Wednesday, July 28, 2010

L.A. Food Life - Bottega Louie

You may ask yourself, is this Paris or Milan?  Is this Cairo, or Buenos Aires?

But you would have to tell yourself, no, this is L.A.   And if this is L.A., then it must be Bottega Louie!

Could your idea of L.A. actually still be of wizened old cowboys with tin stars?  Or voluptuous blond starlets with poufy hair and orange tans?  But maybe not so much Laduree and star chefs,

locally grown, gaily colored, and elegantly presented foodstuffs?

Well time to think again!

Bottega Louie is enormous, it covers ALOT of bases.  It misses some.  It is slightly stark, could use a little warming up, if you ask me personally.

But it is trying really hard, and finding it's inspiration in the very best that the universe has to offer, like it's version of teeny Laduree-style to-go sandwiches, 

the best in rustic bread varieties, 

and basic but satisfying

crowd pleasers.  Did this style of eclairs first show up in vitrines at perhaps Fauchon, in Paris?

Did Pierre Herme ever come up with such a similarly cremeux chocolate mousse tarte?  Probably, yes, FIRST!  (But did he know better than to pair the mousse with a fairly tasteless bitter chocolate pastry, or to garnish it with mystery gel and red-colored hard candies?  YES!!!!  Again!   The French understand that cooking is about making flavors taste MORE, to attain the height and optimum expression of whatever their main flavor themes are.  Many young ambitious American chefs haven't entirely figured this out yet.)   However.........I would eat that chocolate tarte a second time!

The Bottega Louie space is enormous.  It is right in downtown L.A.'s (surprising to some) financial neighborhood, and if you were adventurous you could also reach it fairly conveniently from the new L.A. LIVE entertainment district. There are many eating options here - cafe bar style upfront, take-out counters also at the front, cafeteria style mid-way through and at the rear, behind the gilt desk, the "Fine Dining" room


it is rumored, Chloe Kardashian and husband Lamar Odom like to come for pizza and pasta late-nights after a Lakers game.  NOW.  You KNOW!

So.  Me.  As a newly minted juror, on a prospectively month-long jury assignment in Downtown L.A., I am DESPERATE for every kind of consolation or I mean, diversion/distraction, to break up the tedium of a long courtroom day.  And since that seven-block rush down the hill and back (sweaty-though-it-may-be) after sitting sitting sitting scribbling notes and scrutinizing testifiers, is EXHILARATING and the BEST feeling I've had all day!........... 

Because of all that, and in the interest of BLOG SCIENCE, I will this evening offer you my pledge.  That I will return to Bottega Louie.  On a frequent basis.  Over the next month.  To sample it's many and various offerings. And give you a FULL REPORT!



  1. Hum Cairo... definitely not!
    And by the way, and I ma certain you agree, the plastic wrap on the sandwiches makes it a 100% pure US of A place!
    Everything looks so so good! Can you ship some macarons to India? That would be wonderful...
    Have a pleasant day and thanks for this kind frugality!

  2. OML, that would be my place to have lunch everyday! I love macarons, adore breads and love sweets.

    thanks for sharing....

  3. These photos belong in a magazine, or illustrated in a children's book! Love this tour of yours (your talent for sure). Looking forward to more courtroom detours :^)

  4. Bottega Louie looks a very nice place! Everything looks so delicious. I love breads and love sweets too.
    Your photos are stunning, just gorgeous!
    I am glad I find your Passage Paradis.

  5. Glad you discovered it. I was just there last week! You beat me to the blog punch so to speak. The food is great and I love the atmosphere. Isn't it a bit crazy loud though?

  6. kenza - i will take your word for it about cairo though a very interesting part about l.a. is how many transplanted middle easterners are in the restaurant biz here. not sure quite what you mean about frugality - that i'm pledging to only buy one cake a day?

    guusje - i will try my best to "feed" you virtually and visually!

    janis - oh my what a nice thing to see. yes i can see kids enjoying these bright colored goodies. glad to have you along! yes i'm hoping these detours will be my silver lining to having my summer disrupted for four weeks!

    sonia - glad to have you here. i can tell by your blog that you know a little about enjoying life!

    jessica - sorry to "gazump" you. i've only done take out so far but i can well imagine its noisy with all the hard surfaces. but yes, what i've eaten so far is fresh and good quality.

  7. janis - of course i meant, what a nice thing to "say". (long day at the office for me.)

  8. OMG!! Everything looks so delicious..