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Sunday Night at Church & State

French industrial chic at Church & State; photo by Josh Lurie, FoodGPS.com

Good-value Sunday-night menus are all the rage in town, and it’s a trend we applaud — especially the one at Church & State in Downtown’s loft district. The prix-fixe menu is $39 a head for four courses, served in a way that allows for sampling a lot of good things. Three of us went last Sunday, and here’s what our $39 bought:

First came a demitasse cup of spectacular English pea soup redolent with a smoky bacon flavor, accompanied by a heavenly gougère (a French cheese puff). Next came two appetizers to share family-style: an iced seafood platter with Kumomoto oysters and Santa Barbara spot prawns, and a wonderful sweet-spicy salad of arugula, hazelnuts and bits of fig. Then we each got our choice of several entrees: one of us had the mussels with crisp, salty fries, one the duck breast with a hint of star anise and roasted brussels sprouts, and one the rich, silken short ribs. Finally came two desserts to share: a dense cherry tart and a pot of berry crisp that tasted like the crumbled-up Pop-Tart of your dreams.

It’s a lot of bang for the buck, and a fun way to explore one of Downtown’s best, most exciting restaurants. And yes, the $11 cocktails are worth the splurge.

Church & State, 1850 E. Industrial St., Downtown, 213.405.1434, churchandstatebistro.com. L Mon.-Fri., D nightly. French. Full bar. AE, MC, V.

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