New York has Balthazar. Los Angeles has Bottega Louie. We’re definitely not comparing apples to apples here in any way shape or form (literally a traditional French brasserie to an Italian restaurant and pastry… market), but Bottega Louie is about as much of an institution as a city like LA can ask for. Its macarons are Instagram famous. It clocks in nearly 17,000 reviews on Yelp as of early 2020 (probably one of the most reviewed places in all of Yelp?) and maintains a solid 4 stars. Why? Well, LA is a city where cult followings are so cool they become mainstream. And in a dining destination that has traditionally been a little out of touch (DTLA used to not be cool, remember?), Bottega Louie was the bright corner that would entice even the most adamant westsider to drive over.
For a place that could have so easily been so fancy, it’s surprisingly accessible. The front of the shop is a bakery and confectionary, perfect for buying beautifully packaged, no-brainer yet tasteful gifts on company dime (look at you, talent agent assistants), and grabbing things to go. The airy dining room is open all day, from breakfast to dinner (and of course, brunch on the weekends), and they could easily get away with charging double what they do. It’s Italianish, it’s Frenchy, it captures that European glam that we in this ugly city crave so much and ties it up with a perfectly preened bow.
The table bread is better than it needs to be (for people who like crusty, chewy bread). The pizza is a reliably good choice for the table (dare I say the table isn’t complete without one?). The pastry case is beautiful in that girly, dreamy, pastel French patisserie kind of way. They don’t take reservations, and they make you watch the food come out of the open kitchen or drool over the pastries as you wait for your table. And the acoustics in the room, absolutely terrible. On a busy day (let’s be real, it’s always busy), you can’t even hear yourself think much less hold a conversation without shouting. But we put up with it because it’s Bottega Louie, and we love it.
|Address||700 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles|
7am – 10pm Monday to Thursday
|Price||$$-$$$, sharable pizzas are $25, brunchy entrees around $15-20, macarons are $2.50 each|
|Aesthetic||grand airy european cafe aesthetic, think marble, plush black leather booths, gold accents, and of course their signature pastel pastry packaging|
Go here for: a quintessential LA dining experience, and decadent desserts
Order this: some kind of pizza, and definitely dessert (or at least a macaron to go)
Amount of time to spend: budget at least 30 min to wait for a table on top of meal time (things to consider when parking…)
When to come: weekdays are better, and avoid peak dinner hours, weekend brunch is usually a rolling crowd but waits aren’t as bad as dinner time
Parking: is fine. There’s a public structure right across Grand that isn’t too expensive. $12 all day parking, $7 flat rate after 6pm and on weekends. They also do valet.
Other things to note:
Last visited: September 2019
Last updated: April 2020