Bottega Louie

A few weeks ago, I had dinner with an old friend at Bottega Louie in downtown LA. This was my first time venturing into downtown, having previously been put off by tales of horrendous traffic, but I have to say – I will gladly brave any bad traffic to eat here again.

The first thing you see when you walk in is the pasty area, full of brightly-colored goodies.  Sensory overload.  I arrived before my friend did, so I hung out here for a while and tried not to get stampeded by the ever-jostling crowd surrounding the display cases.

I eyed these cupcakes longingly.  They have tiny macarons on them!

These rainbow-colored macarons called out to me. If I didn’t already have plans, I would’ve just bought a cupcake and some macarons and called it dinner. You think I’m joking, but I’m not.

I didn’t want to ruin my appetite for dinner, but I finally caved and bought a strawberry macaron. Best decision I made all week.

This cake reminds me of AstroTurf. I have a strange urge to play football on it.  Or march on it, I guess, since I was a flutist in my high school marching band.  (No American Pie jokes, please.)

Let’s talk about the interior of Bottega Louie. It’s gorgeous – white marble, high ceilings. It kind of feels like you’re eating in a trendy museum or a Victorian bank.

There’s also an open kitchen. I love restaurants where you can watch the chefs cook. It always inspires me to better my knife skills. Then I go home, mutilate a carrot, and give up.

Side note: Do you think the food at places with open kitchens is cleaner?  Since people are watching, the chefs can’t, you know, pick their noses and then go right back to cooking.

The food was delicious. First they brought out some pretty bread.

They encourage sharing, so we ordered a pizza and a few small dishes.

Their portabello fries are legendary.

Polenta with wild mushrooms. My love affair with wild mushrooms continues.

The Napoli pizza. Love. Super thin middle with a thick, wonderfully chewy crust. I was too busy stuffing my face and listening to my friend’s story of being on 90210 to take a picture until we had eaten half of it. Oops.

Sometimes I don’t need to end dinner with a fancy dessert.  Sometimes all it takes is a scoop of rich, creamy vanilla bean gelato to make me happy.


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