Spring
 
 

The chef of Church & State’s elegant, Mediterranean-inspired oasis in Downtown

By Grace Jidoun

Spring is Tony Esnault’s elegant follow-up to LA’s beloved bistro, Church & State, where the renowned chef perfected rustic French fare. You’ll now find him in an airy open kitchen crafting lighter and more refined Mediterranean-inspired dishes driven by the bounty of California farms.

To bring you a sampling of the season, Spring is offering a pair of special prix-fixe menus exclusively for BlackboardEats subscribers, for lunch and dinner. Each course is packed with vegetables at their peak, featuring flavor combinations, textures, and techniques that will make you stop and truly appreciate the experience of a good meal.

Spring is ensconced in the covered courtyard of the 1898 Douglas Building—an LA Historic-Cultural Monument—and time seems to slow down once you’re inside. Tables are placed among pepper trees, colorful artwork, and a five-tiered fountain. Light streams in from the atrium ceiling, creating a relaxed atmosphere of a sort that’s rare to find in LA.

While Esnault’s lunch and dinner menus showcase proteins like flatiron steak, duck breast, and seared salmon, he is a true master of coaxing complex flavors out of fresh produce—a talent he developed cooking alongside legendary chef Alain Ducasse.
Duck breast comes with an inspired combination of radish, turnips, salsify, and plums. At lunch, the seared salmon, a must-order, is placed atop an intensely concentrated jus made from a vibrant piperade that’s served on the side. In the steak entrée, buttery mashed potatoes compete with grass-fed flatiron for the title of most decadent on the plate.

This summer, Geffen Playhouse's Gil Cates Theater presents Skeleton Crew, written by award-winning playwright and Detroit native Dominque Morisseau, and directed by Patricia McGregor. The final installment of The Detroit Project trilogy, it follows the lives of four Detroit auto factory coworkers in 2008, as the Great Recession really starts to hit. Broadway World hails, “This emotionally charged play looks deep into the hearts and souls of its four characters, with all four actors brilliantly commanding the stage from stage to finish.” You won’t want to miss it—and right now, BBE subscribers can get tickets for shows now through July 2 for just $39, using code CREWBBE. But don’t delay—tickets are going fast, and this offer expires June 30, 2018, or while supplies last.
 
Vegetarians will appreciate a sweet corn risotto that appears on both the lunch and dinner menus, while a gazpacho “pour-over” adds a touch of drama to the classic Spanish chilled soup: Your server will pour a smooth heirloom tomato puree over a mix of chopped raw vegetables and tiny croutons that add a delectable crunch to the classic.

End the experience by choosing from a rich chocolate ganache with raspberry sorbet or nougat studded with apricots and pistachios.

To complement the meal, Spring has handpicked a selection of reasonably priced wines (a Provençal red and an Argentine white), just for BlackboardEats subscribers. There are also cocktails for your pleasure; the Gingerine is an especially zingy pick-me-up with gin, tangerine juice, lime, and ginger beer. If this all this sounds extra special, it is. Welcome back to gracious dining.

BlackboardEats exclusive lunch and dinner prix fixes

2-course lunch ($25 per person)
Choice of appetizer or dessert and entree

Appetizer
Mixed green salad—market greens, shaved vegetables, fines herbs, and preserved lemon vinaigrette
or
Heirloom tomato gazpacho—cucumber, celery, crostini, and extra virgin olive oil

Entrée
Salmon with bell pepper, onion, piquillo, tomato, parsley, and espelette

or
Corn risotto—carnaroli rice, sweet corn, cremini mushrooms, and chives

or

Flatiron steak—Strauss’ Farm grass-fed beef, carrots, crushed potato, and broccolini ($8 supplement)

Dessert
Chocolate and raspberry—chocolate ganache, chocolate crumble, raspberries
or

Nougat, apricot, pistachio, caramelized almonds, and charcoal tuile

3-course dinner ($49 per person)
choice of appetizer, entree, and dessert

Appetizer
Heirloom tomato gazpacho—cucumber, celery, crostini, and extra virgin olive oil
or

Salmon—poached and cured, with avocado, cucumber, lemon, and yogurt

Entrée
Branzino with bell pepper, onion, piquillo, tomato, parsley, and espelette

or
Corn risotto—carnaroli rice, sweet corn, cremini mushrooms, and chives

or

Flatiron steak—Strauss’ Farm grass-fed beef, carrots, crushed potato, and broccolini ($8 supplement)
or

Duck breast—Maple Leaf Farms, salsify, radish, turnip, and plums 
($16 supplement)

Dessert
Chocolate and raspberry—chocolate ganache, chocolate crumble, raspberries
or

Nougat, apricot, pistachio, caramelized almonds, and charcoal tuile


Cocktails
Gingerine—Burnett’s London dry gin, tangerine, ginger beer, lime, served on the rocks ($8)

Smooth Operator—Brown Butter Bourbon, tarragon, raw sugar, bitters, lemon peel, served on the rocks ($9)

Wines
White: Amalaya—Torrontés and Riesling, Salta, Argentina 2016 ($8/glass; $36/bottle)
Red: Domaine André Brunel—Grenache, Vin de Pays Vaucluse 2016 ($8/glass; $36/bottle)

hours

Dinner: Tue–Fri 6 PM–9 PM; Sat 5 PM–10 PM
Lunch: Tue–Fri 11:30 AM–2:30 PM
Brunch: Sun 11AM–2 PM
Closed Monday

price range

$10 (salad) to $32 (duck)
x