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Casual Dinner at Bottega Louie: report w/pics


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Restaurants & Bars Los Angeles Area Dinner Casual

Casual Dinner at Bottega Louie: report w/pics

lotta_cox | | Apr 10, 2009 03:15 PM

Bottega Louie
700 S Grand Avenue (In the Brockman Building)
Los Angeles, CA 90014
(866) 418-9162

The night of the April DTLA Art Walk found us strolling through the gilt doors of the now opened and fully operational (except for beer on tap) Bottega Louie at the corner of 7th and Grand. Greeters met us at the door with little cups of brisket and jus for sampling. Delicious.

Having been shown around the night of the "friends and family only" soft opening last week, we walked straight to the bar for a strong drink and some food. There were two beautiful pizzas sitting out for customers to nosh on, gratis. D jumped at the chance to nom on the pizza Napoli with tomato, mushroom, olive and onion. The crust was thin and still pretty crispy despite sitting there for a little while and no longer being hot. The toppings were thin and elegant, just like I like pizza. Before giving this a final verdict I would have to try one straight from the oven, but my initial report is that it was pretty decent as pizza goes. Would it stand the "overnight on the kitchen counter" test? Hard to say.

This pizza bianco was also offered on the bar for clients to sample. C had a piece of this and said it was good...again hard to really give a full analysis unless it is served fresh from the oven and piping hot. But I love a pizza bianco, with arugula sans tomato sauce.

I love the menu at Bottega Louie. The emphasis is definitely Italian, but on Italian small plates. There are tons of options for veggies. Roasted red peppers, white beans, a stuffed artichoke, rosemary potatoes, hummus, broccolini, eggplant caponata, garlic spinach and the list goes on for quite some time. All kinds of side dishes, not that small, of vegetables, starches, legumes and proteins. I ordered the Brussels sprouts with almonds to see if they are as good as mine, and they are damn close. Like mine they are lightly caramelized and crunchy/chewy on the outside. Theirs are smaller. With roasted almonds. Very nice.

Of course I ordered the stuffed artichoke. Perhaps a hair overcooked, stuffed with oregano and bread crumbs and served in a small dish with some broth in the very bottom, I imagine to keep the stuffing moist. This was delightful. I will be ordering this again, mark my words.

I wanted to try their asparagus with egg. Meh. The egg was steamed and under salted. I was envisioning poached egg. The asparagus was cooked perfectly, but the egg ended up being a throw away rather than integrating into the dish.

D's rigatoni fresca was perfect. On the small side for a pasta, lightly dressed in olive oil with tomatoes, mozzarella and fresh basil. The perfect side to eat as a second course or share as a side dish. Or as an entree if you want to balance it with one of the many veggie selections.

C ordered something unusually rich, the ravioli stuffed with spinach and ricotta in a light cream sauce with sage and peas sans the usual pancetta. The cream sauce was not super light, but it was nicely cheeseless. I thought this had a lovely flavor and the stuffing in the ravioli was dense and spinachy.

C wanted a look at the store and bakery, so we had a quick stroll. Naturally, I wanted to try the macarons to see if they tasted as good as mine to match how much better they looked. Two out of three in my favor is not bad. The chocolate was not as good as mine. It had a strange aftertaste. The raspberry was better, but mine were more raspberry-y and my cookie was nicer. I cannot explain why, it just was. However, their passionfruit was immense. Deliciousness. The orange one to the right of the middle is their passionfruit. I suggest you try it when you swing by. You won't be sorry. Juicy, sweet, tropical goodness.

The man working the bakery counter asked if we wanted to take some bread home complimentary. Wow. C took the chocolate chip loaf he kind of forced on her, and I asked for ciabatta. I know they are just trying to win the hearts, minds and wallets of the locals by all this free food and good service. It is working. The chocolate chip loaf. While he had to kind of force this on us, we were all glad he did. It was all kinds of chocolate yeasty amazingness. We tore into it like zombies into a freshly severed limb. It was perfect for a little shared dessert al fresco as we walked the streets.

review with pics:

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