Although some restaurants have come and gone (Mo Chica & Coco Laurent) on DTLA’s restaurant row (AKA 7th Street), one restaurant is here to stay… Bottega Louie. If you haven’t been there yet, it’s an Italian restaurant combined with a French patisserie inside an historic 100-year-old bank building. Bottega Louie opened in 2009… and has been busy ever since. It was recently named Yelp’s Most Reviewed Restaurant in the country. Get this… Bottega Louie doesn’t take reservations. According to its website, “We are fortunate to have a 255 seat dining room and therefore we do not take reservations but seat in order of arrival, based on the size of the party.” In other words, if you get there at the wrong time, be ready to wait… but the wait is worth it. The food is great.
My husband and I ate there recently and started by sharing the Caprese Salad ($14). This plate looks like a dessert. It’s skinned tomatoes on buffalo Mozzarella cheese and fresh basil leaves, topped with fleur de sel, cracked pepper and extra virgin olive oil.
I’m a big fan of the Lobster Nage ($12). It’s poached Maine lobster swimming in a broth of cauliflower panna cotta with golden raisins and roasted almonds. This dish does not photograph well, but I promise it is delicious. We ordered the salad and the soup as appetizers, but we also ordered the Crab Beignets ($11) from the small plate menu. I’m not sure what you call a dish served between the appetizer and the main course, but we ordered it.
You can’t go to Bottega Louie and not get a pizza, so my husband ordered the Pepperoni Pizza ($20). The pizza crust here is so good, then add on mozzarella, grana parmesan, tomato sauce, oregano and pepperoni – and you have a great pizza. We are not really pigs… half this pizza went home with us in a to-go box.
For my main course, I ordered the Clam Linguini ($18). It’s a bowl of Manilla clams, cockles, white wine, shallots, garlic, red chili pepper, fleur de sel, lemon and extra virgin olive oil. Okay, maybe I’m the pig here. I scraped this plate clean! Clearly, we did not have room for dessert, despite Bottega Louie’s amazing dessert menu. If you are a macaroon fan, you are going to be in heaven.
If I have one complaint about Bottega Louie it’s that it’s very noisy. If you are looking for a quiet intimate restaurant, this is not the place. If you want great food in a fun atmosphere, you should check this place out.
Bottega Louie 700 So. Grand Avenue (at 7th Street) 213.802.1470