Sunday, May 27, 2012
Worshipping at Church & State
When Church & State opened a few years ago, it got plenty of buzz, but after chef Walter Manzke left, that buzz died down. I never made it during the Manzke days, but I love a French bistro, so I headed out there recently and was not disappointed.
Located at the eastern edge of downtown, right off the 101 freeway at 7th street, Church & State does fairly traditional French bistro food, but does it very, very well. The menu has a variety of small plates as well as entrees, and some of the entrees can be done as small plates as well. If you order small plates, they will serve them sequentially, so it's more like a tasting menu.
I ordered a variety of plates and everything was very good. The sweetbreads were among the best I've had. They were perfectly fried, very crispy on the outside and soft within. The charcuterie plate included six different items including a wonderful chicken liver mousse, smooth as silk but dense and not overly whipped, as well as some very nice country pates. The lamb tarte was a French style tarte with a cracker crust, gruyere, caramelized onions and bits of lamb. And the pork belly entree literally melted in my mouth into a porky, fatty treat; it was served with baby vegetables in a porky broth/jus.
Desserts were also very good. A chocolate-coffee pot du creme tasted more like a pudding then a traditional pot du creme but was quite good. The salted caramel chocolate tart was a slice of dense, dark chocolate torte dripped with a salted caramel sauce.
Everything was good and while not cheap, the prices were not as bad as I expected for this caliber of food. I will definitely be heading back.
Church & State
1850 Industrial St., #100
Los Angeles, CA 90021