Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Frou Frou for Louie (Bottega, That Is)

I am not a very “girlie” girl. I don’t wear pink, I don’t like drinks with umbrellas and fruit, I get along better with guys, I can’t stand shopping all day, I rarely get my nails done, and you will never see me flipping through a Cosmopolitan Magazine for advice on how to live. But there is one department where I turn into a mushy female and that’s when it comes to food and pretty and/or romantic food places.

There’s something about Bottega Louie in downtown Los Angeles that tickles this feminine bone for me. Maybe it’s the huge square rooms bathed only in pristine white with hints of white marble and gold painted furniture that hints at Hollywood Regency style decor. Maybe it’s the patisserie stacked with glass counters full of gem-like tarts, miniature cakes and pastries. Maybe it’s the cute marbled bar where you can sit and watch pedestrians stroll by in the late Saturday afternoon sun as you sip your not-too-sweet glass of good sparkling rose wine. Or the cooks shuffling away in the middle of the space in their own little crystalline box where you get a strangely Willie Wonka-esque view into the bustle of their cooking and baking really good food.

Last weekend after an architecture tour in the historic theater district, the Cute Gardener and I discovered Bottega Louie while hunting for a deep dish pizza that we ended up never able to procure. We ended up at the bar for an afternoon cocktail and a bite. I could tell I liked the place way more than he did, due to the girlie-ness as well as the fact that you could hardly hear yourself talk in the ultra packed and noisy place. The bar was actually the best place to sit in the whole establishment because the other seating options seemed more like a packed cafeteria. In our own little corner though, catered to by attentive bartenders, we enjoyed a slice of the place that was unique to us. 

A glass of rose for me alongside the cutest presentation of bread that came with connected rolls that you tear off as you go and a pot of impeccably soft butter.

A tidy Old Fashioned for him.

 A Lyonnaise salad came looking very pretty with its pristine poached egg on top and perfectly chewy to crispy ratio lardoons sprinkled throughout. The egg failed to run once opened which was the only sad thing.

Our thin crust pizza was delicious; my favorite kind of crust that alternates between chewy and crispy, moist and dry with valleys and folds where flavors collect and surprise. Every time we took a slice, the bartender swiveled the pie for us so we would have the next slice in front of our face. Topped with spicy rapini, burrata, prosciutto and mozzarella.

Of course, we couldn’t leave without getting some dessert for later.

D’Acquoise cake for him topped with berries and gold leaf. 

Macarons for me: Earl Grey, Rose, Cassis Violet, Matcha and Salted Caramel (never made it to the photo as it was popped in my mouth upon purchase).

And jelly candies for my sour-sweet toothed daughter.

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