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Mar 16, 2014 11:12 PM

La Botte in Santa Monica has closed

Kind of sad. Only went there once many, MANY yrs ago, but I enjoyed it and had been hoping to return eventually....

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  1. Agree. Sad.

    I've had some very good meals there. Never a bad one.

    But the place never had a comfortable feel about it.

    8 Replies
    1. re: foodiemahoodie

      Agree, it had an uncomfortable feel to it, almost sterile, in a non cozy way......

      1. re: Dirtywextraolives

        Best memory at La Botte - had dinner with Jerry Leiber.

        I apologize for the name-drop.

        I don't think I EVER took a date there. It felt more like business lunch place.

        1. re: foodiemahoodie

          My husband & I celebrated our anniversary there one night, close to when it first opened.

              1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                I presume Leiber of Leiber and Stoller (sp?) fame. Legendary songwriting team.

              2. re: kevin

                Jerry Leiber was half of the songwriting team of Leiber & Stoller. Jerry was a teenager selling records in a Yiddish record store on Fairfax near Canter's when Joe Sill came in and tried to get them to sell blues record. Jerry told them they only sell Jewish records, but insisted he wrote "blues songs". He didn't. Joe was interested and could help sell them. So Jerry gets in touch with Mike - slightly older keyboard player he was told played piano. He asked Mike if they want to write blues and Mike sez yes. They write some songs and Joe Sill sells them. Before they were 21 they were writing a producing blues songs. They had to get their parents to sign their contract because they were too young. They went on to write Hound Dog for Big Mama Thorton. Elvis covered and they were off the races. They wrote Jailhouse Rock. Kansas City. Stand By Me. There goes My Baby. Ruby Baby. Charlie Brown. Poison Ivy. Love Potion #9. Rose in Spanish Harlem (Jerry with Phil Spector), Lovin' You, Yakkety Yak, Is That All There Is? And more.

            1. re: foodiemahoodie

              Each time I ride by Jerry's house on Venice Beach in the middle of the night I sing a few lines from Stand by Me in my best Ben E King impersonation (thank goodness there's no one around to hear me).


        2. I thought they had already closed as of a few weeks ago. Went there for the first time a few months ago. Were the only ones in the place. Sad. Food was great though. That mushroom that tastes like maple syrup that they made into ice cream was cool... No pun intended.

          2 Replies
          1. re: TheOffalo

            Yes, it closed in or around the beginning of February.
            There are a few more than a few too many places in the greater downtown SM area for all to survive, given the parking limitations, competition elsewhere, and price points.

          2. Same here. But I can't say I'm was expensive, even for an expensive area.... And it was completely dead when I went by at dinner time a few weeks back.....

            1. My one trip to the restaurant was ~5 yrs ago. I actually sort of liked the sterility, and I thought the menu def offered something different from all the other Italian restaurants.

              For me, there was something funny about the location, though. It's almost like it wasn't close enough to the "heart" of Santa Monica to get a lot of ped traffic and yet was still a pain in terms of parking and such. And, yes, it was indeed expensive (although my meal was paid for by a friend).

              Wonder if the chef already has something else in mind (which is what the website seemed to imply).

              Glad that the other Italian place I like (Clusi Batusi) seems to be doing brisk business now.

              4 Replies
              1. re: ilysla

                I hear ya & agree to a degree, but how would that explain the popularity of places like Tar & Roses, and Hostaria del Piccolo, which are all in the same area? The food is certainly not better at those two, so price point seems to be more likely.

                1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                  They were a bit on the pricey side. And the place did feel a bit formal.

                  Like Vincente - for me - it was stuck between a kind of dated formality - a tweener in that it isn't as formal as Providence or Melisse, but not a casual place like Angelini Osteria. Then again, Osteria Mozza is working that side of the street - and they're hugely successful. Then again, they had a star chef attached to it.

                  Perhaps Chef-driven restaurants might need to promote the chef a little more? (they changed chefs at La Botte - I think the original chef left to open his own place - Ado). It's an interesting topic - how could it have changed? I would have gone more informal with the place, dropped the prices a bit and go for a little more volume. And allow people to bring their own wine (they did not offer that service.

                  1. re: foodiemahoodie

                    Didn't they have an informal lunch cafe attached to a few years back with the same food at toughly a quarter the price ??????

                    1. re: foodiemahoodie

                      Fwiw, though there are not a lot of us, I really limited my visits to places that are not corkage receptive. Especially if they do not have an excellent winelist is in pricing and selection. I never went to La Botte for this reason. I realize that they modified the policy at the end but I never made it.

                2. There's a full license app in the window (up from beer and wine only) to a Shaka Spirit, LP.

                  Wonder who's going in?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: cjla

                    I believe another place from Andrew Kirchner of Tar & Roses, just down the block.