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Steven Arroyo's Church & State opens today

September 22, 2008 |  3:34 pm

Biscuitlofts After nearly two years of work, Steven Arroyo's brasserie Church & State opens tonight for dinner. "This is a really important project to me," says Arroyo, explaining that the restaurant is not as low-key as some people might think and that the menu is 40 items deep.

The restaurant is in the Biscuit Company Lofts, which is across from the Toy Factory Lofts and Elizabeth Peterson's Royal Clayton's pub and restaurant. The space that Church & State occupies was a former loading dock, which Arroyo says he tried to keep intact while building a large open kitchen and a 40-seat patio. About three-quarters of the way through the project, Arroyo says, he decided to apply for a full liquor license -- so a bar was also built.

The man behind the food is Greg Bernhardt, who has worked on many of Arroyo's restaurants including the Stork, 750 ml and Cobras & Matadors. "I'm really trying to make this my home," says Bernhardt, who says he'd like to stay at Church & State awhile. Bernhardt says he's taken "classic bistro fare but refined it for fine dining." He's also signed on Lisa Vega, Providence's pastry assistant, to design the pastry menu and further train him in her craft.

Bernhardt's favorite dishes are the beef bourguignon (long-braised beef in red wine with dark stock and root vegetables), and the blanquette de boeuf (braised with white wine and served with glazed pearl onions). All meats come from "no farther than Sonoma" and are free-range and hormone free, and the produce is organic.

Dinner service starts tonight at 6, lunch begins Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. After that the restaurant will be open from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., daily, with lunch and dinner specials.

1850 Industrial St., Los Angeles.

For more information and pictures go to Eater LA; the site has been tracking Church & State's opening for quite some time.

-- Jessica Gelt

Rendering of the Toy Factory Lofts (right) and the Biscuit Company Lofts (left), with the umbrellas indicating the location of Church & State, courtesy of Linear City.

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