I hit the jackpot yesterday. I got out of my office (outside!) and walked (during working hours!) to Bottega Louie for lunch (not at my desk!) with a friend.
I'm not a restaurant critic, and you'll find more thorough reviews of Bottega Louie on CitySearch and Urban Spoon, so I'll just say this: it's the kind of place one expects to find in New York, Europe, or Cape Town, not Downtown L.A. But it's in Downtown L.A., so...love!
I hadn't seen my friend in some time, and when I told him that Bottega Louie is known for their Napolitano pizzas (it was his first time at Bottega), he told me he's given up gluten and dairy. No pizza? No problem. He had the mache salad, and I had the free range roast chicken (not pictured) and a side of roasted asparagus with egg and Parmesan.
Mache, frisee, avocado, chicken, celery, olive oil, & lemon
Roasted asparagus with egg and Parmesan
Our meals were good, but not outstanding. (Gjelina's shaved asparagus with egg blows Bottega's away.) But it didn't matter because it was so great to catch up with my friend and, after he dashed back to work, I got to move on to the main draws (for me, anyway): the Market Pantry and the Patisserie.
Check out this bread spread:
And the cheese case!
The pastry cases. Oh, heavens me.
Did I mention the candy?
Mini jawbreakers. I DIE.
I bought a box of macarons to give to a colleague back at the office...
...and a jar of Maggie Beer Burnt Fig Jam for myself. (I couldn't resist.)
It's got but three ingredients: figs (65%), sugar, and lemon juice. I tried a couple bites of it last night -- by itself and with a bite of Alden's Organic Vanilla Bean Ice Cream (told you I was feeling bold). I can't decide if I like it. I'm just going to have to try it on toast tomorrow. Life is hard.