We've said it before, and we'll say it again: The french fries at Church & State are the tops. Chef Walter Manzke might have stepped away from the stoves, but the bistro's fries, made of frozen, quarter-inch russets and fried in a mixture that includes lard (sorry, vegetarians), carry on his legacy at the corner of Mateo and Industrial streets. They remain crisp and light as a feather, thanks to the animal fat, actually, and the subtle aioli serves them damn well, too. Only drawback? Eight bucks is one of the steeper price tags you'll pay for a side of fries and even exceeds what we've shelled out many miles west. 1850 Industrial St., #100, dwntwn. (213) 405-1434, churchandstatebistro.com.

—Jessica Ritz

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