Open since July 2012, Soleto Trattoria & Pizza Bar is the newest concept from IDG (Innovative Dining Group), creators behind Hollywood hotspots BOA Steakhouse, Sushi Roku, Katana and Delphine. This chic Italian eatery has a relaxed vibe and serves outstanding Italian cuisine in the financial district downtown.
Design team, Studio Collective, preserved details of the original building, including vintage tile and wood floors, and intricate brickwork throughout. They’ve also added modern touches, such as a large and quirky, industrial chandelier that uses a collection of different lights to draw your eyes up to the 20-foot high ceilings. A lovely garden patio offers dining alfresco, somewhat of a rarity in this part of town.
Executive Chef Sascha Lyon oversees the menu, comprised of straightforward and unpretentious food inspired by Southern Italian dishes. Favorite antipasti offerings include oven-baked Meatballs Marinara al Forno and my personal favorite, Grilled Oyster Mushrooms with Grana Padano and white truffle vinaigrette, which are incredibly flavorful. Soleto’s Grilled Vegetable Salad is one of the best salads I’ve ever had with grilled zucchini, red peppers, arugula, feta, olive croutons, marinated onions and house vinaigrette.
Pastas, such as the Angel Hair Alla Checca with herbed goat cheese and juicy tomatoes and the Pumpkin Ravioli in a brown butter with beech mushrooms, hazelnuts and sage, simply melt in your mouth.
Gourmet pizzas arrive fresh from the 800-degree, wood-burning oven and include imaginative combinations, such as the Potato and Bacon with fontina cheese, scallions and thyme, or Spicy Smoked Speck with Fresno and Anaheim peppers, and onion. Additional entrees include paninis, steaks and braised short ribs, plus Italian classics like Branzino Milanese and Grilled Salmon Scallopini.
Dessert also gets high accolades from the Fresh Strawberry Shortcake, which was light and fluffy with the perfect amount of sweetness.
There’s also a take-out store for those short on time, where the food is anything but short on flavor.
Soleto is open for lunch and dinner Monday through Friday and dinner only on Saturday and Sunday. Soleto also offers a great Happy Hour (Mon. – Fri. from 3 – 7 p.m.) where drinks are $3-$6 and appetizers only $3-$5. Try a house-made White Peach Sangria or a Kumquat-Blood Orange Cello Spritzer.
Liz Laing is a writer, web designer and photographer who lives in Los Angeles. Her latest projects may be followed on LizLaing.com.