If you are looking for the ultimate foodie experience, head to La Botte in Santa Monica. Chef2 (Chef Squared) was the ultimate tasting extravaganza as I sampled foods medleys I have never tried with my writer friend from LA Confidential magazine. Legendary Michelin starred chefs Stefano De Lorenzo and Morihiro Onodera artfully fused Italian and Japanese cuisine to delight our senses.
Watch the “Chef2” Dual Culinary Performance HERE as the Michelin-starred virtuosos artfully fused decadent Italian and minimalist Japanese cuisine. The ten-course collaborative menu featured the following:
Matsutake mushrooms, Parmesan broth
Trout, morel and shiitake
White truffle risotto, sea weed broth (first crop rice from Mori’s farm, Uruguay)
Duck ravioli, Tokyo negi, espresso sauce, grapes
Almond milk sorbet to cleanse palatte
Branzino, tomato water
Oxtail, daikon, nasturtium flower
My favorite concoctions were the branzino, the duck ravioli, the white truffle risotto, and the mushroom gelato – who would think that would taste good, but it did! I have to admit after all these salty combinations, I was craving chocolate. It was my first time tasting oxtail, which both of us will never forget as the tender meat fell away from the fat.
After selling his restaurant Mori Sushi in 2011, Chef Morihiro Onodera began making handmade ceramic plates and earthenware for several Michelin starred restaurants in Los Angeles. All courses for “Chef2 were served on Onodera’s latest artistic creations.
The chef-owner of La Botte is Stefano De Lorenzo. De Lorenzo grew up in Cortina d’Ampezzo, the famous “Queen” of the Dolomites near Italy’s northern border with Austria. It his hometown he began his restaurant career, starting at Ristorante Il Meloncino at Lago Ghedina. De Lorenzo visited Los Angeles in 1995 and he was instantly in awe of the splendor of Southern California. He hasn’t left since and worked his way around various restaurants throughout the city. In spring 2004 Stefano De Lorenzo opened his own little place in Venice Beach near the ocean called Piccolo Ristorante. Shortly after, it became such a hit that as the line at the door got longer and longer, Stefano was convinced to expand to a new location not far away in Santa Monica – La Botte.
La Botte has one Michelin star. La Botte has a simple floor plan layout where everyone can see everyone. The menu offers dreamy Italian dishes HERE reasonably priced from around $20 – $30. I would like to head back to try all of the savory crafted pasta dishes.
Check out La Botte’s new wine lounge, LAperitivo, featuring a seasonal, four-course tasting menu and selection of amazing Italian wines procured by Stefano De Lorenzo himself. The tasting menu is offered for an enticing set price of $20. LAperitivo opens at 5:00pm.
La Botte Ristorante
620 Santa Monica Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA
Open Mon – Sun from 5 pm – 10:30 pm