I’ve been a fan of Chef Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo from the first time I went to Animal. I heard much about Jon & Vinny’s, their new restaurant that’s supposedly a homage to the Italian-American Red Sauce establishments of their childhood. I liked Animal and Son of a Gun, so I definitely wanted to try Jon & Vinnie’s.
Finally made it out and we were able to try a few things. First the space, while small, is quite fetching. They used a very light wood, like a light birch or hinoki and it’s quite inviting. Their pizza oven looked pretty nice, but not as impressive as Desano or Midici’s.
"LA Woman" Pizza (local burrata, tomato, basil, olive oil, sea salt) is the first dish:
The crust is crunchy with a bit of softness, in the Pizzeria Mozza / Stella Barra-vein, rather than a VPN style. It’s quite addictive. The fresh local mozzarella is creamy and really melds well with their tomato sauce and fresh basil.
Also had to try their Bucatini, Cacio e Pepe (w/ pecorino romano):
I enjoy a good cacio e pepe, but this version was… mild. A dcecent pasta, the Bucatini had a good chew, but the whole pasta dish felt kinda limp and safe. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t anything special.
One thing to note: Looks like Jon & Vinny’s has hopped on those automatic service charge customs spreading at certain restaurants. But instead of an extra 3% Charge for healthcare seen at some places, J&V’s just flat out charges you an automatic 18% Service Charge to all bills. And then they ask you to add on “Additional Tip” which feels a bit like a slap in the face in some ways.
I normally tip 18% - 25%+ depending on the service, and I get that they just wanna take care of their employees, so they’re going with an automatic 18% for everyone entering the restaurant. But what about when the service is bad? There’s no real recourse. And then they add an additional line item for “Additional Tip”. Oh well.
Ended up almost $50 for 2 people for lunch. Feels a bit pricey for the quality of the food (pizza was OK (but we’d rather go to Desano, Mozza, etc.)) and the pasta was definitely average at best.
Jon & Vinny’s
412 N Fairfax Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036