HOT ITALIAN has made itself a model for sustainability among restaurants in Sacramento. Co-owners Andrea Lepore and Fabrizio Cercatore paid careful attention during their major restoration of the former retail space into a restaurant. Creating a business that is energy efficient with a solar thermal system for hot water and LED and CFL lighting, water conservative with low flow faucets and toilets, and sustainable by using recycled materials in the seating, tables, and other fixtures, helped them earn the region's first restaurant and retail LEED Certification, the nation's leading designation for green buildings. In addition, HOT ITALIAN composts all its kitchen waste on-site with a state-of-the-art Earth Tub composting system, pizza boxes are compostable, and there's parking for 32 bicycles on-site. Best of all, HOT ITALIAN strives to use local and organic ingredients with a menu that changes seasonally to reflect nature's cycle to make its salads, pizza and calzone, as well as its gelato and sorbetto by Naia that is organic and made of seasonally selected ingredients.