6/21/2012 01:12:00 PM

Two Trattorias Coming Soon: Soleto and Neapolis Debut in July

Lobster arancini with saffron aioli; courtesy of Trattoria Neapolis
Remember when every Italian restaurant that opened was an osteria (Mozza, La Buca, Latinia, Mama)? Now it's all about trattorias, even if in name only, and two new ones are ready to open next month. Trattoria Neapolis debuts on Pasadena's South Lake Avenue, which has few decent, real sit-down restaurants among the quick-serve chains.

All of the appropriate buzzwords are attached: Wood-burning oven, Neapolitan-style pizzas, beer list curated by the Beer Chicks (Christina Perozzi and Hallie Beaune), a cocktail program by Vincenzo Marianella, Stumptown coffee. In addition to those thin-crust pies, exec chef Bryant Wigger (Culina) offers a traditional Italian menu with a Californian market-to-table sensibility. Trattoria Neapolis, located at 336 South Lake Avenue, will soft open the week of July 9.

Downtown, Soleto Trattoria & Pizza Bar from the Innovative Dining Group (Sushi Roku, Boa Steakhouse, Delphine) comes to the former Zucca space on Figueroa. The space has been opened up with some original details intact, and there's a bar area and fireplace, a pizza bar in front of the oven and a garden patio. Delphine's Sascha Lyon oversees the menu, which is described as "straightforward and unpretentious." Translation: crispy mozzarella marinara; grilled oyster mushrooms with white truffle vinaigrette; and hot pizza pies. Soleto soft opens next week (June 26), but will "officially" debut at 801 South Figueroa Street around July 5. Translation: Try the pies next week.

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