Rossoblu DTLA


You’re hilarious.

That tagliolini looks much prettier than it tastes I guess (up-close it does look a little weak). But I knew it wasn’t possible for the prawns to look that good but not taste like it.

Glad you clarified @Chowseeker1999s comment about Sotto’s pasta. The chicken liver rigatoni has been on my list for a while.

Good seeking!


sucking pig looks bomb


that pig looks ridiculous. how much was that dish?

I have reservations for next weekend. Hopefully they iron out some of the misses.


it was $28 bucks, which i think is a bargain for the quantity and quality. ask for some crispy skin.

oh, and there’s a stupid 20% mandatory service charge added to your bill.




But that’s the tip too isn’t it?


Our visit was… disappointing.

We got some Minestra Nel Sacco courtesy of some other poor table, which was fine. Broth was a smidge too salty, but tasty dish overall.

The charcuterie was very good. Not quite Chi Spacca good, but still great. The cheese that came with it was also exceptionally interesting.

We also got 2 pastas: the tagliatelle (boring, I know - but my dining partner wanted it and it came highly recommended by the server) and the cappellacci. The tagliatelle seemed to be suffering from some shortcut in cooking; it feels like they relied on it being thin enough that the could cut down on the cooking time to approximate “al dente” but something went wrong somewhere. The ragu was also pretty boring. Unfortunately this was head and shoulders above the cappellacci, which was just bad. It was far too soft, and veered extremely salty and extremely sour by turns depending on how coated each piece was with the rest of the ingredients.

Unfortunately the were out of the suckling pig (really?) and the price had shot up to $54 (did the quantity stay the same? who knows?), so we settled for some market fish (today, a red sea bream). This was better by comparison but still felt lacking. It was an extremely basic preparation - which could have been fine, had it been executed perfectly. Sadly it was executed at a level I could replicate in my own kitchen, which isn’t bad, but is also not something I go to high-end Italian restaurants for, especially when it comes to seafood.

The side of potatoes was decent.

I may come back for the pig at some point, but I’ll probably wait a while.


Who’s minding Sotto in the meantime? Maybe it’s time for me to find out…


Seeing @PorkyBelly’s mixed experience, we weren’t planning on going so soon, but we had a friend who we promised to hang out with in DTLA and figured we might as well try it.

Located in City Market South, a new real estate development project renovating the old and trying to usher in a new era of hamsters, Rossoblu is Chef Steve Samson’s (Sotto) new restaurant, supposedly a homage to his family’s roots in Northern Italy and his new flagship.

There’s not much else going on in the area, except a Cognoscenti Coffee around the corner, which means plenty of free parking for the time being. :slight_smile:

The interior is interesting, some inviting seating, with wild modern pop art on the wall.

The wood-burning grill showed some potential, and had us excited to see what kind of meat-based dishes might come out of it.

The soundtrack was a mix of '80’s and '90’s pop, but with no sound dampening it was LOUD the whole evening, even at 60% capacity. :frowning:

Whole Lettuce and Herb Salad (Anchovy Dressing, Grana, Bread Crumbs):

This tasted pretty good, fresh, farmers market Lettuce, the Anchovy Dressing adding a nice bit of brininess, and the Grana hard-style Cheese gave it enough funk and a bit of needed fat to the dish.

Salumi Board (Housemade Felino, Sotto Cenere, Coppa Testa + Imported Mortadella, Prosciutto di Parma):

This was the highlight of the evening! :blush: Everyone loved the Housemade Salumi, with the Felino, Coppa being beautifully porky and just having a bright meaty funk. :slight_smile:

The imported Mortadella from Emilia Romagna was my next favorite, very clean, lean flavors.

It was served with Squacquerone and Piadina and Cresentine Fitte breads:

Really enjoyed the Squacquerone Soft Cheese. :slight_smile:

Spring Vegetable Salad (Farro Verde, Lemon, Romagnola Olive Oil):

This was a disappointing Salad.:frowning: I love Farro and I was excited to try this, but the Salad simply tasted musty(!). There’s fresh English Peas and Asparagus and the Farro, and yet the Salad as a whole was muted and the flavors didn’t work. Avoid.

Nonna’s Tagliatelle al Ragu Bolognese (Beef, Pork, Not Too Much Tomato Sauce):

I was really looking forward to this, but hearing @PorkyBelly’s mediocre Pasta experience I wasn’t sure. And?

First, Chef Samson makes an Egg-based Pasta, with no Semolina Flour, so it’s the soft type of Fresh Pasta, not the type for those looking for some texture, bite or chew (no al dente here).

And the Tagliatelle is just very soft and flabby. :cry: I like Egg-based Fresh Pasta as well (see Pasta Sisters), but the Pasta quality was really weak here.

To add insult to injury the Bolognese (which our server said was the “pride” of the kitchen because it represented Northern Italy and Rossoblu “our signature”) was very salty. I liked the combination of Beef and Pork, but it tasted mainly like a Salty Meat Sauce.

The Bolognese from Pasta Sisters, Cento Pasta Bar, Bulgarini and Felix were far superior. :frowning: @Novelli and all pasta lovers, avoid.

Risotto (English Peas, Fava Bean, Asparagus):

The Arborio Rice had some bite to it (not fully cooked to soft), and I love fresh English Peas… sadly, this, too was very salty! :frowning:

Even with fresh English Peas (natural sweetness) and fresh Asparagus in it, the amount of sodium in here overpowered all ingredients and you tasted mainly salt! :cry: Disappointing.

Spit Roasted Suckling Pig:

I was so looking forward to this… it looked gorgeous! And the crackling Pork Skin was fabulous! :slight_smile:

Which was all that was good about it: The Pork itself was really salty and one note. Everyone at the table agreed. It tasted fresh and was moist and juicy, but way oversalted! :sob:

We noticed the 2 tables around us ate only part of their Suckling Pig and had the server take away the rest of the dish (didn’t even box it up), so I’m guessing it was this entire batch on this evening. :frowning:

The other odd thing we noticed was that we saw Chef Sampson come out and personally greet 2 other tables (friends perhaps?). Then when the Suckling Pig came out for their tables it was like 2 - 3 times the size of our portion (and the table next to us). Perhaps it was just him being nice to friends, but it felt a bit off / weird.

Charred Broccolleti (Anchovy, Bread Crumbs):

I guess it’s our fault, since the menu explicitly stated “charred,” but they weren’t kidding. These Broccolleti were half burnt on nearly all stalks! :frowning: The bitterness added something to the dish, but I don’t like my veggies burnt.

Milk-Braised Pork Shoulder:

Finally a dish that broke the streak of mediocre-to-bad dishes. Their Milk-Braised Pork Shoulder was tender, creamy, and shockingly, not over-salted. It was just the right amount of salinity, mainly a creaminess to the Milk-based Sauce, and the slow roasted Pork Shoulder.

Delicious! :slight_smile: Definitely the 2nd best thing we had this evening.

Chocolate Torta (Manjari Mousse, Roasted Cherries):

Very good. Deep chocolatey Cake, loved the Manjari Mousse (smooth, creamy), and the Roasted Cherries added a nice fruity sweetness counterpoint.

Service was haphazard, with wrong dishes delivered to our table and our neighbors repeatedly throughout the evening. We had to waive to get any busboy or server to refill drinks throughout the evening or clear plates.

Rossoblu is just in its opening week, but so far it’s been rather underwhelming: From the mediocre Pasta and Risotto, to the oversalting issues in most dishes we had(!), to the musty Spring Salad (sad), to the oversalted Suckling Pig (with wonderful crackling skin), it was a very disappointing evening. :frowning:

The Housemade Salumi Board was the highlight, with some wonderful items offered there, along with the Milk Braised Pork Shoulder. If they can get their salting issues under control (and perhaps have Suckling Pig more like @PorkyBelly’s visit instead of ours), then that would be another must order.

But as it is, with weak Pastas, average Salads, and burnt Cooked Vegetables, and oversalting issues, there’s not enough for us to return. I was so underwhelmed, I felt no desire to return for a long time, hence this post (instead of 2 or 3 visits). I’m pulling for them to improve, but even if they do, their Pastas are overcooked and the Sauces just don’t inspire. So you’re left with Meat-based Italian dishes.

At which point, I’d rather go to Chi Spacca.

1124 San Julian St.
Los Angeles, CA 90015

Mixed Dining Under the Sun and the Stars - Redbird
June 2017 Weekend Rundown
Mixed Dining Under the Sun and the Stars - Redbird

Thanks for the reports guys. But ouch! I may push my visit out a few weeks.


wow, bummer about the suckling pig, it looked so good. @T3t got me curious about the price now, did they really double the price to $54 from $28 overnight?!?

when i got my bill they tried charging me 50 something bucks (can’t remember the exact price) for my pig. i let my server know it was $28 on the menu and he fixed it but said something about a “computer glitch.” now i’m wondering if they printed the menu with the wrong price and tried to cover up for it.


Hi @PorkyBelly,

Yah the portion difference alone was shocking, so I wonder if portion & price are variable (if so, it’s awful). There was one table next to us who literally got 200% of the size of suckling pig that we got, and another table near us that got about 300% (not a joke) of the size of suckling pig. I don’t know how much they were charged for that, but it’s crazy.


it should be, but it’s not made very clear. my server never mentioned a 20% service charge, and what do you know there’s a line for “tip” (not “additional gratuity”) on my bill :unamused: if you don’t look over your bill carefully you can easily end up tipping 40% by mistake.


so it’s sounding like Rossoblu is a fail.

Will be sticking with Felix and Chi Spacca :smiley:


This is so true. We now have to train ourselves to look for a line item with a service charge. It’s b.s. If a restaurant wants to add a service charge they should eliminate the tip line and leave it up to the customer to add extra or not. And I’m not talking about that healthcare tax/charge (whatever); that’s a whole other conversation.


Let’s see where it goes given how much people seem to like Sotto. I don’t see Officine Brera mentioned much, but that is another Northern Italian place nearby. Drago Centro. Tom George is kind of Italian. Obviously Bestia is the most highly regarded, just noting that there are a lot of choices for the average diner downtown.

I agree it feels a bit disappointing, but a restaurant cannot be entirely judged on its opening week.


All these mixed reviews are making me think twice about going next week. I think i’ll wait a bit to see if they improve.


I’ve had several good meals at Sotto, but this is still feeling underwhelming.


I unabashedly love Sotto, but will wait a month or two before going, and suggest others do the same. Let’s give them some time to settle in - if reports are still negative to mixed, it may in fact be a dud. I hope not.


Hey, a place that opened in my hood! Seems like fun to make a first post with after mostly lurking! They’re opening these kinds of places closer and closer to Skid Row! haha

I hope this place improves, as right now it feels pretty shockingly underwhelming. But there are some things they do super well, for example, their gelato and sorbetto. Shockingly great. I wish I could buy it by the pint!

Eggplant was pretty good, if a little on the average side. Good texture though. A lot of oil, though.

Rabbit cutlets, described as “nuggets” were sort of bizarre. Probably should’ve sent them back as the taste of rabbit was kind of lost in pretty deeply fried nuggets. Plus the combination of salty meat and bechamel just gave this dish no balance at all. The arugula accompanying it was horrendous quality, perhaps weeks old? It tasted awful.

The cappellacci with brown butter sauce were pleasant, a little on the softer side, kind of sweet and tart. Not bad, but not necessarily mind-blowing.

The swiss chard ricotta stuffed tortelloni was somewhat over sauced, but the chard worked out pretty well as a filling that was a bit unique. A touch overly sweet, though, needed some balance.

The best dish of the night by far was the maltagliata. Scrumptious sheets of chewy pasta in an awesome mushroom sauce. It was slightly marred by the use of their absolutely disgusting arugula, but fortunately, most of it could be scrapped to the side.

The rest of your lucked out with the suckling pig. I sent mine back as it was so charred that it tasted like eating ashes…and the meat itself was quite dry and springy. :frowning: This also would’ve been $54 even though it was listed as $28 on the menu. I found that was bit dirty as a tactic.

Wilted escarole with currants was pleasant, if somehow a bit undercooked and a bit overly oily.

Capping off a mostly bad meal, however, was some of the best gelato and sorbetto I have ever had. The blackberry mascarpone is so creamy…mmm perfection! and the blood orange sorbetto was absolutely perfect in texture and flavor, rather like those Big Pop popsicles they used to make and sell at ice cream trucks!

I can see myself returning for the gelato and sorbetto, but most of the meal was a really tragic set of misses, a lot of it due to poor sourcing, so I felt mostly disappointed. Hard to justify going here over somewhere like Bestia right now. But maybe they will improve on how they cook the suckling pig. And maybe the grigliata is worth trying? But, yeah, it seems like best to avoid the place for a few months to see if they can get the hang of things.

I guess I am only allowed 1 image as a new user. I had a bunch from this meal, maybe the mods will let me post them at some point.