January 12, 2013

Church & State

Church & State is the place to go when you're craving French comfort food.  And trust, the French know how to make comfort food (hello, cheese, creme fraiche, crepes, eclairs, wine, foie gras... come into thy belly!).  I'm still perplexed how the French manage to remain relatively thin.  Seriously, vat is your zecret??

This French bistro is nestled amongst warehouses and loading docks (on a street properly named Industrial Street) and located off the beaten track in an area not quite DTLA, not quite Little Tokyo, and not quite the Arts District.  You'll probably spot the "National Biscuit Company" (aka - Nabisco) building first, but when you do, be glad because the big-windowed space with hanging lights inside is your homey destination.

Lunch at Church & State is a different experience than dinner.  Both are equally great!

Every table gets some sliced baguette with creamy, unsalted butter and salt to top (not pictured).  Simple, but delicious!

Soupe Gratinée à l'Oignon, aka - French Onion Soup -- $10

Do you see that gooey, cheesy crust that's bubbling over the sides of the ramekin?  Yes, yes, yes!

Bouillabaisse (petite assiette) -- Provençal fish stew with blue prawns, Manilla clams, Prince Edward Island mussels, fennel, tomato, potato, leek -- $17

For a healthier option, you can get a helping of the seafood bouillabaisse that's both filling and refreshing in a seafood stew kind of way.

For a less healthier -- okay, let's not sugar-coat --  a very unhealthy option, you can be like me and order this:

Croque Madame -- Nueske ham, gruyère, Emmentaler, Mornay sauce, fried egg on brioche w/ a side of pomme frites -- $14

Oh Madame, you are a beautiful thing.  The sweet, nuttiness of the French gruyere and the savory Swiss Emmental do a number on the brioche that's practically sinful.  The ham and Mornay sauce, which is essentially a creme sauce made of more cheese, are great too!  But the greatest accoutrement is the fried egg that sits atop this sandwich and deems it a true Madame.  Each bite is oozing with richness; each bite makes me begging for more.  Though my French is limited, this Croque Madame and I are totally speaking the same language.

Whether it be for lunch or dinner, you must check out Church & State soon!

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Church & State on Urbanspoon

cuisine: French bistro
location: DTLA
hours: Lunch on M-F; Dinner only on Sat and Sun { specific hours here }
websites: { C&S | yelp | facebook | twitter }
attire: Casual
parking: Street or nearby lots