Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Rate-A-Restaurant #206: Bottega Louie

Restaurant: Bottega Louie

Location: 700 S. Grand (Downtown)

Type of restaurant: Italian/Market

We stipulated: It was monthly date night for Maria and I, so once again we wanted to try something new -- and when I put the word out on Facebook for suggestions, Bottega Louie was mentioned. Cool new restaurant downtown? Done.

They stipulated: Bottega Louie is already being called L.A.'s version of Dean & Deluca. Except that D&D doesn't have a bar. The huge Bottega Louie gives you several options: Sit down dinner. Fully stocked bar. Pre-packaged food items. Or a massive case of prepared foods and desserts.

What we ordered: Bianco pizza, $14 (ricotta, mozzarella, granna parmesan, garlic and rocket arugula); portobello fries, $8; caesar salad, $9 (romaine hearts, reggiano parmesan, garlic herbed croutons and caesar dressing); stuffed artichoke, $8.

High point: Those portobello fries are worth the trip right there.

Low point: Pizza was decent, but only so-so when you compare it to the explosion of strong pizzerias in L.A.

Overall impression: At a place like Bottega Louie, you can forgive the pizza for being only so-so. The environment itself is amazing -- high ceilings, stark white walls, a nice airy feel that makes you feel like you're in the middle of a lively, bustling urban center. This place definitely fits the downtown vibe. And the staff is uber-friendly -- almost too much so. The prices are decent too, and run the range. As you can see above, we decided to go economical; there are also pricier $23 fish dishes and $33 steaks... but this fed us just fine.

Chance we'll go back: Absolutely, it was a nice date night location, but looks to also be a great spot to meet up with friends. Plus, I read elsewhere that the breakfast is also worth another trip.

For a complete list of our more than 200 restaurant reviews, check out our companion Rate-A-Restaurant website.

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