Sotto was opened just four years ago in a below-ground space in Pico-Robertson (“sotto” is Italian for “below) on the western side of a city that’s no slouch when it comes to good pizza. But chefs Zach Pollack and Steve Samson melded their mutual love for southern Italian cuisine and shared work history (Grace, Sona, and then Pizzeria Ortica, which they opened together in Orange County) into a place that these days quickly comes to mind when many discuss the best pizza in Los Angeles (LA Weekly called it that earlier this year).
What’s the big deal? Hyper-micro-leopard spotting all around the cornicione and a center that looks like a shallow crater of molten cheese and crushed tomato about to burst up through the tabletop like some other culinary-worldly pizza volcano. There are nine pies on the menu, all cooked in the Stefano Ferrara oven imported from Italy. They feature interesting ingredients like maitake mushrooms, pea tendrils, dandelion greens, buckwheat honey, fennel pollen, and the spicy spreadable Calabrian sausage callsd 'nduja (which makes appearances on two pies), and add-ons that include arugula, anchovy, egg, salame piccante, sausage, and prosciutto. Last year’s call to determine which pie the restaurant considered its signature returned a common response: Margherita. That may be so, but you’d be remiss to not order the guanciale as well — house-cured pork cheek, ricotta, scallions, and what then-LA Weekly critic Jonathan Gold estimated to be “two bucks' worth of fennel pollen” — a pizza he described as “among the piggiest pies in town.”
— Arthur Bovino, 101 Best Pizzas in America 2015, 8/6/2015