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Aug 14, 2011 12:38 PM

Sotto - a What the Heck menu

Intrigued by a write up in LA magazine AND the fact that the article said the noise factor was down to a level where you could have a conversation - we went there for dinner last week. Lots of suggestions in the write up and the three of us decided to pot luck it and split anything we ordered.
What the heck - we ordered all the medium size tastings and some were pretty good - the pizza was toasty and cheesy - the other little plates were tiny, tasty and on to the next thing. Nice service and a pleasant atmosphere but this is NOT dinner. Dessert was a ganache really silky - we split that too.

Would we return - yes but to the restaurant upstairs which is Peruvian that reviews say is a real winner.

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  1. re: "but this is NOT dinner"

    was it at least... food? Maybe your mind just isn't ready for small-plate family style eating? If I eat "food" at 7pm, it's "dinner". Don't know about you.

    If you think Sotto is loud, just wait til your non-dinner at Picca.

    9575 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90035

    1. Not sure what kind of appetite you had at Sotto but when ive gone, we each ordered a pie and shared an app and that was plenty. love the Neapolitan and "local foods" inspired pizza!!!!!

      1 Reply
      1. re: lapizzamaven

        I had an appetizer salad (partially shared) and didn't finish my pie. Plenty of food. (I ate somewhat more lightly than usual. Probably would usually finish the pie.) My first impression was quite favorable.

      2. Picca is even worse than Sotto!
        Sotto: how can they possibly screw up pizza this badly - the crust tastes like that spongy Ethiopian bread - and they're using a REAL pizza oven?! What a disappointment! They need to take a trip to Napoli and eat the real thing. Maybe they could recruit a Pizzaolo to teach the folks in LA some authentic pizza-making techniques.
        Mozza's sauce tastes sweet like marmalade because they add SUGAR to their San Marzano tomatoes - YIKES!
        Olio's is the ONLY place here that comes close - but they have no VINO license! WHAAAT?!
        PIcca: Do NOT fall for the "glowing reviews" from the MSM and Do NOT waste your time or money on either PIcca nor Sotto! Neither will be here in a year from now - the food is TERRIBLE!
        Our party of 4 spent almost $400 last night at Picca for what we all agreed was one of the worst meals ever. The insufferably snooty Maitre d' was as unappealing as the food.
        We ordered what we thought would be a nice variety of tastes: tuna tartare, empanadas trio, ceviche crocante, oysters a la chalaca, S.B. prawns, chicharron chicken and ribs, a variety of sushi and the seco de pato aka duck confit. Unfortunately, it all tasted exactly the same - horribly over salted, sour and pastey - with the exception of the duck which was stringy and inedible.
        Both the quality of ingredients and the food preparation was exceedingly poor at any price! I knew that their "sushi" was not on the traditional rice, but I never imagined just how terrible it could taste on a base of potato/corn mush.
        I will say that our servers were all excellent and the gracious young hostess did her best to cover for that obnoxious maitre d'.

        1815 Hawthorne Blvd, Redondo Beach, CA 90278

        9575 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90035

        4 Replies
        1. re: pizzaverace

          Have you tried Mother Dough in Los Feliz? Probably the most authentic neapolitan pizza I've had in the states. A bit pricey for pizza, but well worth it. And they have wine too!

          1. re: pizzaverace

            I had a "pasta" dish at Sotto last week that was one of the best dishes I've had in a very long time. It was actually bread cut into long rectangular like pasta ribbons. The waitress described the dish as Italian style chilaquiles. a very apt description of the dish. The "pasta" was topped off with a soft egg and ragu. The combination of flavors was so completely satisfying. A very rich dish but something very unique I've never heard of before. If you see this on the specials make sure to order it.

            1. re: js76wisco

              The special was called pan frattau

              "A special of pan frattau, a kind of Sardinian chilaquiles made with flatbread instead of stale tortillas, is fried with a butcher's bouquet of lamb's innards."

              This is how J Gold describes the dish I mentioned in this week's LA Weekly. It also illustrates why he gets paid to write for food (not necessarily this sentence but the entire article).

            2. re: pizzaverace

              I had an entirely different experience at Picca. Our dinner for 4 was a little over $200 without tip. The service was knowledgeable and friendly, and the food was great. Must admit I didn't try the sushi, but the ceviche, black cod, mussells and paella were delicious.

              9575 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90035