Having heard that downtown Angelenos have been coming in droves to the newly opened Bottega Louie, I arrived at 11:15am five days later hoping to miss the crowd. Much to my happiness, I had plenty of room to peruse the 10,000 square foot space of restaurant, bar and gourmet mini market that includes everything from flavored salts and olive oil to homemade jam and pasta sauce. An epicurean paradise, it has an east coast flavor (à la Barefoot Contessa), with European appeal.
Over forty homemade items (the buttermilk fried chicken caught my eye) beckon you behind a glass counter. And that’s before you get to the desserts set up in a Parisian style bakery, temping you with éclairs, macaroons, cupcakes and tarts. As I was waiting for my friend to meet me for a quick bite in between her lawyerly meetings, I couldn’t help but notice the attentiveness of the staff. Not one person let me go unnoticed. It was almost as if they were expecting my arrival for an intimate dinner party and couldn’t wait to play the gracious hosts.
When my friend arrived, we took a seat and ordered their sausage pizza, a thin-crusted pie with sweet fennel sausage and homemade sauce cooked to order in their Wood Stone oven. These pizzas may be meant for one, but I was glad to relive the experience for a late afternoon snack (and then again for dinner!), so at $14, it really is a steal. Using only the finest ingredients, their menu has a variety of small plates, pastas and other Italian fare refined by head chef, Sam Marvin of Piero’s fame.
As I was walking the block to my car, I had to pause and smile when a gentleman stopped me on the street for a friendly conversation about my pizza, his experience there, if I work downtown, etc. With all that Bottega Louie offers, above all it set out to create a communal environment and gathering place where city dwellers can interact for early morning coffee (opens at 6am), lunch or even late night dinner (they close at 11pm).
Bottega Louie. 700 S. Grand Avenue. Los Angeles, CA 90017. 866-418-9162