Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Church & State Bistro - Los Angeles (Downtown)

Before I left for Mesa Verde National Park - Colorado, I did a little favor for Tony of SinoSoul and his better half. So shortly after I got back, they thanked me and the other person by taking us out for dinner. I think I got the better end of the bargain. :)

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I think I'm programmed to like any restaurant that has "bistro" as part of its name, but Church & State Bistro was also highly anticipated as I've heard lots of good things ever since it opened. It's located in a rather industrial area of downtown, but the string lights and brick walls gave it a nice coziness.

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I had only had my new-used dslr camera for a few months at this point, and was still figuring how to take pictures with it. I handed it off to Tony who took fabulous photos shooting in RAW format, but the files were too big and not in jpeg format so I couldn't upload them. He switched to jpeg about halfway through our meal, but you're mostly stuck with my point and shoot camera pictures. And seriously, the photos were fabulous! So crisp and clear! Also unfortunately, I played around with something trying to get the photos to work and now can't even open them at all!


Blogger lamentations. So just go check out Church & State Bistro for yourself because my post really doesn't do it justice.

A cocktail that I can't remember since it wasn't my drink, but I think it's Between the Sheets, brandy, rum, housemade cointreau, and a dash of fresh-squeezed lemons, $12.

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French bread and butter, $3. It was good but c'mon, I had flashbacks of being charged for bread and butter while in Italy. Not a fan of charging for bread and butter, even French butter.

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Tony ordered a slew of appetizers for the table.

Assiette de Charcuterie (French selection of artisan and housemade pates, terrines, and saucisson sec), $18. The fancy meats were all yummy. I think one of them was rabbit and another had pistachios, so not your run-of-the-mill charcuterie platter at all.

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Pickles were included too.

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I think the gougeres were complimentary? They more than made up for the bread and butter.

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Escargots de bourgogne (French snails baked in garlic and parsley butter), $13.

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The radish salad and the...

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...toasted French bread slices were supposed to go with the roasted bone marrow, $12.

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But it was one of those pictures that didn't come out, but I'm sure you can Google for yourself.

Oreilles de Cochon, ,crispy pig ears with bernaise sauce, $8. I love Chinese/Vietnamese style pig ears, which are crunchy. These were lightly breaded and fried and so tender. Really different and a surprising hit.

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Tarte de Saumon Fume, smoked salmon, leeks, lemon creme fraiche, $14. Basically smoked salmon flatbread.

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I think this was Pied de Cochon, pork shoulder and feet, lentils, frisee aux lardons, $12.

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Tony's missus ordered the bouillabaisse, Provencal fish soup with prawns, mussels, and clams, $25. I tried some of it and it was delicious.

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I remember partway through the meal asking Tony to switch to taking photos in both RAW and jpeg so I could use them later, so here's a much nicer photo of the stew.

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He ordered Bavette a la Bourdelaise, braised beef short rib, swiss chard, mushrooms, red wine sauce, $26 or $16 for a small plate.

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The other person ordered Confit de Canard, duck leg, potatoes Sarladaise, pickled cherries, $17.

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There's a chalk-painted column with a list of the current fresh seafood that was in stock. Since there were only a few of the monkfish left, I had to get it. Monkfish, clams, and octopus in a buerre blanc. Seafood in vinegar butter. What could be better?

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Tony ordered the dessert sampler for us to share.

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Three kinds of fruit tarts.

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A cobbler-like dessert with ice cream on top.

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Creme brulee with fruit.

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Chocolate hazelnut pudding.

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Individually, each dessert was $8 so getting them all together for $18 is a great deal.

So stuffed. Everything was wonderful. The Sinosouls sure know how to thank me in style.

The restaurant was completely full so we dined outside. I'd highly recommend making a reservation if you plan to eat there on weekends. Giada was once spotted dining there, so if Church and State is good enough for her...

Other French restaurant posts:
Cafe Bizou - Pasadena (Old Town)
Centro Basco Restaurant - Chino
Le Croissant Dore - Westminster (Little Saigon)
Marche Moderne - Costa Mesa
Saigon Bistro - Westminster (Little Saigon)

Church & State Bistro
1850 Industrial St., #100
Los Angeles, CA 90021
Monday to Thursday 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Friday 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Saturday 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Sunday 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

1 year ago today, Very Berry/Coo Coo Chicken - San Gabriel (Closed).
2 years ago today, Cream of Tomato Soup.


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