PreferDine: Church & State

This week, I was really excited to learn that we would be offering a deal at one of my favorite downtown restaurants: Church & State. They have some of the best steak frites in town, and definitely my favorite presentation of escargots bourguignons.

This offer is a little special because it's only $10 for $20 off your bill, and it's only good for lunch, but that just means your dollar goes a little further, and if you haven't already tried one of downtown's buzziest bistros yet, this is a great reason to head in there.

To buy the deal and see my write-up you can go straight to PreferDine, but if you just want to read what I wrote, you can simply keep reading!

Church & State Bistro
1850 Industrial Street
Los Angeles, California 90021
(213) 405-1434

With a name like Church & State, there was bound to be some tension at downtown’s buzziest French bistro, and sure enough, there have been chef shuffles and ownership kerfuffles, and the odd jab at the offbeat location in the renovated Nabisco Building in eastern downtown. But it’s a testament to Chef Joshua Smith’s phenomenal menu—and the wisdom of our Founding Fathers—that the restaurant is still booming with dapper downtown loft dwellers and sweet young things out to experience the city for an evening in the industrial-chic space of bare brick walls, an open kitchen, and low-light bulbs strung overhead. They come for the Burgundy escargots baked in garlic-parsley butter in a pastry shell; crispy fried pig’s ears with béarnaise sauce; mason jars filled with Provençal goat cheese and lavender honey; Alsatian flatbreads like the one with peaches, Brie and arugula; duck confit with pickled cherries; sea bass with chanterelles and seedless grapes; and (reputedly) the best steak frites in town. Try a few things, along with a bottle of wine from the French-only list, by taking advantage of the half-size entrée portions available, because you’ll want to be sure to save room for the signature rich chocolate pot de crème with caramel, hazelnut and fleur de sel. It’s so luscious, it just might make you rethink the Constitution.


  • Wine snobs, uh, we mean connoisseurs, know that AOC stands for appellation d’origine contrôlée, but even the butter at Church & State is so French that it has its own AOC and comes all the way from Normandy.

  • Burgundy snails are the most coveted of escargots thanks to their supple, dark meat, and the fact that they cannot be domesticated. That’s right, all the snails at C&S are free-range, baby.

  • The seven-story Nabisco Building which houses C&S (and several floors of loft living spaces) was originally built in 1925 for $2 million (less than the price of the penthouse loft villa there these days), and served as the company’s west coast headquarters.