There are a lot of things I love about L.A., and I few things I don't, but I'll tell you the #1 thing that gets me all riled up: people who constantly have to prove how "New York" they are.
Honestly, there is nothing more L.A. than saying "But I'm really a New Yorker," or "I'm a New Yorker at heart." Go to any online dating site, and 80% of the dudes title their profile "New York Boy Living in L.A." I'm sure the gals do some variation on this, too.
Because here's the thing--you're not. If you were a New Yorker at heart, you'd be in New York. But you had to throw it all away to come out here with your sitcom pilot or your spec script which never sold, so you're left with nothing to do but bitch and complain about how awful L.A. is and how New York is like some magical, fairy tale kingdom.
Well, you know what would help you let go of the past and live in the here and now? #1 Turn off Community or Modern Family* or whatever piece of non-brilliance you're raving about as "brilliant," actually leave your apartment, get outside and experience L.A. beyond all the godforsaken Hollywood nonsense. And have I got just the place for you.
Bottega Louie is located in the heart of downtown, and let me tell you, #DTLA is becoming so much fun. It used to be Dullsville, but not anymore! Anyway, I tell you this, because stepping foot in Bottega Louie is like entering the place New York dreams are made of.
And I'm not talking Brooklyn or the Lower East Side or grimy subways or any of the grittier elements you New Yorkers like to reminisce about (none of which are all that gritty anymore anyway). Brunching at BL makes you feel like you rolled out of bed in your Upper East Side penthouse, had the doorman call a town car and make a reservation, and then sped down to Midtown for a late brunch.
It's fabulous New York right in the middle L.A.
It might be interesting to note here that Bottega Louie is the #1 rated restaurant IN THE COUNTRY on Yelp (side note: 5 of the top 10 restaurants are in L.A.), and although I am loathe to admit it, I do pay attention to what people say on Yelp.
Anyway, I've gone with a group of friends for a couple of birthday celebrations, and both were just so damn wonderful and memorable. The space is cavernous and bathed in white. The waiters wear crisp white shirts and black bow ties. The pastry cases are filled with the most breathtaking confections. And it's always jam packed.
It's one of those rare places that makes you feel like a million bucks just by being there. I've worked in the biz, and let me tell you, this is not easy to do.
But the really wonderful thing about BL, is that ultimately it is a Los Angeles institution. Shown here are the Farmer's Market Breakfast and the Farmer's Market Tart, which came to @ $20. Super fresh, market ingredients, gourmet food, casual service and reasonable prices--everything that is so awesome about dining out in L.A.
So, get outside New Yorkers, and get to Bottega Louie! Wax nostalgic for the city you left and for the dining experiences you never really had--because it was all pizza slices, Papaya King and the occasional $30 hamburger.
And just chill and stop hatin' on L.A., OK?
*Full disclosure--I am a little embarrassed to say I have yet to see Modern Family, but I trust that it is as brilliant as everyone says. I think we are in a Golden Age of Television, and I truly find it to be an exciting and artistic medium. I also think it's very brave when people risk everything for a project they believe in. Hollywood's a tough town, everyone has a dream and only a very few make it to the top.
I suffered from horrific homesickness when I first moved out here from Minneapolis, and I totally get it. I'm just playing with you.