West LA: Back at Sotto
A couple of weeks ago, the Dapper Diner was in town and we went back and forth on where to go for dinner. We decided on Sotto where I talked up the pork and great cocktails.
We started off with drinks at the bar. I tried the Amaro Daquiri (Rhum, fresh lime, Averna, allspice dram).
It went well with the housemade bread with lardo pestato and panelle we were snacking on. The panelle are my favorite chickepea fritters in L.A. They are so light and lovely.
Although I wanted to try some cocktails that would be more my flavor profile like Use Your Illusion (Rye, Amaro Nonino, fresh lime, Velvet Falernum, grapefruit essense, Peychaud’s bitters), I opted for the Vampire Shark (5 year aged rum, Luxard Morlacco cherry, Mr. Zog’s Sex Wax tincture). I asked bar manager Kate how the tincture was made and was it really edible? It’s infused into a base spirit and only a few drops of it is actually used. The result is the cocktail had a very smooth texture and not at all like eating a candle. This cocktail is a tribute to (Julian) Wayser and (Dave) Fernie.
Our table of four ordered the pork chop right away but they just ran out and was offering the pork porterhouse. Even better! While we waited for the hunk o’ pork, we noshed on grilled pork meatballs, Little Gem salad and braised octopus. This is my favorite kind of food; small plates for sharing.
We checked in with our server to ask which fish did she like- the mackerel or the sardines. She liked the mackerel so we went with that. I have a nagging feeling we should have ordered the sardines as well as our table quickly devoured the mackerel.
Ah, my dream pork! Dapper thought it was silly he came all the way to LA to have Devil’s Gulch since he regularly eats this pork up in the San Francisco bay area. However, there is no denying this is a dreamy piece of porky pork. I did convince a recovering vegetarian to eat it after all. The Opportunarian’s first dance with pork.
Dapper couldn’t resist anything with sea urchin so we got the special of the day, spaghetti with sea urchin. The spaghetti was tubular and hollow. Very interesting texture. We could have probably used an eensy bit more sea urchin though.
Tasting Table named the Sazarac Rusticum one of the best cocktails recently. Get the recipe here. You won’t find any absinthe in this Sazarac as it’s a variation. Try it with Aperol, grappa, Sambuca and fresh fennel. I had it with my meal but it would be a lovely digestif.
Recently I was back for cocktails at Sotto and tried the Holland Daze (Bols genever, fresh lemon, pistachio orgeat, maraschino, sambuca bitters). I tend to go heavy in the beginning so this was a nice cocktail to end the night.
Another successful night of pork and cocktails!
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