Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

Hat's Off to the Latest Louise's

April 25, 1993|LAURIE OCHOA

It's not really news that Louise's Trattoria has opened its seventh location; it is news when someone takes a historic restaurant site and restores what others have kept hidden for years. The Louise's space, which until recently was Michael's Los Feliz, might have been worth preserving as it was--a classic example of '60s-era lounge chic. But many didn't realize that hidden under a portion of Michael's low-lying ceiling was the domed frame that was the hat of a Brown Derby. (Originally, the building was Willard's Chicken House.)

Beautifully restored wood stenciling covers the base of the dome, and underneath is a new, elegant club space with curtained booths, tuxedoed musicians and slow-swaying couples on the dance floor. This is the room that Louise's calls the Derby; it's separated from the rest of the restaurant by a velvet rope and a cover charge.

On the other side is the brightly lit Louise's where families arrive in jeans and tennis shoes ready to devour a barbecued chicken pizza or a plateful of broccoli ravioli.

If you're used to eating in more sophisticated Italian trattorias, don't expect the most delicate pasta or interesting regional dishes. When the kitchen does try to be creative it comes up with things like sweet potato soup with strawberry relish or salmon cheesecake (thick layers of cream cheese between slices of smoked salmon). What Louise's has always had going for it is good value and efficient service. Now, it's got a derby too.

* Louise's Trattoria and the Derby, 4500 Los Feliz Blvd., Los Angeles, (213) 667-0777. Dinner for two, food only, $15 - $55.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|