Sunday, February 1, 2015

Communion Plates

Explore vintage downtown at Church & State

Brave the trip to a near-abandoned block in the Artists district  for Church & State, the latest bistro from the owner of Cobras & Matadors.

A few dark blocks from the bustle of Downtown, this former Nabisco Biscuit Company loft houses vintage brick walls, exposed beams, subway tile and an open kitchen. Candlelight and old school jazz enhance the almost speakeasy feel. Order from the antique bar before sitting down to a small, wooden table, or head to the outside patio where large parties congregate (and smoke) facing the remote, traffic-free street.

You've never seen so many foods that can be spread on bread: mussels in broth; coarsely chopped steak tartare; charcuterie and cheese plates. Grilled flatbreads with tangy pizza toppings like onion and bacon are ideal for sharing if you’re sticking with small plates. If sharing is against your religion, bistro standards such as steak frites, cassoulet and fish dishes fill the bill for full entrees.

The bar serves up a wide variety of drinks to please fundamentalists and agnostics alike, from complex specialty drinks with forgotten ingredients like ginger and Campari to reasonably priced French and California red and white wines by the glass, and boutique beers by the bottle.

Church & State
1850 Industrial St., Downtown (213) 405-1434 (not yet live)

Price: 2 (out of 4) Noise: 2 (out of 4)
Parking: Paid lot across the street, or play roulette with street parking.
Scene: Same artsy, eclectic crowd that seemingly comes out of the woodwork for Downtown ArtWalk.
Best bets: Onion bacon flatbread; trout in bacon; French onion soup
Nearby: Royal Clayton's; The Edison; Tapas and Wine Bar C
Keep the vibe alive: Grab a pint of Guinness across the street at the equally atmospheric Royal Clayton's English pub.
Photo by Natasha Bedu

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