Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Quick Supper at AIA Design Award Winning Bottega Louie

Bottega Louie
700 S Grand Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90017
(866) 418-9162

Catching up with some yumminesses prior to the Vegas food-extravaganza...a couple weeks ago after errand running we slid our gas guzzling behemoth (his) into the loading zone only parking spot along the west facing wall of Bottega Louie and had ourselves an early dinner.

D started with the Louie salad: iceberg lettuce, jumbo shrimp, hearts of palm, avocado, sweet onions, bell pepper & an ever so slightly creamy Dijon vinaigrette. This could have been a meal on its own, it was sized pretty generously. I admit to stealing hearts of palm when he wasn't looking.

I started my meal off with an arugula salad...I have said it before and I will say it again. I love that the entrees here are small sized. I knew my fish course wasn't going to be overwhelmingly large so I did order the arugula salad, something that I adore. With red onions, Reggiano-Parm, EVOO, lemon juice and cracked pepper, it's not like I cannot make this at home. But I find arugula irresistible and the simplicity of this salad delicious. And if I wanted to prep this at home you'd have nothing to read right now.

For an entree, D ate the penne pomodoro, which is spectacularly unfun to photograph. For a main, I requested the Branzino. I love Branzino. But what is Branzino? It is a Mediterranean seabass, found mostly in lagoons, estuaries and coastal waters. Branzino is nothing texturally at all similar to Chilean seabass. Probably due to a lesser fat content. Branzino has a much leaner mouth-feel. This is good. I ate way too much Chilean sea bass in the late 90's and no longer love it, thanks partially to Suzanne Tracht and the wonderful sea bass she used to cook at Jozu.

Bottega Louie simply stuffs their Branzino with micro-herbs and a scarpa sauce. What the hades is scarpa sauce? I can find no non-Bottega Louie recipe or reference to it on the Internets. And honestly, this fish tasted and felt like there was no sauce whatsoever. It was fantastically delicious. Light, moist but because of the prep of the fish not any detectable sauce. Mysterious. Maybe even slightly evil. In a way that made me take the leftovers home.

Look! Bottega Louie sends leftovers home in aluminum foil swans! No, no they do not. That was all me. I ate the leftover Brazino for b'fast.

Kudos to Bottega Louie for winning an award in the American Institute of Architects/LA design awards. Louie, along with Chaya Downtown, KAA and Houston's all won in the restaurant category in Los Angeles. Commenters on Eater LA, have chided Bottega Louie for being too minimalistic, too bare with huge expanses of white walls. I wonder if all these critics have been to Louie. I believe that it is not only the expansiveness of the white walls and marble floors that won the award, but this in combination with the open kitchen, breakfast/cafe/bar area, massive picture windows and beautiful gourmet deli. All of this on one space would seem crowded and competitive. However, within the giant expanse of floor space within Louie it feels generous and spacious. I am a fan. Congratulations, Bottega Louie. The people who actually know things about architecture and restaurant design are fans too.


Diana said...

That branzino is beautiful. I love how simple and clean all their plates look -- a great example of a restaurant who's decor seems to match the presentation of the food. I can't wait to try it.

Kristine G. said...

LOL ... the swans reminded me of that scene from The Sweetest Thing ... :)