Entering Bottega Louie in the Brockman Building on 7th and Grand feels a little bit like stepping through time and space. As you leave the busy Downtown LA street, the white and grey marble floors, bright white walls, golden accents, and shining pastry cases beckon you into a classic French patisserie. It’s kind of like you’ve just taken a trip to a Paris of yesteryear, but without the jetlag (or Owen Wilson for that matter).
Bottega Louie is a multi-dimensional operation: the front is a wonderland of treats; an upscale bakery and gourmet food shop, with fresh to-go meal offerings in a refrigerated case and fresh bread and pastries galore. And obviously, the veritable rainbow of handcrafted macarons, which taste even better than they look.
Past the bakery is the bar, perfectly in theme with the Parisian café feel. Here they mix up a charming list of classic cocktails, including one of my favorites, the French 75. Nothing quite says ‘fancy European brunch’ like a French 75.
Just beyond the bar is the enormous restaurant. The space is gleaming: between the tall ceilings, polished marble floors, and the floor-to-ceiling windows, it’s flooded with an airy lightness. It’s also usually packed. Since opening in 2009, Bottega Louie has quickly become a Los Angeles institution. And, with its incredible number of Yelp reviews and its high standing on TripAdvisor, some would even call it a tourist attraction.
If you can focus amidst the high volume of the crowd and the constant buzz of waitstaff circling throughout the room, you’ll find that the menu offers a wide variety at brunch. The restaurant is actually Italian, but at brunch they serve a range of quintessential breakfast favorites accompanied by their classic pizzas, salads, and small plates.
Luckily, we had a few extra ladies come along for weekend brunch, so we could order a nice variety of brunch treats. Ok, if you know us, you already know that we always order a variety, no matter how many people are there - but having a few more makes it feel a bit less sinful.
We started with the beignets, because every good brunch has a starter course. They were light, sweet, and a perfect treat to whet the appetite.
For main courses, we ordered the lovely Lemon Ricotta Pancakes, the perfectly decadent Croque Madame, the all-time classic Eggs Benedict, and the hearty Farmers Market Breakfast.
Lemon Ricotta Pancakes have become a modern breakfast staple; they seem to appear on almost as many LA brunch menus as avocado toast lately. And don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining - who would pass up a moist, fluffy, cheese-filled pancake? Bottega Louie's version did not disappoint, with just the right amount of lemony tang, creamy density, and simple sweetness. The blueberries were a nice touch, too.
The Croque Madame felt like a nostalgic nod to a meal at a Parisian café. Topped with a perfectly cooked egg and oozing with gooey cheese, it was definitely a crowd pleaser.
Brunch and Eggs Benedict are essentially synonymous, so luckily Bottega Louie had us covered there. Theirs is a solid version of this classic dish; the crispy Canadian bacon and expertly poached eggs were smothered with a rich, velvety hollandaise sauce.
To me, a perfect brunch really tiptoes the line between breakfast and brunch, incorporating elements of each. The Farmers Market Breakfast did that perfectly, offering up a hearty bowl of veggies and potatoes, and topping it off with some poached eggs. The feta cheese added a tangy sharpness that brought it all together.
To end our brunch-venture, we of course couldn't help but stop by the bakery for some macarons. With so many tempting flavors, narrowing it down to five was actually difficult - but don't worry, you can always get a box of 13, 28, or 45 if you're having trouble choosing.
Each macaron we tasted was truly exceptional. The crispness of the cookie paired with the rich, luscious, and flavorful fillings created a heavenly dessert experience! And did I mention the gorgeous packaging? It's like they were wrapped up for a princess. Honestly, these treats alone made it worth the trip to DTLA.
With so much variety, it felt like we only sampled a small slice of Bottega Louie's offerings. If only we'd had more room to taste all those other beautiful desserts... Or sample the beautiful breads, tempting chocolates, or beautifully packaged jams. I guess we have an excuse to come back!
At the end of the day, what makes this place so memorable is its charm. It oozes luxury and specialness, with each tiny, thoughtful detail adding up to a perfectly elegant experience. It's no wonder it's become a tourist destination!
Bottega Louie, 700 South Grand Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90017