First blog for the new year... although I must admit that I've already had many good eats thus far. If I could only remember to bring my camera wherever I go, then that'll be great (but then again, it might scare you guys to "witness" how much I eat).
My coworker lives in Downtown LA and recommended Bottega Louie several times. When our restaurant week plans fell through, I figured it's about time to give BL a try. I especially wanted to check out their patisserie and market. So we got there and put our names down (they don't take reservations) and decided to peruse through the patisserie only to find macarons - and lots of them!
I LOVE macarons... but sadly, there aren't many places that make good ones. The best one I've had in the west coast was at Boulangerie in San Francisco. So when I saw so many flavors (chocolate, raspberry, strawberry...) of macarons to choose from, I was like a little girl in an ice cream shop - I couldn't decide. But I finally settled on the raspberry flavored macaron... and once again, I was disappointed. The macaron had a nice little crunch for the shell and was chewy inside, but it was just too sweet. So sweet that I couldn't even taste the raspberry tartness.
Lots of rave reviews about BL's portobello fries and I have to attest... they are pretty darn good. Earthy in flavor, light batter, portobello was still moist inside... all served with a garlic aioli. Mushrooms and aioli - how can this combo possibly go wrong? However, maybe because mushrooms naturally absorb lots of oil when they are cooked, I found the fries a bit heavy and we couldn't even finish the whole basket.
The waitress raved about their bolognese so I gave it a try... good, but not great. But the tagliatelle was cooked to perfection! It was a little chewy on the inside and you could definitely taste that the pasta was freshly made. The pasta was so good that I've decided to embark on my next kitchen challenge - making my own pasta at home... that's how good it was!
My friend ordered the Belmondo with cherry tomatoes, garlic, arugula, EVOO, and reggiano parmesan cheese. I like my protein, but I really liked this vegetarian pasta dish. I won't regurgitate how great the pasta was, but the ingredients in the pasta were amazingly fresh. The tomatoes were so sweet, but balanced out by the slight bitterness of the arugula and topped off with some shaved parmesan cheese.
Peanut Butter Terrine
This was a layered peanut butter and chocolate cake covered with a layer of dark chocolate ganache. Yes this sounds rich, but it wasn't. Since I'm not a peanut butter fan, I was happy that the peanut flavor was very subtle and the chocolate cake wasn't too sweet. The cake was moist and beautifully presented. There were caramelized peanuts and little gold flakes sprinkled on top.
Now I know why BL is so popular... not because it has the most amazing food or the trendiest bar in town, but because it's lively, energetic, and cooks up solid food at great prices. Did I also mention we had the best service I've had in a long while. Our waitress was so nice and attentive, I will go back to BL just for her. Just beware that the wait at BL on a weekend is insane. I went on a Wednesday night and we still waited for 15-20 minutes.
700 South Grand Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90017