Krista Simmons

This casual California Italian eatery from some of Los Angeles's most popular restaurateurs is one we're loving in the city right now.

June 29, 2015

Jon & Vinny’s is yet another feather in the cap of the Fairfax District, a quintessentially eclectic L.A. neighborhood characterized by a hodgepodge of urban skate shops, casual gastropubs, third wave cafes, and Judaica shops. It’s open seven days, and is one of the only options serving a more polished breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the area.

Chef and owners Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo operate what are arguably some of L.A.’s most beloved restaurants—Animal, Son of a Gun, Trois Mec, and Petit Trois—so the recent opening of this casual California Italian eatery was no doubt a hotly anticipated one, especially considering the popularity of modernizing the red sauce genre, a la Carbone.

The pizza’s dough has the perfect bite due to the use of sourdough, with a wonderfully chewy crust. You don’t have to use a knife and fork as you would with the popular Neapolitan style, and you’re welcome to dip the crust in ranch dressing or marinara. Try the L.A. Woman—and not just for its name—made with local burrata, tomato, basil, olive oil, and sea salt.

The marinara-braised meatballs are almost painfully juicy, served with ricotta and grilled bread; the deceivingly humble cacio e pepe made with bucatini as thick as straws is topped with savory parmesan; pretty much anything dressed in their red sauce is made with tomatoes from Bianco DiNapoli, the private label from James Beard Award-winning Phoenix pizzaiolo Chris Bianco.

Slightly atypical for an Angeleno establishment is the wine delivery program. It’s from Helen’s, a pint-sized bottle shop at the back of the restaurant with affordable, esoteric finds that can be consumed at dinner or taken to-go.

The actual restaurant space is small compared to the sprawl of many L.A. spaces (they're using a large portion for catering), and might feel a bit East Coast if it weren’t for the ample natural light that spills onto the restaurant’s pale white oak accents, turning them the perfect shade of California gold. 

Krista Simmons is a culinary travel writer and native Angeleno; she covers the Southern California beat for Travel + Leisure. You can follow her adventures bite-by-bite on Instagram.

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