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Restaurants & Bars Los Angeles Area

O Sotto mio!

c
CulverJack | | May 2, 2011 06:06 PM

So we went to Sotto last week for an early dinner to get a taste of the pizzas coming out of these very hot ovens. I was also curious to see how the place was doing being open just a couple of weeks. Their small plate appetizers and pastas also sounded really interesting.

First, my wife and I had 3 smallish kids with us (6-8 yrs) and we were all pretty hungry when we showed up at 6PM. There were only a few parties already there when we arrived, but it was nearly full when we left.

We started with bread (yummy!) which you can order with either olive oil ($3), burrata ($8) and another option I don't recall. Yes, bread costs here - it was definitely great, rustic and wheaty, toasted large slices from what seemed like a large loaf. We ordered with oil and were happy.

The roasted (or fried?) peppers were also good - they are italian but very similar to shishito in that every so often you get a hot one, which is a kick and we enjoyed. The kids, not so much, they aren't fans of hot surprises (yet!). This dish had some really great, salty fried capers strewn in the mix.

Salads were fair - the shaved beet/farro simple salad was a bit bland and didn't get a lot of love. The blistered gem salad which is essentially their take on Ceasar was better, with bolder garlic/lemony flavor and disappeared pretty quickly. It might be grilled quickly, b/c it was a bit warm, which served to bring out the flavors in the dressing more. They serve it with a strong hard cheese shaved on top, probably pecorino, which gave it an interesting note and some lift.

Pastas were also just fair for us. We got a fairly boring offering with tomato sauce which had cheese on it too strong for the kids and was an overall package not interesting enough to grab the attention of us grown ups. Bust on this one. We also had a lamb ragu wheat/country pasta which was definitely better and more captivating. I pretty much killed this one and was more happy here. Given the kids, we couldn't get more adventurous with these, but again, one out of two was a hit.

The pizza was really excellent - we had margarita x 2 - and they disappeared quickly. Crust is spotted with small blisters, has outside crisp and inside chewy that is really marvelous and totally toothsome. Major satisfaction here. Just the crust gives me confidence that their more adventurous pizzas (with ingredients beyond those totally kid friendly) are worth the trip. They had a lot of pork-based options which looked good but didn't work for us that night.

And last, a fantastic signature daquiri with pineapple juice disappeared quickly. Great drink, and I'm sure they have others which are as compelling - the drink list looked great. Service was great, kids were treated well, as were we, and everyone left really happy. Definitely recommended - I'm interested in what others find and to get some suggestions for more grown up, porky outings to come in the future.

(clears throat, prepares to sing.... OK, probably better not. Sorry for the title of the post - couldn't help myself)

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