#DTLA Day Trip: Bottega Louie
Location: 700 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles 90017
Prices: from $10 (appetizers) to $36 (rib eye); pizzas are $22
If you’re driving distance from Los Angeles and haven’t visited Bottega Louie, it’s time to change that. I’ll give you three convincing reasons why: 1. It’s the only one of its kind (though rumor has it, another location is being discussed); 2. The food is impressive, beautiful, and affordable; 3. And, French macarons & desserts so exquisite you’d swear you’re in Paris. If you need a fourth reason, how about a dare, instead: try visiting without conducting your own photo shoot. No kidding, because rare is the guest who can exercise that kind of social media control.
Google Bottega Louie and you’ll see for yourself that–– by many, popular accounts–– it’s one of the most instagrammed restaurants in L.A. (even CNN said so in 2016). Or click the restaurant’s own link to “Press & Awards,” and witness heaps and heaps of external accolades: Best Brunch, Most Photographed Business, 10 Stunningly Beautiful Restaurants on the West Coast, and so on.
Bottega Louie splits itself in thirds: part Italian restaurant, gourmet market, and French patisserie, with the latter being especially irresistible. The first thing you see are the prettiest, most perfect rows of handcrafted French macarons, in all colors and flavors. And whether you want a box of two ($5), 13 ($32.50), or 45 ($112), a white-gloved attendant will package them up a keepsake box with ribbon, and make you the new BFF of whomever you gift them. You could certainly end your trip there, but it’s so much nicer to make room for a meal, too. No matter what time of day you choose to visit (weekend brunch is among the most popular), the food options won’t let you down. Think a step more sophisticated than comfort food, but not pretentious. Children can eat well here, too (mine like the pasta and wood-fired pizzas) but so can those who want a glass of wine and steak, fresh juice and an omelette, or lemon ricotta pancakes and espresso. Whether you bring a date, friends, or boss, Bottega Louie is such an easy homerun.
On that note, if I could add one more reason, it would be this: Bottega Louie’s been credited with launching “restaurant row” in Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA). How true that holds, I can’t say, but if you haven’t been in a while, you’re in for pleasant surprise: Downtown is changing rapidly. The hipsters are part of that, too, pairing café savvy with delicious and healthy, artful options, boutique hotels with rooftop cocktails, and renovated buildings with new living spaces.