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Touring Downtown WIFI: Bottega Louie

By Ed Fuentes
Published: Tuesday, April 21, 2009, at 10:25AM
On the run Ed Fuentes

Downtown resident Roger Gendron multi-tasks at the counter. Bottega Louie's Gourmet Market Director Lesley Kadin (in blue) is making the cafe a popular spot for a quick coffee fix.

Bottega Louie has been a Downtown hit since its opening two weeks ago, with the space and crowds leaving passersby twisting their necks to gawk through the large windows.

Along with being a restaurant, a market and a bar, Bottega Louie's also a cafe with WIFI. While the crowds make this a spot better suited to work during the off-hours, it's certainly worthy of a stop on our tour of Downtown WIFI.

Walking into the white, high-ceilinged space, it's easy to understand how early Angelenos may have felt when they entered Bullocks Wilshire or Hamburger Department Store on Broadway (before it was a May Co). One can even sense how guests may have reacted when they first saw the lobby of The Alexandria or the Hotel Rosslyn at their openings.

At once you feel Downtown's buried elegance inside a place made for day to day use, not just for special occasions or getaways.

But before the diversion continues, Touring Downtown WiFi has other expectations.

PROS: You've got full service options. You can order coffee, lunch, dinner or desserts, all made on-site. The staff won't mind if you linger. The restaurant wants the front cafe to be informal and inviting.

CONS: Cafe tables can be scarce during the lunch rush, and the noise may be a factor in productive work. There are two outlet locations in the cafe area, so your odds of getting one of the couple of tables in reach can be a gamble.

LOGGING IN: Connecting to the WIFI requires a username and password. Just ask a staff member for details.

ABOUT THAT BAKERY: Just try each pastry at least once. Why haggle?

OVERALL: The staff is service-oriented, and helpful at every level. The coffees are among the top five I have had Downtown, and brewed coffee comes in three sizes; the largest priced at two dollars.

WILD CARD: An undisclosed upper level staffer recently relocated from Boston and will root for the Celtics. I can almost forgive that.

BACK TO HISTORY: While my folks were in town, I detoured then to show them Bottega Louie. "Is this the Downtown you used to know?" I asked. They replied "This is the downtown your Grandmother and Grandfather knew, when everything was special."

Bottega Louie / 700 Grand Ave / Open 6:30am to 11pm


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