Thursday, January 21, 2010

Divalicious Restaurant Reviews: This Week Don't Forget to Go To Church (+ State Bistro)!

Church + State's Tarte Flambee

There's nothing like a lunch with your two best girlfriends to put a smile on your face for the rest of the week.

Yesterday, we had a threesome divas lunch at downtown Los Angeles bistro, Church + State.  Thanks to Blackboard Eats, I showed up with a 30% off coupon in hand, which only sweetened the deal.  I'd been hearing quite a lot about this little bistro with its old warehouse-like building on an alley-like street aptly named Industrial Street and its quintessentially French menu and wine list.  For you non-natives or non-foodies, downtown Los Angeles is currently undergoing a culinary renaissance, and I've vowed to start trekking down more often.

We immediately opted for full-on sharing of plates, and each of us contributed ideas to our order.  Our lovely French waiter offered to stagger the courses for us and cleared the his recommended order with us first (the service was top notch).

What did we choose?  

Well, a half dozen Hutres Glacees (Kumomoto oysters on ice), of course.  They're in season right now after all.  Also, the Moules Mariniere (mussels and fries) and Tarte Flambee (carmemalized onions, bacon, Gruyere), which was almost like a flatbread pizza layered with onion jam, creamy cheese and lardons (hunks of bacon).  We also had a special salad of arugula and citrus as well as a creamy cauliflower and brussels sprouts dish, which was so rich, it counteracted any health benefits accrued by eating the vegetables.

All this, along with copious amounts of warm baguette and butter and lively conversation, made for a stellar lunch even on such a rainy Los Angeles day.  After sampling everything, we concluded that the Tarte Flambee was the hands down star of the lunch, and the mussels were our least favorite dish, though the fries that accompanied them were irresistible.  A little too much lemon in the sauce perhaps?  Next time, we decided we'd opt instead for the Escarogot de Bourgogne, lovely little gratinees stuffed with buttery, garlicky escargots and topped with generous portions of puff pastry which we'd been admiring from afar for the duration of our luncheon.

A perfect spot for a very Julia Child-esque lunch (I must confess I'm currently embroiled in the middle of My Life In France, and just cooked her Roast Duckling last week, so everything French makes me think of Julia right now).  If you're headed downtown, I'd highly recommend checking out Church + State.  Just don't forget to eat the butter.  Lots of it.  Layered on baguette.  Just the way Julia would like it.

Church + State Bistro
1850 Industrial St.
Los Angeles, CA 90021
(213) 405-1434
Click here for their website! 

Church + State Photo Gallery

 Arugula and Citrus Special

Huitres Glacees

Moules Mariniere

Cauliflower and Brussels Sprouts


  1. have the same blackboard eats coupon too but can't get there during lunch time..darn it!

  2. oh man, that's too bad! it was yummy, and the discount didn't hurt. going to try lazy ox this Saturday most likely. xo