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Botanica Is a Lifestyle, and a Fine Restaurant, Says LA Weekly Critic

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The aspirational work of two food writers walks away with three stars

Jakob Layman

This week, Besha Rodell reviews Silver Lake’s Botanica, a "restaurant, marketplace and magazine" by two food journalists, Heather Sperling and Emily Fiffer. While the magazine portion of the multi-hypenate concept has yet to come to fruition, the restaurant is very much firing on all cylinders. B-Rod likens the place to Kismet, and describes it as “the type of place you're likely to see movie stars dining unshaven and relaxed, where million-dollar Hollywood deals are made at adjacent tables by dudes who look fashionably unemployed.”

The restaurant serves an all-day menu that is very 2017:

Most of the food comes in wide, heavy bowls, herbs and lettuces and pops of brightly colored garnish draped around the inner curve of the tableware, messy but somehow composed and perfect. [...] A Shirazi salad highlights hunks of cucumber and heirloom tomato — along with fresh cantaloupe — in a lime dressing, and it all comes together as one big, delightful summer jumble. At lunch you can get a bowl of what basically amounts to cold rice noodles and lettuce, but the flurries of fried shallots and mint and diced beets and bitter greens make it seem like so much more. [LAW]

But more than the food, Botanica is a lifestyle:

You could go there simply to be the type of person who goes there, who eats gorgeous plates of food that look as though they were lifted from the pages of a fabulous food magazine, in a room that might be featured in the pages of a fabulous design magazine. Botanica is a restaurant, but it is also a lifestyle. [LAW]

The Weekly critic also notes the team’s warm hospitality, and concludes by wishing more food writers would open a restaurant. Botanica scores three stars.