French macarons are not as easy to find at bakeries as chewy, coconut macaroons are. While I am a big fan of a good coconut macaroon, I like finding a place that sells great macarons even more because I encounter it so much less frequently. One place in Los Angeles that sells great macarons – and lots of them – is Bottega Louie in downtown LA. Bottega Louie is a beautiful French bistro and gourmet market that has a great bakery section and a huge selection of macarons – amongst other goodies.
These were picked up by a friend of mine who had lunch there and was thoughtful enough to bring them home for me. Crisp, perfectly smooth exteriors gave way to the meringue cookies’ chewy centers and a great variety of flavors. There was a cream and brown speckled macaron that was chai flavored, with a chocolate ganache filling. The purple macaron was passion fruit flavored with a curd-like filling. Red was raspberry and orange was, of course, orange. The passion fruit was a standout, as was the chocolate macaron with a salted caramel filling. The flavors were fresh, tasty and matched the bright colors of the macaron shells in their intensity. I could have eaten a whole box full of them, but a small sampling left me wanting more – and planning a trip downtown to get some soon!