It’s not like Steve Samson was holding back at Sotto, the southern Italian restaurant he co-founded with wife Dina and Zach Pollack, who moved across town to focus on Alimento and Cosa Buona. In fact, I’ve visited very few restaurants more than Sotto since their opening in 2011 due to a combo of consistency and quality. That said, Rossoblu is Samson’s passion project, an industrial, but inviting Fashion District homage to his mother’s family heritage in Bologna.
Samson left pizza behind in Beverlywood to focus on Bolognese comfort food. Rossoblu, a split-level restaurant in an emerging development called City Market South, revolves around an open kitchen with a wood-burning hearth that feeds on almond wood. Anything these grates touch benefit greatly, whether it’s suckling pig or a juicy steak. I was particularly enamored by their prized Santa Barbara Spot Prawns ($14 each) served head on and dressed with bread crumbs, parsley, and Romagnola olive oil. Better yet, these sweet butterflied beauties arrived with big clumps of bright red roe between their meats and shells. Samson’s crew was especially generous by spooning on extra roe lightly sautéed with lemon juice and olive oil. This seasonal ingredient won’t last, but I was thrilled to be able to experience Rossoblu’s oceanic treat.