The restaurant is located in an industrial area; I had mistakenly thought that it was in the center of Downtown, near the Staples Center. If you are not paying attention, you might miss it. It is in the loading dock of a biscuit factory. As I drive by the building, I am wondering.. Where is the valet? We are in LA after all.. Ok, I guess I'll have to park on the street and there aren't any open spots around the entrance. I'll have to park further down. Hmm, kind of dangerous for a female to be walking on a secluded street in Downtown. Quick, scuttle to the restaurant. The neighborhood is kind of dead, but the restaurant inside is the exact opposite. It is a lively, bustling bistro with an open kitchen concept.
I had reservations for 7pm. When we arrived, we were seated right away. I ordered a glass of sparkly (Francois Chidaine Brut) and LB ordered the French Maid; cucumbers, mint, brandy, fresh mint and sweetener. We had thought that the brandy would be too overpowering, but you could not really taste it in the drink. That's a good thing!
Next up was the Santa Barbara spot prawns. It came with cucumber, olives and some gunky thing on the prawn which looked like sun dried tomatoes. Although the prawns were cooked well, I did not like the nicoise. The olives lent a sour taste to the dish and I don't like mystery ingredients on my plate.
Ahh.. redemption.. Roasted bone marrow. The bone marrow was split lengthwise and served marrow side up. The presentation was simple, but lovely. It came with a side of radish and crostinis. I initially thought that the radishes were more of an afterthought, however it work really well with the marrow because it added a crunch and bitterness. I pretty much order marrow whenever it's on the menu and I thought this was one of the best that I've had because it was seasoned well. You could taste the beef flavor, the fattiness of the marrow and a little salt. I swear, if I was in the privacy of my home, I would have licked up the crevices of the bone. So good and yeah, so rich...
Bone marrow, gone.
Lastly, dessert. Although the chocolate desserts are always appealing, we decided on the Fig Tarte du jour. Something different, and I love figs. The tart was served with a honey and muscat sabayon, and the crust was buttery and tasted like shortbread. The tart filling was dense and the figs were sweet and a little gooey. A good dessert and it wasn't too rich an ending for the night.
Overall, a great dinner at Church and State: well worth the drive to the obscure part of Downtown LA. The dishes that we selected were definitely on the fatty side. Thank goodness I surfed and went for a run this morning... I can see why they have received rave reviews. I would definitely come back again, perhaps try something off the entree menu but will definitely get the pig's ear and trotters again.
Hits: All the pork dishes, marrow, fig tart, warm bread, great ambiance, open kitchen concept, dishes were paced well
Misses: No valet, seafood dishes fell short
Church and State
1850 Industrial St
Los Angeles, CA 90021