New Year Tourist in Los Angeles from Bottega Louie to Grand Central Market. Sometimes it is fun to play tourist in your own city. We are lucky enough to live in Los Angeles and when I have a day off from work I like to venture away from our normal haunts within our city to try some new foods and just see what is new in our city. On New Year’s eve we spent the day just walking the streets of downtown Los Angeles. We started off by walking through the jewelry district into Grand Central Market. For those of you not familiar with Grand Central Market, it is an updated food court with some of the hottest artisanal food eateries in Los Angeles at the moment. The last time we went to The Grand Central Market we ate at Eggslut which is a restaurant that serves everything with eggs. As an egg lover, I had everything from their egg cooked in a jar to 2 of their egg sandwiches. The line is always long at Eggslut on on New Year’s eve the line was longer than usual. We decided to skip Eggslut this time and ventured into the Grand Central Market to see what is we could find.
We found 2 places we needed to try. One was DTLA Cheese which features a menu on an old fashioned board where the letters are clipped. The menu is simple and everything looked great that came through the open kitchen delivery window. We bought one of their brioche bread grilled cheese sandwiches and waited. The Grilled Cheese sandwich from DTLA Cheese was filled with 3 kinds of cheeses and the brioche bread was sliced thick and grilled with butter. What could be bad about that? It was just divine. Next we went next door to the Madcapra and enjoyed a Green falafel salad bowl and a Green falafel sandwich. The Green falafel featured everything green in it. The sandwich and the salad had cauliflower, labneh, pickled fennel, cilantro, and mint. It was the perfect balance of sour and fresh mint with the crunch of the cauliflower that made this combo delicious with the square shaped falafel balls. The owner was friendly and there were local artisans who worked at other food stalls who came by to eat and visit with everyone that worked there while they happily served food to the other diners.
On our way out we visited Courage and Craft Liquors to buy some spirits for our barcart for our post New Year’s eve dinner festivities. The 2 owners Nicholas Krok from the Arts District’s Bestia and Ryan Duffy from one of Â Josef Centeno’s restaurants were there on New Year’s eve and were very knowledgeable about all the artisanal companies that created small batch spirits. My questions were about bitters and Bourbon on this particular day and I learned that there are “anchor” bitters that every bar should have including the orange flavored bitters and the Agostoura bitters. On that day I also learned the difference between small batch and single barrel bourbons. I walked away with lots of great knowledge and some bitters and Bourbon from Bib & Tucker. Â If you ever need liquors and want to stock up, go see these guys. You will come away with a lot of new knowledge and spirits that you may not find in your big box stores.
Next, we walked through more of Downtown Los Angeles taking photos of older buildings for their architectural and historical beauty on our way to Bottega Louie. No trip downtown would be complete without a stop for macaroons and bread at one of my favorite places. This beautifully designed French bistro has everything from an art deco bar, a bakery, to a restaurant. You can have handmade pasta and a salad, a martini at the bar, a macaroon, and buy Himalyan salt to take home all in one stop at Bottega Louie. The place is one part enchanting and one part Disneyland. It is all good.
I love it when I have a little time to play tourist in my city. When you can walk in Los Angeles and avoid the traffic, it is fun to explore and learn something new.