Bottega Louie: Having My Macaroons And Eating Them Too

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Just for the record, I didn’t leave my heart in San Francisco, I left it in Paris! What’s a Stalker girl to do when the urge hits for a night in gay Paree eating sugary snacks like a modern day Marie-Antoinette? Head North to downtown Los Angeles to Bottega Louie of course. One would think you would need to buy a ticket to stop and stare at these sumptuous creations in the windows! Would I lie? The only thing missing…women who have mastered the mystical scarf-tying technique and well coiffed dogs!

The palatial Beaux Arts-style Brockman Building on the corner of 7th & Grand with floor to ceiling windows, white interior, european gray-veined marble floors and high ornate ceilings create a visual masterpiece. It’s here they offer both a full service restaurant with classic Italian dishes, (Viva Italia!) a dreamy bakery/gourmet market and a decadent brunch that draws foodies from near and far. They turn out more cookies daily than you can blink a curly eyelash at! One can envision Breakfast at Tiffany’s with Audrey Hepburn having a delicious assortment of macaroons, shimmering like rubies in the night sky, while sipping some bubbly. On a day when irrational thinking is trip-wired by some mysterious internal battle zone and the chill factor makes your nose numb, put it all into perspective remember, there’s nothing a few tarts, chocolate, cookies and perfectly packed pink gift boxes won’t fix. These little gems can dress up any mood!

Executive Chef Chef Jason Ryczek knew he was being stalked from the moment he saw this huntress show up like a pesky mosquito, grabbing one too many snapshots of his staff in action. Sure, I got that old familiar look, “Who are you and what do you want”, but once I handed over my credentials, he turned into a teddy-bear, sharing his passion for his work and pride for his dedicated team.

Once seated in a cozy corner near the kitchen I had a birds eye view of all the action. Burrata, a huge piece of  creamy white cheese sitting on a little pesto was crowned with blanched tomatoes on the branch that had been delicately roasted in the oven. Duck Pate crostini with mint pesto, grilled asparagus with egg and freshly grated parmesan cheese, tall stacked lasagna laced with Bolognese sauce, Portobello fries and luscious lamb-chops were enough to melt your molars.

Even if I couldn’t get to the City of Lights, I was determined to capture a piece of it in my own backyard and this was the next best thing.

By the way, do you mind fetching me another macaroon? Pistachio please…it’s my favorite.

Au revoir. J’adore!

With an Italian background, she cites her Mother and grandmother ( Mamie ) as the major influence of her love for food.  Yes, homemade pasta hung from the clothesline in the kitchen and rolling 100 meat balls for a holiday dinner was the norm.  Raised in Pennsylvania. she spent time in Atlanta, Georgia and ultimately settled along the stunning coast of Laguna Beach, Ca. Self taught in everything, she learned to appreciate the amazing flavors, scents and uses for exotic herbs and spices and applies her knowledge to cooking today. Despite enjoying other creative endeavors like painting, photography and clothing design, she realized she would never love another career the way she loves all the stories surrounding food.  And it's capturing those stories that has not only become her greatest passion but a culinary drug worth passing around!  After all, food is a shared experience and no one better to share it with than the entire world. And thus the Food Stalker was born, utilizing all that passion and her fearlessness to capture even the most impossible stories. It's one thing to write about food, but far more exciting to actually capture it and all those stories that make every scent come to life.  And once she sets out, there's no stopping her, because no one follows that scent better than her---and no telling where she'll end up next.  

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