Sotto, Steve Samson’s Southern Italian restaurant, to close Saturday

The entrance to Sotto, Steve Samson's Southern Italian restaurant in Pico Robertson.
The entrance to Sotto, Steve Samson’s Southern Italian restaurant in Pico Robertson.
(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

Sotto, Steve Samson’s nearly 8-year-old Southern Italian restaurant in Pico Robertson, will close Saturday.

“We want to thank you for your continued support of our special little restaurant,” Sotto said in an Instagram post Thursday afternoon. “We have other exciting projects in our future and can’t wait to share the details as they materialize.”

The closing of Sotto, which was Samson’s first Los Angeles restaurant, follows a split with the restaurant group Sprout L.A. (the company behind Republique, B.S. Taqueria and Redbird).


“It was kind of like an amicable divorce,” Samson said in an interview. “Sprout has all of their own projects and we are going in different directions. That’s basically it. No bad feelings.”

Instead Samson and his wife, Dina, will start their own hospitality group, he said.

Sotto, located four steps down from street level on Pico Boulevard (hence the name Sotto, which means “under” in Italian), quickly gained a following and accolades for Samson’s leopard-spotted pies, cannoli (which Jonathan Gold called some of the best in the city) and excellent cocktails when it opened in 2011. It was one of the first restaurants to transform Los Angeles into a respectable pizza city.

Steve Samson might be known best for the leopard-spotted pies at Sotto. Pictured is a pizza topped with spicy salami and honey.
(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

“There is definitely a lot of Sotto that I love,” Samson said. “I love Southern Italian food. It’s a ripe ground if we do something new to tap back into.”

Samson and his wife have partnered with Hans Luttmann to start San Julian Hospitality. Samson opened Rossoblu, his Bolognese-inspired restaurant in the Fashion District, with Luttmann in May 2017.

San Julian Hospitality Group is named after San Julian Street, where Rossoblu is located.

9575 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, (310) 277-0210,

Instagram: @Jenn_Harris_