3 Years at Bottega Louie

bottega louie

Where: Bottega Louie
Location: 700 South Grand Avenue, Downtown

I don’t spend much time downtown. Aside from the horrible traffic to get there (the 110 is never your friend); I’m rather prejudiced of the maze of one-way streets that greet you all around. I accidentally had the pleasure of turning down a one-way street once in downtown LA and let’s just say…that was an experience. While I’m still not a fan of its one-way streets, downtown LA has become something special and is on the up-and-up after recent and on-going restorations to the area. It’s still very much “sketchy” in many parts, but it’s become quite the hot spot for young Angelenos – particularly when it comes to dining.

So, when it was time to celebrate our 3 year anniversary, I wanted to shake things up and get out of my usual Westside to Mid-City proper comfort zone and head downtown to check out what I’ve been missing. After sifting through a few options, we went with a restaurant that’s been on my list for over a year now. I’d first heard about it on the blogosphere, later emphasized with an enticing photo on Instagram to keep its memory alive. A quick check and vet on Yelp.com to confirm legitimacy, and our agonizing decision given so many options, was made.

On the corner of 7th and Grand Avenue is the highly regarded Bottega Louie. Known for its exquisite patisserie, bar, and small market right before you enter the large warehouse-sized restaurant, it’s also famous for its weekend brunch. That didn’t seem to make it any less packed during dinner hours. Unfortunately, they don’t take reservations (which really sucks – get it together!) we arrived just after 9:15pm, hoping to miss some of the Friday night rush. Dream on. Bottega Louie was still very much bustling and very loud. We did our best to occupy ourselves during the 40 minute wait for a table, by visiting the popular bakery to indulge in a few sweet treat souvenirs to take home – their renowned macaroons (for me) and a delectable milk chocolate bar (for him).

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{Rainbow of macaroons.}

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{Patisserie.}

I don’t know how they do it given the size of the restaurant and how crowded it is, but just as they promised – a hostess comes and “finds you” to escort you to your table. This was cause for concern, what if they can’t find us and give our table to the next person on the list? (Enter “pissed-dom” if we get bumped, here.) Yet Bottega lived up to its reputation of chic impressiveness. They clearly note a description when you check-in (and would rather discreetly stalk you around the restaurant than deign to give out pagers).

Its open, achromatic, dimly lit space gives it a modern, yet relaxed feel; but its high ceilings and exposed design don’t bode well for the acoustics. It was a pretty loud venue, but evened out as the night went on (or perhaps I’d just lost some hearing). Our waitress was one of the best I’d ever had and the food simply divine. The portions were fair given the cost, though they can be rather “nickel and dimey.” Many of their dishes are priced a la carte. I ordered their chicken parmesan thinking it would come everything standard, when the waitress politely asked me if I’d like to order a “side of pasta” (really, you guys – who eats chicken parmesan without pasta!?!).

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{Chicken parmesan…and yes, I ordrered a side of pasta.}

Bottega Louie is an expensive treat, but a perfect place for a special night out. While it has a few flaws, it’s one of my new LA favorites. I’m very much looking forward to checking out their famous weekend brunch next month for the first time and will report back soon. Until then, bon appetit!

IMPRESSIONS

PROS: Great atmosphere, delicious food, superb service, amazing patisserie (their macaroons are a must try), open until midnight.

CONS: No reservations, very loud, long wait times during rush hours, menu priced a la carte, parking can be tricky.

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{Vanilla, lemon, strawberry, rose, and violet macaroons to go. Divine!}

*please click header photo for image source, all others are mine.


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One thought on “3 Years at Bottega Louie

  1. Pingback: Bottega Louie: The Sequel | All That Glitters

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