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DTLA french culinary figures join together to open 'Spring' bistro

By Hayley Fox
Published: Tuesday, July 17, 2012, at 10:32AM

The new Spring bistro will be located in the Douglas building on Spring Street.

Two culinary figures in Downtown French cuisine are joining up to open a new bistro on Spring street that promises seasonal, produce-driven food. The owner of Church and State in the Arts District and the executive chef of Patina on Grand Avenue have plans to open Spring -- a traditional, french restaurant but with less-rich options.

Church and State's Yassmin Sarmadi said the owners of the Douglas Building on Spring Street approached her about opening a new place in the bottom floor of their building. As her plans developed, she was introduced to Esnault and their partnership developed "naturally" from there, she said.

"It's a pretty small community in terms of chefs and restaurants in Los Angeles," Sarmadi said. "I'm not a chef, I don't work in the kitchen, so that [finding a chef] of course is one of my primary thoughts and questions."

The approximately 7,500-square-foot space on Spring Street will be split into a dining area and a bar/lounge. Spring will be serving Southern French food -- meaning less butter and more olive oil, less meat and more fish.

"We can get almost anything at any time in California," said Sarmadi, making it extremely easy to "cheat" on fruits and veggies usage. But she said at Spring, they will strive to use only the produce that's truly "in season" at any given time.

Church will have been open four years this September, said Sarmadi, and the number of things she's learned in that time "could fill an entire magazine."

"I'm a different person today than I was four years ago -- for sure," she said. "It hasn't always been easy, but its certainly been a pleasure."

Although Sarmadi was approached about doing other foodie projects further to the west, she seems happy to remain Downtown where "there's so much growth and enthusiasm and vibrancy."

"In the time that I've been there with Church and State, I feel that Downtown has become a home to me," she said.

Sarmadi said that although no renderings or final floor plans have been drawn up for the new bistro, she is planning on working with the "natural, beautiful elements" the curved, corner building provides.

Sarmadi said the reasoning behind the Spring name is multidimensional: Not only is the location on Spring Street but there is an actual spring that runs beneath the building. Also, the spring season is an "exciting time" for life and food, she said -- it's about abundance, fragrance and the resurgence of produce that's not readily available during the winter.

Spring French bistro is slated to open next summer pending permitting, construction and other scheduling issues.

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