City Market South, in Los Angeles’ gritty downtown Fashion District, is a 20-year redevelopment project that, when complete, will house a larger campus comprising film, fashion and food tenants within the collection of repurposed brick warehouses and concrete buildings that border the tree-lined central plaza.

One of the first occupants to open its doors within the space, is Rossoblu, the newest restaurant from chef Steve Samson, the man behind the city’s southern Italian eatery, Sotto.

Local firm Marwan Al-Sayed Inc, together with graphic artist J.P. Guiseppi, have taken the restaurant’s ‘Bologna inspired and Los Angeles made’ motto to heart and layered the raw industrial bones of the building with a distinct traditional Italian meets modern L.A. vibe. This includes sandblasted floors to create a terrazzo effect, creating an outdoor area that replicates a piazza, banquettes swathed in fabric inspired by old lace work carried down for generations, and a full-length street art mural by artists Cyrcle. 

Taking centre stage, of course, is the huge handmade grill, which is where Samson churns out food inspired by the Emilia-Romagna region in Northern Italy. Expect perfectly grilled Santa Barbara spot prawns; tender split roast suckling pig and pasta dishes such as tortellini in brodo. And don’t forget to sample the cocktail that brings it all together: ‘A Tale of 2 Cities’, made with Siete Leguas Anejo tequila, Amaro Montenegro from Bologna and splashed with cucumber, Regan’s Orange Bitters and Dolin Dry Vermouth.