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While browsing through the internet looking for a decent restaurant to try, I noticed the name of Bottega Louie showing up in different sites. The name sounds Italian, and I usually do not visit Italian restaurants much, since my impression is that the food is often overpriced for what one gets. After all, noodles or pastas are not expensive items unless they are homemade with quality ingredients. I understand that there are, of course, numerous other Italian dishes in addition to pastas, but somehow I have not managed to really embrace the idea of eating Italian food outside, even though I do really enjoy the flavors of Italian cuisine.

Upon looking up the menu and photographs of the food from Bottega Louie, I found that the restaurant offers a mix of American and Italian dishes. The prices are not cheap, however, the selling point for me was that the restaurant offers extensive varieties of pastries and desserts, including my favorite – chocolate soufflé. How could I resist?

The restaurant has a beautiful store front with marble columns and huge glass panels, and high ceilings. The restaurant was already filling up at 11:00am on this memorial holiday. Near the entrance, a dazzling and elegant display of exquisite looking pastries and macaroons kept patrons like me pacing back and forth. I do love pastries.

My companion and I ordered the Portobello Fries, Smoked Salmon Benedict, and pizza with 1/2 burrata, and 1/2 mushroom. The crusts on the mushroom fries were not heavy, and tasted really good with the aioli sauce (I asked for extra sauce). The pizza had the right amount of cheese and plenty of mushrooms, and a very thin crust, but I did not finish the crust since the bottom was too charred for my taste. As for the Smoked Salmon Benedict, I would have preferred a bit more salmon in order to render the dish more flavorful, there is not enough distinctive taste within the plate.

The chocolate soufflé took at least 20-25 minutes to arrive. I like the fact that it was not too sweet, and the taste was chocolaty enough; but it was not as rich and moist as I had hoped for. On the way out, I got a large macaroon with raspberries and cream inside and a chocolate éclair. Of course, as soon as I got home, I immediately opened the very pretty box that the pastries came in. The macaroon turned out to be one of the best all around dessert I have had for a long time. The cookie part was moist and soft with a slight crunch, and the cream filling was divine, and the raspberries were totally fresh. The éclair, however, did not measure up to its look.

One negative mark for Bottega Louie would be the noise level inside the restaurant. It was really difficult to carry on a good conversation. I would say that it was even noisier there than a busy Chinese dim sum restaurant.

Bottega Louie: 700 S. Grand Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90017  Phone: (213) 802-1470