700 South Grand Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Spoondle's Rating: 7
This past weekend I went to the Kings vs. Canadiens hockey game at the Staples center downtown. After the game we decided to grab a bite at Bottega Louie. I've heard a lot about this Italian eatery, its on Jonathan Gold's 99 Essential L.A restaurants list, and one of the most popular dinning spots downtown. Needless to say, I was eager to see what all the hype was about.
This place is fun, hip and huge. It has the feel of a Dean & Deluca, complete with high ceilings, gourmet market, patisserie and an open kitchen. Unfortunately they don't take reservations, and it being a saturday night, the wait was half an hour. But with so much to look at and all the hustle and bustle going on around, we hardly noticed. The food is good, not spectacular, but good. Since I love trying lots of different things, I was really excited by their large selection of side items like white polenta and chanterelles, burrata and grape tomatoes, portobello fries, and pumpkin squash. The food was fresh, the atmosphere fun, and the prices right. I would definitely suggest checking it out at least once, even if its to try a french macaron.
The Lively bar and waiting area at 11:00pm
The deli counter that is filled with savory goodness at lunch time
Gourmet oils, vinegars, tomato sauce, salts and more
Macarons from the patisserie
The open kitchen
View of the kitchen from the dining room
Appetizer of clams oreganata- baked clams stuffed with a mixture of breadcrumbs and fresh herbs. Initially they were a bit flat so we asked for a side of lemon wedges to help lift the flavors. We had to ask 3 different people for the side of lemon but when we finally got them, the result was perfection.They were so delicious and addicting we ordered a 2nd round.
First course, Modena salad. Salad of butter lettuce, candied walnuts, crumbled goat cheese, shallots, fresh herbs drizzled with a creamy balsamic vinaigrette. This was a nice salad but a bit overwhelming because it was large, difficult to eat and the cheese overpowered the more delicate flavors.
Finally, a good pizza in LA! Their wood fired pizza had a crispy outter crust but was chewy on the inside. We tried the Napoli- red onions, mushrooms, olives, tomato sauce and mozzarella. The tomato sauce had a nice sweetness to it which complemented the saltiness of the olives. The pizza's are large, we ordered one and shared it between 4 people as an appetizer.
Lentil soup- green lentils, vegetable stock, herbs and brunoise of vegetables. A nice lentil soup, a little bland but tasty nonetheless.
White beans and sausage- grilled sausage, cannellini beans, escarole and oregano. Though I didn't try the sausage I know it was very good because I did try the white beans that were covered in its juice, oregano and lemon. They were absolutely delicious. These beans may have been my favorite part of the meal, next to the pizza.
We didn't feel right about walking away from dinner without ordering dessert so we decided on the chocolate Soufflé . One thing you should probably know about me is that I'm not a chocolate lover. (Gasp!) I know, I'm not a real woman. The only reason I enjoyed this dessert is because I drowned the chocolate-ness in the crème anglaise.
Chocolate bars! How cute are these? I'm Keeping these locked in my memory for future gift ideas