Church & State

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Illustration by Jessica Boone

Steven Arroyo’s latest—easily his best since Cobras & Matadors—brings the nouveau French bistro trend downtown. On the ground floor of the Biscuit Company Lofts, with high industrial ceilings and walls of glass, this—like Cobras—is a loud spot for wine-soaked Saturday nights. The ambience is anything but French. In keeping with Arroyo’s M.O., the place is laid-back (sometimes to a fault) and hip (but not off-putting), with a menu that’s unfussy (as well as satisfying). Trout wrapped in bacon is redolent of a campfire, and the beef bourguignonne melts under a fork. The fries—scalding, puffy masterpieces—might make us regulars. » 1850 Industrial St., downtown (213-405-1434). L Mon.-Fri.; D Mon.-Sat. Full bar. Bistro $$$

Photograph by Jessica Boone