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Church & State gets a second chance -- and three stars

March 18, 2009 |  8:41 am

Have you tried Church & State? What did you make of it? Here's what Times restaurant critic S. Irene Virbila has to say about the new restaurant, and its chef, Walter Manzke (formerly of Bastide):

If you tried the restaurant when it opened and were disappointed, let me just say this: After a rocky start that ended in the original chef leaving, the restaurant is really humming. Manzke is throwing himself into the bistro genre with gusto. He's making his own charcuterie. He's changing the menu every few days. He's in the zone.

For anyone looking for a restaurant downtown that has good food, and feels festive and fun, all without straining the pocketbook too much, that place is Church & State.

Read the rest of her review here -- she gives Church & State a rare three out of four stars. That puts Church & State into an elite group: Check out its standing among the top-ranked restaurant reviews of the past five years.

Photo: Jamie Rector / For the Los Angeles Times