West LA: New Sotto Pops and Spring Cocktails at Sotto
Italian restaurant Sotto on the Westside just rolled out bottled carbonated sippers along with their Spring cocktails menu. I stopped by after dinner at Hinoki and the Bird to check them out. There are three aptly named Sotto Pops of which I tried two. My favorite was the Amaro Never Dies (Amaro Abano, Luxardo Maraschino, evaporated cane sugar) but the Diced Pineapple (Tequila Ocho Reposado, Cocchi Americano, pineapple, fennel seed) was rather perfect as well.
I hope to try the Byrrhberry (Byrrh, Plymouth gin, seasonal local berry agrodolce) soon.
Sotto’s bar manager Nick Meyer was just promoted to help Beverage Director Julian Cox with all the bars Julian oversees. As a result, bartenders Brynn Smith and Ingrid Nelson have now taken over the bar. It’s nice to see the all ladies action back at Sotto. I’ve had many a good night there with “mixtresses.”
One of my new booze discoveries is Combier’s Pamplemousse Rose, a pamplemousse grapefruit liqueur that lends its name to the Modest Mousse (Espolon reposado tequila, Averna, Pamplemousse Rose, Punt e Mes, Angostura orange bitters, grapefruit oil). I love the band Modest Mouse and enjoyed the fun name of this drink.
Although I had eaten dinner earlier, I couldn’t resist sharing a late of pasta and my favorite pork at Sotto. We got this whole wheat and peas pasta with plenty of cheese. I really enjoy whole wheat pasta and don’t see it often enough on menus. It was so good, we convinced the people next to us to order it.
Although the ASAP Rickey (Tito’s vodka, Bertagnolli grappino, strega, basil, lime essence, bitter lemon soda) leads with vodka in its ingredients, this is really a grappa cocktail. Don’t worry vodka drinkers, you’ll love it. Just think of it as an upgrade from your usual vodka soda.
Named after the Italian mafia, La Comorra (Rittenhouse rye, Pierre Ferrand 1840 cognac, Campari, Carpano Antica) is a stiff drink. The brown, bitter, stirred Manhattan style cocktail may have you dancing on the bar. Or at least kiss the cheeks of your friends, Italian style.
I couldn’t help it. I had to order the pork. It really is my fave dish at Sotto. This night, the pork chop featured a fresh grapefruit and Italian parsley salad. The fennel encrusted pork is perfectly juicy. I had a few bites and dreamed of eating it the next day with the leftover pasta.
As mentioned, I really liked the Amaro Never Dies. If you see the bar is busy, get one of these cute Sotto Pops as a nice alternative to beer or a glass of wine.
It was nearing the end of the night and I watched Nick close up shop by cleaning the bar. Every bottle in the well got wiped down. A clean bar is a bar you want to drink at.
© The Minty 2013