Birthday Dinner - Bestia or bust?
My husband and I have reservations at Bestia this month for my 30th birthday and we're debating whether we should go. I took my husband to Sotto for his birthday about 2 years ago and he was not fan (it was also DineLA, so I'm not sure if that had anything to do with his dislike of it.) I enjoyed Sotto a little more than my husband did, but we honestly prefer the pizza, meatballs, etc. at 800 Degrees to Sotto (with the exception of Sotto's chocolate crostata, which I loved). The menu at Bestia reminds me a little of Sotto, so I'm debating whether to cancel the reservation. My husband's also a pretty picky eater, so we'll be sticking to veggie, chicken, beef, and pork dishes and won't be eating any bone marrow, sea urchin, etc.
I love both Bestia and Sotto. They are actually more different than they appear.
Bestia has a greater pasta selection. The grilled octopus and calamari dishes are excellent. The bottarga and uni pasta at Bestia is outstanding as is the seafood risotto and the porcini pappardelle. They also have meat ragu pastas and such if your husband isn't into that sort of thing.
I find the pizza at Sotto much better. I love the wet center at Sotto, the one at Bestia was too much even for my tastes.
Bestia is a real tough reservation to get so if you have it, keep it. It's worth it. Otherwise ns1 will be glad to take that reservation off your hands ;-)
Haven't been to Sotto, but Bestia definitely has options for picky eaters. Don't miss the cavatelli dish if you decide to go.
I find that Bestia is extremely loud at peak times. Like yell at your dining companions from across the table just to be heard levels of loud. I usually don't notice the environment of a restaurant as long as the food is great, but the noise level at Bestia is overwhelming to the point of distracting.
What didn't your husband like about Sotto?
Having been to both, I prefer Sotto to Bestia, although, my most recent visit to Sotto was a fail (bad service but food still good). I thought Bestia's food was overrated/underwhelming and the noise level and uncomfortable chairs/seating ridiculous. I also thought the pacing of the meal was off (inconsistent and drawn out). But, you'll never know unless you try for yourself! I haven't been to Tavern, so I can't do a comparison there for you.
re: The Oracle
My husband was pretty disappointed with the pizza at Sotto. The crust was burnt and the middle was wet to the point of being soggy. The pasta we got at Sotto was pretty underwhelming, but I think we went with a plain tomato one that was on the DineLA menu--in retrospect we probably should have gone with the lamb ragu.