Animal Chefs Open Jon & Vinny’s: LA's Ultimate Pizza and Pasta Spot
F&W's Kate Krader gets the scoop on F&W Best New Chefs Vinny Dotolo and Jon Shook's newest restaurant.
I guess I could qualify as a Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo stalker: I’ve been obsessed with the pair since they opened the doors of their no-holds-barred meatcentric restaurant, Animal, in 2008. (We named them Best New Chefs in 2009.) Son of a Gun is likewise an unconventional look at seafood. Now at their brand new place, Jon & Vinny’s on LA’s hottest food street Fairfax, Dotolo and Shook are serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, Italian-American style. It’s not the kind of cooking that fans expect from the pair. “Everyone thinks we’re going to do foie gras and bone marrow ravioli. Nope,” says Dotolo. “This is the kind of place you go to after your T-ball game, that’s got a name like Manny’s or Guiseppe’s.” The guys are serving dishes like hand-made fusilli with vodka sauce and Dad’s baked bucatini carbonara with pecorino and onion. There will be some meat on the menu, but not a lot. “So many Italian restaurants are meaty now,” Dotolo continues. “Given everything – and not just the water situation in California— that is NOT what we wanna do here.” Instead, Dotolo is pumped up about pizzas like LA Woman. “It’s pretty dope,” he says. “A pie with tomato sauce and burrata, olive oil, basil.” “We’re doing crust sauce, too,” says Shook. “When I was young and hanging out, I always got ranch dressing for my pizza crusts. We’re gonna have a selection, like pomodoro, Alfredo-style sauce, so on.” They spent a lot of time working on their pizza boxes–cartoonist Ben Jones designed them—because Jon & Vinny’s is going to specialize in delivery, and that extends to Helen Johansen’s amazing wine program, too.
“Jon & Vinny’s is the kind of place where you come in for breakfast with your kids, and come back later on a date,” Shook adds, which is surely something for parents all around Los Angeles to get excited about.
Here, a peek at Jon & Vinny's awesome breakfast menu.