Bottega Louie

Number 7 on our list of Best New Restaurants of 2009
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Photograph by Gina Sabatella

Chef Sam Marvin and his business partner, Daniel Flores, wanted it all—a place that serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, a to-go market, and a pasta e fagiole dispensary rolled into one. They pulled it off, too, creating a joint that can manage a section of Laker fans, a clutch of loft dwellers, and an encampment of USC frat brothers with room to spare for families on a night out. Marvin brings Italian standards—from pizza margherita to eggplant Parmesan—to life, balancing the requisite generosity with a fierce attention to detail. The clams arrive from the broiler sizzling with bread crumbs and oregano; the purity of a side of haricots verts is amped by a hint of garlic. The bright, cavernous room, clad in white tile and marble, feels of-the-moment downtown, but the menu glows with memories of the checkered-tablecloth restaurants of days past.

»700 South Grand Avenue // Downtown 213-802-1470 or bottegalouie.com