Bottega Louie

by janet on December 9th, 2009

Bottega Louie is, in the words of Simon, “oh this is that uber bourgie looking place on the corner that looks out of my price range lol.”  Yes, yes indeed.  I was there the day after Tday with Cara, who is the proud new owner of THE most gorgeous downtown loft space.  She’s living the fucking lifestyle, dude.  Urban living, clopping through the streets of downtown LA in designer boots, strolling over to Bottega Louie for “a bite to eat” which includes, invariably, at least two martinis.  Ahhhh, jealous.

The interior of BL has the same aesthetic as these photographs.  White white white, airy high ceilings, light gold accents dripping all about, so much twinkling conversation everywhere in a huge space that the whole place is so shimmery.

We sat at the bar and spied around, waiting for the cute manager to show up (Cara is quite the regular).  After living in SF for four months, where the boys are…cute…but not quite so…dazzling? it was fun to look at all the actor wannabes.  I so took it for granted before!  So…groomed.  I also forgot that LA people are meaner and dumber than in SF.  For example, our bartender part II (we were there so long that our original bartender went off her shift) could barely be bothered to get our drink order (mean! also, does he not get that this helps HIM make more money?). For another example, when the sleek blonde babe next to me at the bar asked the other bartender how to spell Bottega Louie, he had to consult a menu, and upon discovering that the name of the resto was not actually printed on the menu, said, “Hold on – Imma go ask somebody.”  Unless he’s new (even IF he’s new!) that’s some dumbass shit.

Perhaps he was new. Perhaps BL has just undergone a hiring binge.  That would make sense, because as I looked around the gigantic restaurant, I noticed with a start that there were SO MANY employees!  I counted TWENTY NINE, and that was just the ones I could see and not counting anyone in the kitchen.  Crazy.

Anyway, the food.  You know the food is good when the worst part is the prosciutto.  Pictured top is an order of the white anchovies –  both my and Cara’s favorite of the afternoon/evening/night.  The microgreens were not an afterthought or a pretty-but-meaningless garnish – they put just the right amount of volume and roughage into the tart and chewy little anchovies.  We largely ignored the tomato that comprised the anchovy dais.

Next was corn, swiss chard, and bacon.  I was so happy to has a corm.  Sweet, sweet corm.  They were a little light on the swiss chard (do you even SEE it in the picture???) but no matter.  I’ve gotten swiss chard two weeks in a row in my CSA box so I was thrilled to have this recipe idea, and my version will be stuffed with 1 full pound of chard since that’s the amount I keep receiving.

The worst part, as I mentioned earlier, was the prosciutto.  Not to say that it wasn’t good, it just seemed, what?  Heavy?  Unnecessary?  Uncouth?  I ordered it on the strength of the sage (the full description was prosciutto, mozzarella, and sage crostini) but I didn’t love the meat (rare for me, wink wink) and Cara didn’t love the cheese (agreed).  I was hoping for more sage (have you ever fried sage leaves in olive oil and sprinkled them with salt?  Better than potato chips, everyone, utterly addictive), but as with the chard I guess BL wants you to die so they won’t feed you your dark leafy greens.

And finally, roasted beets with goat cheese! Golden beets, though, which was an interesting change.  The beet cuts were much too big, though, so I was like, “am I eating a sweet potato?”  (which actually got me excited because those also keep showing up in my CSA box, as well as butternut squash which I am roasting in the oven right now and they are nowhere near done and it’s past 11 pm fuck me).  The cheese was sharp and smooth as only goat cheese can be; the arugula stridently bitter in a good way, and the beets mellowing everything out with their sugariness.

I should mention also the cocktails we got.  I started with a vodka Sling: Gin or Vodka, Carpano Antica sweet vermouth, lemon juice, simple syrup, Angostura bitters, and club soda.  Awesome.  Brought both me and Cara back to our high school days in Tokyo when we would get Singapore Slings in a can out of the vending machines and get drunk on the streets.  She had a Jack Rose: Laird’s Applejack, lemon juice, simple syrup, and grenadine, and followed that with a Dark & Stormy: Dark rum, spiced simple syrup, Elixir G ginger mix, and club soda, while I followed my sling with a devastating Vesper with Imperial vodka, Beefeater gin, and Lillet.

How did we follow up our posh and grown up LA-ey evening?  By going to see New Moon of course, she for the second time lol.  I’m firmly, firmly on Team Jacob.  You?

Bottega Louie

700 South Grand Avenue

Los Angeles, CA 90017

213.802.1470

One Response to “Bottega Louie”

  1. Danny says:

    Have you been to The House!? http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-house-san-francisco

    That’s Mart’s ex’s parents’ restaurant (That’s a mouthful).

    Just thought I’d throw that out there.

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