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Yassmin Sarmadi ’87

Yassmin Sarmadi ’87 owns Los Angeles restaurants Spring and Church & State with her husband Tony Esnault. 

Both downtown LA restaurants have garnered praise from food critics. Bistro Church & State was named the “#1 Hot Spot” and best new restaurant by Angeleno magazine and a “Top 100 in LA” by Los Angeles Magazine.

It has also repeatedly been named to Los Angeles Times food critic Jonathan Gold's list of LA's 101 best restaurants. In 2017, Sarmadi and executive chef Esnault received two nods on the list. Spring made the top 10 at number six, and Church & State was recognized at 61.

Sarmadi attributes their staying power to two things: authenticity and simplicity.

"Church & State is a very classic bistro," she said. "There's nothing trendy about it. We're not reinventing the wheel. We're not creating a new cuisine or … fusion or something nobody has ever had before that they may be fascinated by and get bored with."

Overall, Sarmadi and Esnault prioritize serving good products in a nice atmosphere and making their guests happy.

Sarmadi stays busy running two restaurants, but remains connected to Webb. She and Esnault have hosted Webb students at Spring for an Unbounded Days event, and have hosted other Webb gatherings at both restaurants. 

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