Fellow food lover Phil now works downtown so he told me about Bottega Louie a few weeks ago, saying that it has become his go to place. As fate would have it, my friend Realtor Georgia Seid, wanted to meet for lunch downtown, so today I combined both a place I wanted to try with a friend I wanted to see and got a fantastic afternoon of food and friendship.

The beautiful jewel box pastry shop and cafe sparkles like a precious stone in the middle of the salt mines of downtown Los Angeles. There is reasonable parking just 1 block away for only a $6-$7 flat rate, and Metro and bus stations surround the place if you want to use public transportation.

Depending on which entrance you use, you will be greeted with either an array of freshly baked breads or lovely macaroons displayed as beautifully as they would be in Europe.

They will make a gift box of macaroons in any size you wish.

Since the kitchen is open and the selections were plentiful, we wanted to sample several of the small plates instead of a pizza or full plate. We watched nearby tables devour the pasta dishes, pizzas and soups, so no matter what your preference, there is something on the menu for your mood.

They don’t take reservations, so get here early or late if you don’t like waiting for a seat. Once you are seated, they offer complimentary flat or sparkling water and tables have pink salt as a condiment!

The bread was so good that I bought a loaf to take home.

To get as many tastes as possible, we chose three small plates. We chose the roasted beet terrine for $10 which was a lovely generous serving on watercress with fresh burrata. If you love fresh flavors and or beets, this is a definite must order plate. The beets in the terrine were finely chopped, but there were small quartered golden and red beet accents. The crisp fennel and peppery watercress added nice textual elements and the dressing was light enough to allow the natural flavors to come through.

We also chose the the brussel sprouts with pistachios for $8 and found it a complimentary side for our third small plate.

Our “main” small plate was the sausage and beans for $12. It was a hearty plate of fennel sausage that served as a lively counterpoint to the smooth and tender beans. This was a very filling dish and my favorite of all our small plates.

Our three small plates were plenty for two of us at lunch, so we had no room for dessert. Georgia took some pastries home to her husband so he could feel as if he had lunched with us. My heart fluttered a bit when I saw the exquisite pastries, and even though I am usually not a big dessert person, if I were going to indulge, I would do it here.

I will definitely be back for more tastes here, so my next post may be a part 2 to this post…..in the meantime I will leave you with a tempting taste for your eyes 🙂