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Steven Arroyo's Church & State opens today

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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Went back to Church and State for a second try, and as I had hoped that my first experience there was a to my relief a restaurant and more specifically a kitchen finding it's feet. My second experience was a great evening of good atmosphere and good food. The service was that enjoyed by presidents and royalty. The Beef Bourguignon is a hearty, flavorful dish, and a good choice . Credit where credit is do. This restaurant is a little gem and well worth
a try.

What a wonderful place. The service was lovely not over the top and I felt like I was in someones personal kitchen. The star of the show here is the cuisine. We had the chicken liver pate, beef bourginon and veal stew. I loved the various flavors in each dish. Though both were completely different I noticed the same phenomena of layered tastes. Each bite presenting a new dimension. Not heavy at all. I never felt overly full and wanted to try more. But I did have a great sense of satisfaction and quality. I find this kind of dining very adventurous and entertaining. This space is downtown near the LA river in the arts district and there is a kind of life there. As if I were visitng somewhere else and I could be home in twenty minutes. What a fun time we had. What a lovely city we live in. How fortunate for us to have this lovely place.

My first impressions were the atmosphere resembled that of a bustling bistro in a Parisian neighborhood. The lighting and music complimented the rustic décor created from a loading dock of the renovated Biscuit Building. The service was friendly and attentive. I felt proud that my neighborhood could be blessed with LA’s best new eatery. But as the minutes turned to an hour, the wait and hungry faces of my friends began to erode my blissful glee. Looking at tables around us, it was evident that the only thing coming from the kitchen was smoke. Sadly it wasn’t worth the wait. The quality of steak was stringy, with the fries being its only savior. The trout was of a better quality, but the strong smoked flavor of layers of bacon overwhelmed the subtle flavors of my favorite fish. With a state of the art kitchen along with 6 chefs, I was left baffled and disappointed,
I can only hope that this was a rocky start rather what should and could have been.

great place! Church and State will sooth not only your appetite but the soul of downtown denizens coast to coast. looking forward...


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