Ravin’ About Rossoblu…


Open a mere two days and already making magic.

Bear with me…the neighborhood is definitely in flux, but soon it will be on of the trendiest districts in the ever changing downtown Los Angeles scene.

The restaurant is imposing…inside.


The aesthetic outside is interesting. Half the building is sleek and refurbished, the other half sports a gloomy exterior with broken windows.

But wait…this is the site of City Market South, once the oldest produce market in L.A., a project that is starting to light up with activity and will be abuzz with condos, coffee shops and restaurants such as my favorite restaurant in the world, San Francisco’s Slanted Door.

Presently, along with Rossoblu, there is only Cognoscenti Coffee.

Rossoblu Bar

The name, Rossoblu reflects chef/owner Steve Samson’s Italian heritage and youth.

Samson’s mother and grandmother were born in Bologna. Chef spent his summers there as a child.

Samson’s connection to Emilia-Romagna runs deep. The region is home to his favorite soccer team, F.C. Bologna, referred to by fans as rossoblu (after the team’s red and blue colors).

And, therein lies the basis for the unusual moniker.


The interior of Rossoblu is open and expansive with a mirrored wall that gives the illusion of being even larger than it is.

A very attractive mural dominates most of the back wall.

Rossoblu Kitchen

There is a sizable open kitchen and an inviting bar area in the 120 seat restaurant along with room for 60 on the patio.

Our server offered great recommendations.

Sommelier, Christine Veys, was knowledgeable and as effervescent as the sparkling wine.

Eggplant Conditio

We started with a cold eggplant dish, Eggplant Conditio…seriously?!

I dislike cold eggplant, but everyone raved and we were not disappointed. It was presented with tomato sumo, parmigiano reggiano and basil ($14).

 What made it even more scrumptious was the gnocco fritto that our neighbors bestowed upon us. (Francesco of Sociale in Brooklyn Heights fame created my addiction and it is even better at Sociale).

Our wine of choice was Fennochio Nebbiolo which was rounded at the front with a lighter finish, as if it was kissed by an angel ($68).


Our homemade pasta course was Cappellacci with stracchino, butter and sage. It was delicate, creamy and delectable, enhanced by drizzled sweet aged balsamic ($22).

Rainbow Trout

The server recommended the Rainbow Trout. Trout is probably the last fish I would select, but I succumbed and it was outrageous. The outside crispy and the inside tender and flavorful ($28).

Patatine Montanare

The Triple Cooked Patatine Montanare (fried potatoes) were prepared with rosemary, sage, salami (brine) and aged balsamic. The fries were very crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, apparently from being fried three times and after each frying, submerged in cold water ($12).

Torta Di Riso

I passed on dessert, but David loved the Torta Di Riso with citrus creme and strawberries. We shared with the talented writers to our left ($8).

Chef/Owner Steve Samson photo: eaterLA.com

Chef/owner Steve Samson cut his teeth at the always popular Los Angeles restaurant, Sotto.

The food was outstanding and we had a blast because the diners on either side of us were engaging and interesting.

Rossoblu really has their sh..t together.

What an opening…two days old and running like a fine tuned Ferarri Testa Rossa.

Rossoblu 1124 St. Julian Street Los Angeles, California. Open Wednesday-Sunday 6-10pm. Valet and street parking. Reservations on OpenTable.com. A 20% service charge is included in the bill.


*photo: Eater LA

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