This was Walter Manzke’s last day at Church and State. To say we will miss him is a huge understatement. He has elevated the cuisine at Church and State to one of the best restaurants in Los Angeles. He is not leaving LA and does have another opportunity to showcase his wonderful cuisine. When it becomes a reality, you can be assured we will be there. Stay tuned!
Walter and sous chef, Allen Berkay
William, our wonderful waiter who patiently describes every dish to me
Not pictured – Jeremiah, the new sommelier who did a wonderful job
Not pictured -Yassmin, owner, who was equally as gracious. Ironies of ironies it turns out Yassmin lives very close to us, went to school with Andy Kirschner who we just “discovered” at Wilshire restaurant and has similar tastes in restaurants that we like and don’t like.
Gougeres – hot and perfectly cheesy
I don’t need to add a lot of commentary of the oyster as the photo says it all
This echire butter from Normandy is just perfect
We got to Church and State just as they opened so Walter had a chance to visit a bit. He showed us his new knife – a beauty from Japan. What a gorgeous knife and what a wonderful person.
Fried salt cod ( or what use to be referred to as cod beignet) sitting on a bed of saffron aioli – crispy outer coating and smooth and delicate cod inside – almost mousse-like in texture
Hamachi Cru – raw yellow tail with blood orange, tomato, fleur de sel, chives and olive oil - I am guessing the yellowtail was cut with Walter’s incredible knife
BYO White Wine
Tartine d’Oursin – Sea Urchin on a bed of white bean aioli, a touch of espellete pepper on a toasted crouton - this is an OH MY dish
Gambas a la Grenobloise – The Santa Barbara spot prawns had been alive 60 seconds ago, according to Walter. It was done with brown butter, lemon and capers – the prawns were cooked to perfection – not the slightest bit of rubbery overdoness
The roe from the prawns was to die for plus I ate every feeler
BYO White wine
Dover Sole, Morel mushrooms, Spinach Puree, Morel mushroom sauce – this dish screamed spring even though March had come in a like a lion in Los Angeles. The sole was perfection as were the morels.
Snails baked in garlic and parsley butter topped with pastry
The snail revealed
BYO Red Wine
Now the huge and I mean huge charcuterie board
Other than the salumi, everything is made in house
Country style pate of duck liver
Duck legs and pork rillette with port
Salumi – 3 different kinds – pistachio, fennel and black pepper with cornichons, radish smeared with butter and a dusting of sea salt and pickled vegetables or legumes a la greque
Duck, cherries, hazelnuts pate, Rabbit and pistachio pate, Pate de Campagne , Jambon Persillade
Foie Gras topped with port, brioche, baguette bread and olives and dijon mustard
Up close – the radish – Church and State’s charcuterie board is one of the best in Los Angeles not only for variety but also for execution.
BYO Red Wine
Pied de Cochon – Pork Shoulder and feet, lentils, frisee aux lardons topped with a poached egg – how many ways can I say delicious?
Roasted Bone Marrow with a small dish of parsley, shallot and radish to use as a topping on the baguette
We were suppose to have a pork dish, but we got very full and decided to deep six that dish.
What a marvelous meal and what a marvelous evening. It is with great sadness that I bid adieu to Walter at Church and State, but I look forward to his new adventure.