single, bite-sized hors d’œuvre).  According to my web dictionary, “Amuse-Bouche are different from appetizers in that they are not ordered from a menu by patrons, but, when served, are done so according to the chef’s selection alone.”  And here I thought an amuse-bouche was just a funny bouche.

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Our amuse-bouche turned out to be a Radish and Butter with a Lemon Zest and Sea Salt.  I cannot tell you the last time I ate a radish, but damned if it wasn’t good.

P1000577Next up was a Tarte aux Champignons (Tart with Carmelized Onions, Gruyére and Mushrooms). This was spectacular, as evidenced by the fact that the entire appetizer was devoured in a matter of seconds by the group.

P1000578Our third course, the Salade de Roquette, an Argula Salad with Shaved Parmesan and Lemon Vinaigrette was also quite tasty. Now we finally had to make a decision.

P1000582The three choices for Plats Principaux were (1) Gnocchi, consisting of Gnocchi, Pea Shoots, Artichoke Slices, Truffle Oil in a Parmesan Cream Sauce; (2) Saumon, which was Salmon, Potato Fondant, Braised Swiss Chard and a Lemon-Chive Beurrmonte or (3) Longe de Porc Rôti, a Roasted Pork Loin and Pulled Pork Cheeks with Button Mushrooms. Three of us chose the pork while Burt opted for the salmon.  Both were delicious.  I was going to try the Gnocchi, since I am a Gnocchi freak, but I had just had it a couple of nights before.

Church & State has an extensive wine list, and although corkage is 20 bucks, if you buy one off of their list, they will waive the corkage fee on your bottle. That’s what we did. We bought a bottle of 2007 Domaine Michelot Bourgogne Rouge – Meursault for $52 and brought a bottle of Wilson Petit Syrah.

P1000584Now it was time for dessert, and the menu just stated it would be a selection of house-made desserts. What a selection it turned out to be.  Staring us in the face next were four desserts that all were scrumptious. I think the Chocolate Coffee Pot de Creme was the best of the lot, but the Creme Brulée, Pistachio Cherry Pie and Chocolate Mousse Pie were all terrific.

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Our next visit to Church & State was a few months later on a Saturday night with friends Paul and Susan.  This time we were excited to sample items from the main menu.

P1020885The Soupe à l’Oignon Gratinée ($11) was as gooey as it was good.

P1020876In my never-ending quest for different types of snails (to eat, not to exterminate in the yard, tried the Escargots de Bourgogne en Croûte…burgundy snails, garlic butter, puff pastry ($18).  Tres magnifuque!

P1020881 La Cachat, herbed goat cheese, lavender honey, toasted baguette ($9) also was a hit with us.

P1020877We all dug into the nights most colorful dish, the tarte aux Courge…butternut squash, emmentaler, fried sage, pumpkin seeds, pomegranate, arugula ($21).  Incroyable!

P1020880The adventuresome Paul and Susan next opted for Os à Moell…roasted marrow bone and a marinated radish salad ($15).  It was good to the bone.

P1020882We all tried the Saint Jacques…diver scallops, cauliflower, romanesco, pine nut, caper-raisin pistou ($34) and the Bouillabaisse…provençal fish stew, cockles, prawn, mussels, fennel, potato, leek, rouille ($27).

P1020884A couple of us went for the Steak Frites, sun fed ranch pure grass fed hanger steak, french fries, sauce béarnaise ($35).

P1020883A Pot de Crème and Pistachio Cherry Pire topped off another fabulous evening.

P1020892Simply stated, Church & State is one of the best places to enjoy a meal in Los Angeles.

P1020888We can hardly wait to return.

MaiTaiTom Rating Food + Ambiance + Value 4.7 maitais (out of 5)

FACTS:
Church & State Bistro
1850 Industrial Street • #100
Los Angeles CA 90021
Phone: 213.405.1434
Lunch: Monday – Friday: 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Dinner: Monday – Thursday: 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Dinner: Friday: 6:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Dinner: Saturday: 5:30 p.m., – 11:00 p.m.
Dinner: Sunday: 5:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
(featuring a special “Church On Sunday” 5-course prix fixe menu for $39)
Parking Lot (kitty corner to restaurant): $5
www.churchandstatebistro.com

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