It’s a great accomplishment when a restaurant survives the first year, not to mention five or ten. This year Church & State celebrates its 10-year anniversary.
The downtown Los Angeles dining scene has come a long way in the past decade. When Church & State opened its doors in 2008, the Arts District was not exactly a culinary destination. As one of the very first restaurants in this now bustling area, Church & State rests at the forefront of the burgeoning downtown culinary scene.
Located in the loading dock of the former National Biscuit Company building in downtown Los Angeles, Church & State offers French bistro cuisine in a fabulous setting. The décor has a vibrant energy, with strands of evocative lights, high ceilings and an open-air kitchen on one end and bar on the other. Like a real French bistro, the tables are tucked closely together creating an authentic and convivial feel. From the moment I entered the restaurant, I felt like I was back in France, transported out of downtown Los Angeles into a bistro in Paris. While the décor feels French with a distinctly modern Los Angeles industrial flare, the food is classic bistro fare.
Although Church & State should remain separate entities, it is precisely the interplay of tastes and textures at this French restaurant that unite for a deeply satisfying experience. The menu highlights traditional French dishes using organic, locally sourced seasonal produce of the highest quality.
Michelin award-winning Executive Chef and Co-Owner Tony Esnault, a protégé of Alain Ducasse at the legendary Louis XV restaurant in Monte Carlo, learned to respect the integrity of fine ingredients and flavour, noting that, “There’s a radiance to food in its natural state that you don’t want to undermine.” This love of cuisine is evident in the appreciation for authentic flavors and artistic execution of the menu at Church & State.
From my first bite of the onion tart, with its wafer thin flaky crispy crust, I knew I was in for a solidly delicious meal. The lavender-infused goat cheese was also a big hit. The classic dishes include PEI mussels, escargot served en croute, grass-fed steak and frites with sauce béarnaise, wild Burgundy snails, onion soup, and a superb bouillabaisse.
All were executed with precision that satisfied my palate for rich, refined food. Add to that an impressive French wine list and outstanding service, and the evening was a foodie’s delight.
Ten years after having pioneered the urban Los Angeles dining movement, Church & State is the Grande Dame of the Arts District. Bringing some of the heart and soul of traditional French cooking to Los Angeles, Church & State will undoubtedly celebrate many more milestones to come.
1850 Industrial St., #100, Los Angeles, CA 90021
Tel: (213) 405-1434
Valet and Street parking available