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Alumna's Restaurants Recognized as 2 of LA's Best

Jessica Rice ’12
Spring restaurant, owned by Yassmin Sarmadi 87 and her husband Tony Esnault, is the sixth best restaurant in Los Angeles, according to renowned Los Angeles Times food critic Jonathan Gold.

Each year, Gold compiles a list of Los Angeles's 101 best restaurants. Sarmadi and executive chef Esnault received two nods on the 2017 list for Spring and their bistro Church & State, which was recognized at 61.

Since both restaurants have made the list before, 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."

At Spring, Esnault uses classic French techniques to make dishes such as legumes de saison, which translates to seasonal vegetables. Sometimes as many as 25 vegetables are prepared separately for the dish, using the technique that is best for each one, Sarmadi said. The presentations are "modern and updated," but "he's not making things up."

Overall, Sarmadi and Esnault prioritize serving good products in a nice atmosphere and making their guests happy. In this year's list, Gold called Spring "the loveliest French restaurant to open in Los Angeles in years."

Sarmadi said they are thrilled.

"It's very gratifying to have recognition when you work hard," she said.

The couple's goal is always to surpass what they accomplished the year before. Looking toward 2018, they hope to make Gold's list again, increase their client base and make people happier, Sarmadi said. They might even open another restaurant.

"You never know until things are done, but we've been discussing a project," she said.
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