Sometimes you anticipate things and everything falls into order. You imagine how the day will go, how everything will be, and it is. There are days you hope for the best, and it turns out to actually be the best. I had the highest of hopes for Bottega Louie, and I can honestly say that my expectations were certainly met. This establishment is the epitome of fine dining in Los Angeles, and anyone should be grateful, thankful, and lucky to dine here. Don’t get me wrong. When I say fine dining, don’t think that comes with a high price tag. Some of the stuff on the menu are really affordable.
Let’s start with the appearance of things. From the outside, you cannot mistake it from anything else. The gold and white color scheme gives this place such purity. Upon entering, you see the true grandness of this restaurant. A huge hallow space filled with people eating, drinking, and waiting for their table is common. At one corner, bartenders were mixing drinks, and in another, bakers were selecting all sorts of baked goods for customers. The open kitchen filled with cooks and chefs was a sight of true culinary expertise at work. Marble and gold everywhere, clean enough, I would eat off of it.
In the middle stood the host and where you sign in for the list. Seeing all these people waiting, I was disappointed that my girlfriend and I would not be able to get seated quickly. Everyone knows that getting a seat at Bottega Louie is really difficult. Coming here on the weekends, waiting for a table could take over an hour sometimes. When we were seated within 5 minutes, I was shocked, but happy. So far, so good.
We started off with some pastries. The chocolate croissant was really crispy and chewy — this is something I cherish in good croissants. The Nutella beignets was more of what I wanted rather than the raspberry beignets. I’m not really a fan of the jelly donut, but I do like chocolate and Nutella. These things were a perfect started.
To drink, we tried some of their tasty juices. I love sour stuff, so I just had their freshly squeezed grape fruit juice. Refreshing, as always. The coolest and drink was the green juice. This included honey dew, green apple, celery, arugula, and cilantro, all in one juice. It was a bit sweet from the honey dew, sour from the apple, and balanced from the celery and arugula. It was an interesting juice drink, but tasty nonetheless.
We decided to share the portobello mushroom fries and smoked salmon. The smoked wild salmon lox were great on top of the toasted bagels. Adding the cream cheese, onions, tomatoes and capers made this so delicious. Something about having these for brunch just makes me so satisfied. The salty pop from the capers and the creamy cheese and salmon are married with the bite of the onion. Each bite was so delicious and I crave these every morning.
The best thing at Bottega Louie is the portobello fries. There has to be something in the batter, or they know how to fry well because these things are the best fried food I have ever had. The outer batter was so crispy and crunchy — the inside was tender and juicy, and somewhat meaty from the mushroom. It was even better dipping it in the garlic aioli. This was perfect, and I will order this every time.
After our meal, we went to the bakery section and gazed at all the splendor. They had cakes, tarts, macrons, macaroons, eclairs, you name it. I got a box of macrons just to try it. I had them before, and I can honestly say I do not know what the fuss is about. They are tasty, but nothing really special about them. Especially at almost 28 bucks for a box of these, it isn’t worth it. Not saying that Bottega Louie doesn’t make good macrons, I just don’t care for them.
This is a Los Angeles go to spot for brunch, lunch, or dinner. I don’t know how it is during regular lunch or dinner hours, but I assume it gets pretty busy. Try to get here early, or later — non peak hours. Also, try to come in small groups (less than 4). I’d say it would be a longer wait if your party is larger. They don’t take reservations so eating here is at a first come first serve basis. Once you get a seat, it is smooth sailing from there.