SOTTO Restaurant: HOSTESS from HELL

No, this is not her after I complained- (funny thought though)… it’s actually a photo on their own website, and Twitter profile. Gross right? (Makes me sure want to go there….)

Last night, we decided to do something nice, try a new place, check out Sotto. First of all, it’s located on Pico, which (if none of you reading live in LA)- it’s a ghetto area.  But hey, if the food’s good, let’s go. Our RSVP was for 6:15- we got there at 6:22- 7 min late. Well, thats not such a bad thing, since tables are never ready, people are always late, etc…. and an rsvp at 6:15? EARLY for a Friday night in the LA dining scene. However- Valet was backed up to drop off. There were 5 cars in front of us, all waiting to get in, and the Valet guys were EXTREMELY disorganized. 10 MIN we waited IN the car for us to drop off our car!!! By the time we get to the hostess stand, it is 6:33.

I tell The Hostess (tall, white, long curly hair) our name and rsvp- she looks at me, and says, “well, glad you made it, we were just about to give your table away”. I responded, “Well, your Valet is backed up about 5 cars, and it took 10 min of us waiting out there.” She said,” ok, well it’ll be a handful of minutes, so why don’t you get a drink at the bar.” J says,”Wait, if you were about to give our table away- then it should be ready, right?” Hostess gives us a seething look. I looked around the dining room: 5 two-tops were ready, 3 four-tops were ready, and about 6 spots of the (12?) at the bar were free. I say to her, “It looks like there are plenty of tables, I’m sure one of them is ready?” She just says, “we’ll get you when one is available”.

Hmm. So we go to the bar, not satisfied with the service or her attitude. We pick up a drink menu, and after a couple min, decide what we want. The 2 bartenders are taking their time making nice drinks, no acknowledgement, or “hi guys”, or “I’ll be right with you”. About 5 min go by before the BARBACK takes our order, seeing as we haven’t even been acknowledged. He asks what we want, and then asks for a credit card. REALLY??  This isn’t some SBE club, is it? Where drunk punk kids order drinks and run off? I thought this was a reputable place. When you take my card, it better be after my order, and after my meal- NOT BEFORE.

So as he takes the card, a different Hostess comes to tell us our table is ready. We tell her we just ordered drinks. She says, “ok, close your tab with them, and come get me. I’ll show you to your table.” We wait…. and wait…(another 10 min) for our 2 drinks. Yes they are “libations” made my “mixologists”, but clearly- they were taking TOO long- because Hostess #2 comes to us AGAIN and says, “are you ready yet?” We tell her, “we’re STILL waiting for our drinks!” She replies, “really? ok, I’ll be up front whenever you’re ready.” We tell her,” well, so far, 0- for- 2: bad valet service, and bad drink service”. She shrugs and walks away.


We get our drinks- 15 min later- NO JOKE. So it is now almost 7. We get shown to our table, and finally, try to enjoy the rest of night. We sit at 1 of the 3 tables I saw empty for the last half hour, between  a nice young couple, and a pair of nice women- ALL who we saw waiting at the bar along side us, and ALL of us got seated at the same time! Since the tables are so close, we all got to talking about coming to this place, etc… ALL OF THEM SAID SAME THING! The Hostess was the most RUDE person! The couple on our right said, “she was so rude, I had to just walk away, I’ve never been talked to like that, I felt like I was going to explode!” The ladies on our left: “Us too! She’s horrible! She gave us such attitude!” The rest of our dinner was fine- food was good, portions were good, service was good- overall: pleasant. Maybe they redeemed themselves in the food? The young couple left, and the women next to us were so friendly, we were talking about life, food, etc… enjoying a new friendship. We passed on dessert, got our checks, and as the 4 of us are finishing our glasses of wine, we see The Hostess walk  over.

She leans down between our tables,” are you going to be ordering anything else tonight?” (I HATE BEING RUSHED). All of us say, “no, we’re fine, thank you.” She says,”Well , then I need to ask for your tables, I have people waiting… “(then, looking at J, says without a pause) “I like your ring…. nice watch too”.  We all look at her in disbelief- Is she REALLY kicking us out, and trying to make up for it by making CHEAP comments on our jewelry? We just spent $160, and our  new friends next to us, the same! J said,” well, great, because it’s the last time you’re ever going to see it.” Hostess stands up and walks away. We all look at each other (the ladies- they both exclaimed, “oh my God, I’ve never been asked to leave!”). We get up, all leaving in silence, I think out of shock. As we pass Valet stand, J says to Hostess,”We won’t be coming back.” Her reply- “Great!”

As we gave the ticket and money to Valet, he said,” just the ticket- you pay the driver.” We ask, “does the driver have change?” Valet says, “yes”. 1o min later, we get our car, and hand driver money. Driver says, ” hold on, I need to get change”.


Another wait while we get change….. finally out of there. The last time we’ll ever see that place.  There are too many GREAT Italian restaurants in LA without attitude and AMAZING service- MOZZA, MADEO, TERRONI’S.

To sum it up, (and to quote a friend I told this story to), “You shouldn’t have an attitude if you are located on PICO!”



10 responses to “SOTTO Restaurant: HOSTESS from HELL

  1. I just read this to Jeff and we thought the same thing: This sounds like Russia!

  2. Unbelievable! Thanks for the write-up. Noted and filed.

  3. That definitely needs to go

  4. While I don’t condone some of how the hostess acted, one can’t help but wonder if everything would have started out a little differently had you actually been on time. By your own admission, you were 20 minutes late to the hostess stand. You blame that on the valet parking, and whether or not they were backed up or disorganized is irrelevant…….you were supposed to be at the hostess stand at 6:15, so maybe you should have planned on getting to the restaurant at about 6:00, thus allowing for parking and whatnot. You were 7 minutes late to start with, and that wasn’t at the hostess stand. They didn’t know you were parking your car. It’s called common courtesy, but you don’t own any of it, you just make excuses for your part in it. Put your self in the shoes of the hostess, would you maybe get a bit of an attitude with someone that is 20 minutes late, and then acts like you’re supposed to kiss the ground they walk on?

    • Dear David-

      First, thanks for reading my post. Now maybe you have never worked in service industry, never dine out, or have the wit of a sloth. Let me clear some things up for you. Yes, by own admittance- we were late. Thank you for going so in-depth with the math, cutting it down for all of us to to “7 min late”. In Restaurant World- it IS COMMON KNOWLEDGE to honor a rsvp for 15 min. That said, 7 min late shouldn’t be a problem. As for the entire time of lateness- 20 min, with half of that being at valet WITHOUT the hostess knowing, there should be a sense of APOLOGY on the behalf of the hostess. The first thing said to us as a customer giving our name was,”I almost gave your table away”- is NOT HOW YOU TREAT CUSTOMERS. The proper response should have been, “Okay, I’m glad you’re here. just give us a few moments, and we’ll get you to your table.” She said she was ABOUT to give our table away- which meant it was ready. Sure we were late, and if she HAD given it away- I would have understood. She would have then needed to apologize, but tell us we were late, and then see what she could do to get us a table.” Her mannerism, (or lack there of) were VERY ICY, COLD, and RUDE. She does not own that restaurant- she works there. She represents someone else’s company- and if she is tarnishing it with her attitude, the success of that restaurant is going to go downhill fast. No one likes an attitude when you’re about to give your money to them- it’s the equivalent to paying to be slapped.

      And that was just our greeting.

      If you read the rest about how rude and disgusting her behavior was asking us to leave while still enjoying our purchased wine, while “trying” to make up for it by instantly commenting on jewelry…. her demeanor was so tacky, and so unprofessional.

      There were no apologies. No, “I’m sorry, how can I better serve you?”or “How can I make things alright?”. Those are the responses to say when a guest is unhappy. Yes, you do SERVE the customer, and you DO care for their needs. You CATER to your guests to provide an enjoyable evening- NONE of which happened at Sotto. So “kiss the ground I walk on” because I’m late? No, but she should have kissed our asses making sure we’d want to come back.

  5. First off, I’d watch who you are telling “maybe they have the wit of a sloth”. To start off your reply by trying to insult me goes against everything you seem to try and convey on this site. Let me remind you that most of your “rants” throughout this site are just your opinion…..the entire would doesn’t share your views. I commented on your post, and said I didn’t condone everything that was said. I think it would have better to actually be on time, that’s how I look at it.

  6. That was the entire “world”, not “would”……typo.

  7. It’s funny that you say in “restaurant world”, an rsvp is honored for 15 minutes, so 7 minutes late shouldn’t be a problem. Ok fine……but you were 20 minutes late! And why should the hostess apologize to you because you can’t get to the restaurant early enough to allow for parking?

    • David-
      THREE SEPERATE comeback emails in the span of just a few minutes? Please lie down, pause, take a deep breath- whatever it takes- before you hurt yourself. Gather your thoughts before spewing, it looks like you’re grasping, (and desperate) to get your point across. Clearly, you have a hard on for this place….

      You are right- that I shouldn’t have opened my reply with an insult about you having the “wit of a sloth”. I guess I was just foreshadowing… I spoke too soon. However, my comment DOES in fact, now hold water. Let me show you the example:

      you wrote:
      It’s funny that you say in “restaurant world”, an rsvp is honored for 15 minutes, so 7 minutes late shouldn’t be a problem. Ok fine……but you were 20 minutes late! And why should the hostess apologize to you because you can’t get to the restaurant early enough to allow for parking?

      I had JUST WRITTEN:
      Sure we were late, and if she HAD given it away- I would have understood. She would have then needed to apologize, but tell us we were late, and then see what she could do to get us a table.

      So, let me spell it out. Apology- on behalf of backed up valet. Hypothetical apology HAD she given our table away, BECAUSE of the problems with valet. Apology because the restaurant should be operating like a well oiled machine, with all parts moving fluidly- and it clearly isn’t.
      As far as it being ONLY MY opinion? Go read all the reviews that all hold 1 star- they are not about the food- they are all about the Hostess and her Attitude. Clearly, the opinions are held by many.

  8. I’m talking about your overall view on people as a whole, not just the restaurant. And, your comment doesn’t “hold water”… just shows how ignorant you are. Oh…..since you quite often spew about people and their grammar, SEPERATE is spelled SEPARATE. Someone told me about this site and that it’s funny…….it’s not. You’re very superficial, and actually quite disgusting in your overall views on mankind. This is my last post, because you aren’t worth any more of my time. Like I said, watch your insults……it may come back to haunt you. Hasta.

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