Travel Guide LA: the Gorbals + Bottega Louie

February 12, 2014

Downtown Los Angeles will always hold a special place in my heart. When I was younger I took the Blue Line train up to the 7th St station on weekend nights to partake in swanky pub crawls that typically started at 7 Grand, moved on to the Edison (when they had their amazing soup kitchen deals), and stumbled along to Varnish before finally ending the night at Kohls for Old Fashioneds and a French dip sandwich. It’s been many years since I lived in Los Angeles, and in that time downtown has changed drastically. Until I have a chance to explore more of the new, I’m happily to recommend two downtown institutions still going strong.

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Make new friends, but keep the old — a girl scout motto taken to heart over the years. Whenever in the area, I adore stepping into the beautiful Hotel Alexandria for a fancy cocktail and a plate of something delicious at the Gorbals. The spot is most famous for it’s top chef owner as well as its late night dining options, but the weekend brunch here is also pretty killer. The dishes are seasonal and always interesting; focusing on small plates to be passed around and shared. Or not, as the case may be.

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If you’re in the mood for something sweet look no further than deli, bakery and restaurant Bottega Louie. This gorgeous space offers a full menu and sit-down service, but I love stopping in to their café-bar area for a pastry, cookie and coffee or tea. The gâteaus here are Paris worthy, and you can also get a box of beautiful macarons — of which the Grand Cru (dark chocolate ganache) flavor is by far the best. Pick up one of those along with a tart or cupcake to go or stay for the perfect afternoon pick me up.

Where do you like to eat or play when in Downtown LA?

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