Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Bottega Louie @ Downtown, LA

Trenne Pasta with Braised Prime Rib Eye

Front Retail Section
We have been coming here for some time now, and I can remember when we first came across this place, it had this great downtown, classic feel to it that I have missed for so long.....  Be it NYC or Milan, it's got a distinct urban vibe that isn't trashy lounge with slutty orgy beds or tragic hipster pretentiousness with roaming Thomas Jane-like vagabonds lurking in dark corners...

Located on the ground floor of a majestic downtown high rise, it's high ceilings with white walls in neoclassical style gives an instant sense of relief, as if you've entered into a temple of couth...and sugar....

Pastry Section

Really, the front area houses an enormous Patisserie, lined with every conceivable dessert and pastry imaginable....and to the side is a bread section equally tempting and a sandwich/salad reach-in for your business, on-the-go types....which is a shame to have to leave such a pretty place.

It really is a metropolitan venue, with several spheres of activity housed under one roof, it's an ordered chaos that is always lively, (if not noise deafening) but alway fun to people watch!!!

To Main Dining Room, Cafe & Bar to the left

Open Kitchen
What I loved the first time I dropped in;  I was walking downtown in the late morning, and from the corner, I saw thru the large panes of glass smartly dressed men and women seated in European cafe chairs and tables sipping cappuccinos and reading the newspaper.... HEAVEN!!  Intrigued, I went inside and was in amazement to the open aired ambience, to the left was a wonderful Cafe with a full Bar reminiscent of European setting. I didn't even care about the Dining Room in the back, I was just happy to sit down and enjoy a Cappuccino and Croissant!




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Front Entrance

Building Exterior

There's an interesting resurgence going on Downtown, almost a renaissance of activities that's shaping before your eyes...it's really cool to watch it happen real time!  It's almost as if it hasn't found itself yet, but that Downtown LA is heading towards the right direction with venues that have a solid sense of place, sans trend...

Anyways, getting back to sitting in the Cafe, I love this area so much, I don't know why, but I get a kick out of spending time here-it must be because its located in such a dynamic area, it's by the the window, the bar, the patisserie and the open kitchen and I can see it all from my seat!  There is waiter service, which is an added plus, and the service is good!! (no disgruntled staff here)

I was ready to order some breakfast items, but when I saw the menu, I knew I had to get more than that; their Lunch menu looked so amazing- I immediately asked my server what are the really great dishes- she pointed out the Portobello Fries and the Trenne Pasta. SOLD!!!


                            
                                               Portobello Fries

So I had some reservations on how the Fries would taste, but after biting into the first one, I was hooked!  First of all, their batter is perfect and the Portobello soaks in all the oil that's truly satisfying; it comes with a basil, green goddess mayo that sends this side dish over the top!  It can be filling, so consider this a dish, otherwise you may find your belly hanging over your belt...

Trenne with Braised Prime Rib Eye, Tuscan Black Kale & Shaved Grana Parmesan
After the Portobello Fries, I was ready for the next dish: The Trenne, triangular Penne that is pan fried to a crispy crunch, with Braised Prime Rib Eye and Tuscan Black Kale and Shaved Grana Parmesan on top. To say this is to die for is an understatement, the meat component is rich and decadent, it's balanced well with the greens and the cheese on top adds creaminess to the braised sauce that you want to drink out of the bowl, I could have this pasta dish everyday! I never miss an opportunity to order this dish and it has never disappointed me.....


Meatball Parmesan

We have ventured out our comfort zone once in a while, ordering the Arancini, (Fried Rice Balls) the Pizza, (Fennel Sausage with Mozzarella, Grana Parmesan, Tomato Sauce and Oregano) and so on this occasion, we ordered the Meatball Parmesan Sliders, loaded with Tomato Sauce and Fresh Mozarella and a side of Kennebec French Fries. I have to say, some of these dishes are hit and misses, I enjoyed the Pizza and Arancini, the Meatball Sliders were alright.... Sometimes everything on the menu can't be a winner..

I wholeheartedly recommend going to Bottega Louie and having Lunch, Dinner, Dessert, Drinks or whatever, because it will be a welcome respite from your busy, hectic, overworked day and you will get that instant gratification that you were so seeking from the other facets of your life.

Ratings (Out of Five Stars)

Food:          4.75
Ambience:  4.5
Service:       4.5



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