by Marisa Marcantonio

The efficient staff

Next time you are in LA, make a visit to downtown's temple of chic macarons and dining: Bottega Louie. If you live in LA, you probably know it, since it is THE place to eat (since 2009) d-town where there is a lack of anything fabulous.
Swathed in white marble, stainless steel, and 20 foot high ceilings, the palatial space fuses modern amenities with old world European cafe grandeur. This restaurant/patisserie/coffee bar has it all. From wood fired pizzas to ricotta pancakes there is enough variety to have every meal there. But if you want to know the real reason for the stampede, it is for the macarons. There has been a tidal wave of macarons makers springing up as of late. The mother of all macarons, Laduree, just opened it's doors in New York City. But until LA gets theirs, I think BL can hold their own. Go out of your way to swing over to 700 S. Grand Avenue, it will not disappoint.

You check in at a wonderful gilded baroque table in the center of the room. The sheer size of the space and design is breathtaking. I am a (somewhat) jaded New Yorker, and even I can say, wow, this place is seriously gorgeous.

A beautiful pink and white arrangement greets guests.

You can have a cocktail if that is what you fancy.

The large dining room can seat has tables aplenty and is often filled to the brim.

Getting to the good stuff! This macaron palette is seriously intense, a technicolor dream. Earl Grey, Pistachio, Raspberry, Mandarin Orange, Cassis, Rose and Espresso-- you get the idea.

An apothecary jar houses some fresh fruity flavors.

Even the tissue paper is stylish with their font repeated in various sizes.

Macarons pour vous? Mais oui.

They even do chocolat. Chocolate bars wrapped in 5 packs look like a set of books.

Their packaging is perfection- from just the right pale pastel hue to cool font, I'm sold.

A wall of pastel paper covered chocolates and gift sets is distracting. It already has me thinking this would be a great stocking stuffer.

Sumptuous pastels and a raspberry red adorn even more Louie packaging with elegant and classic white script.

The back counter houses more pastries and shelves of their products.

Beaucoup de chocolat

For those that are not into the sugar but more into the caffeine they serve Intelligentsia Coffee for the bean purists.