The first thing you need to know about Bocce Bar is that it is not a lawn-game-themed restaurant.
There is a bocce court right outside the entrance. But from there, it's all Italian restaurant. That is, our new favorite Italian restaurant.
Samba Brands Management, owners of Sugarcane, completely revamped the former Sustain spot, making Bocce Bar look like it's been there for decades. There's broken-up Sicilian floor tiles, and ceiling beams as big as redwoods.
That said, the menu is anything but ancient. Expect small plates, from spreadable nduja salami to killer mushroom cannelloni. Whole branzinos and brick-roasted chickens are served family-style at the table so you and your crew can fight over seconds just like in the old country.
Wash it all down with the Bocce Ball cocktail — Amaretto, orange vodka, almond, and soda.
Which, on your way out, actually makes for a fine drink when hitting the bocce court.
Price: 3 (out of 4)
Noise: 2 (out of 4)
Parking: Garage; street; valet
Scene: Like always-fun sister restaurant Sugarcane but Italian
Best bets: House-made salumi plates; lamb and goat cheese meatballs; brick-roasted chicken
Hot seat: The sidewalk seating by the bocce court
Nearby: Sugarcane; Mercadito; Blackbrick