Bottega Louie seems like the spot to be. First Jonathan Gold reviewed the restaurant/cafe/bar/marketplace last week, now Irene moves in to grant 1.5 stars. Right off the bat she describes some of the interior design elements as a "collaboration between Louis XV (Louie?) and Gianni Versace," but her biggest gripe is the noise level which is "punishing" in the huge space. As for food, BL serves "generous portions at moderate prices" of all-Italian fare, and though "it's not the best Italian food in town...it's generally fresh and pretty good." Thin crust pizzas are "not particularly inventive but fine," and some salads tend to be overdressed. SIV was not a fan of the pastas either, which she described as "workmanlike," "stodgy," and sometimes devoid of sauce. On the bright side, "fried calamari is beautifully crunchy and not at all greasy," and the osso buco is huge and "quite delicious," with extra tender meat and a sauce with some complexity. By Gold's standards, Bottega Louie "aims to be all things to all people" with its large space and varied dining options. However, according to SIV, the restaurant's potential success lies in its price point. "The place looks expensive, but it isn't." [LAT]
ELSEWHERE ON THE REVIEW CIRCUIT: Locallecture tries market-driven small plates at Gjelina, The Find scopes ethnic specialties at Russian Dacha, LAmag samples eclectic offerings from Chaya Downtown, Food, She Thought also catches a bite at Bottega Louie, Sinosoul gives tips on how to street food at Don Chow, Pleasure Palate chooses Filipino at Noi, and Potatomato treks down to Nickel Diner.