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Jon & Vinny's

Restaurants, Italian Fairfax District
3 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
(3user reviews)
Jon & Vinny's
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman Jon & Vinny's

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

Hearty meatballs and homemade pasta are standout dishes at Jon & Vinny's, a Fairfax eatery rife with comfort food.

Jon & Vinny’s is not Animal, Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo’s first Fairfax restaurant that lists veal brains and pig head on its menu. Nor is it Son of a Gun, their seafood-focused eatery featuring tiny lobster rolls. As the duo’s first namesake restaurant, Jon & Vinny’s harkens back to the food both chefs grew up with, Italian-American comfort food that conjurs up images of red-checkered tablecloths and Nona stirring pots of bubbling tomato sauce.

There aren’t red-checkered tablecloths—the whole restaurant is sleek and awash in white oak that evokes a Scandinavian feel (the giveaway that we’re in LA: ‘90s R&B blasting). There is tomato sauce, though. It’s served over three large meatballs that fell apart under my fork, exceptionally seasoned and flanked by ricotta and some fantastic slices of garlic bread. It’s served on pizza, too, of which the most popular at Jon & Vinny’s is the LA Woman. I’d heard murmurs of this pizza before my visit, a simple pie topped with burrata and basil and a sprinkling of sea salt. It’s good, sure, but it doesn’t quite live up to the hype, and at $18.50 it is remarkably small for its price.

It is hard to order the cacio e pepe here and not compare it to former Bucato chef Evan Funke’s version, but we gave it a shot. Jon & Vinny’s iteration is a great one, with thick, homemade bucatini and just the right amount of cracked pepper (that is to say, a lot). Preceded by a fresh burrata and pear salad and some addictive cornmeal fried spring onions, it makes for a fulfilling meal.

Jon & Vinny’s is open for breakfast, too, and their pasty case is often filled with things like honey date scones and a "bombolone of the day." To end a meal, skip the strawberry bread pudding and go for the cinnamon meringue instead. One crunchy bite reveals a sticky, hazelnut cream filling that goes back to what this place is supposed to be about: comfort food. Kind of overpriced, kind of overhyped, but comfort food nonetheless.


What to Eat: The burrata and peach salad ($12.25). The meatballs ($15.25). The cornmeal fried spring onions ($9). The cacio e pepe ($15.75). The meringue ($2.50).

What to Drink: In the back of Jon & Vinny’s sits Helen’s, a small wine shop from Helen Johannessen, who has been the beverage director for the chefs’ projects since Animal opened. Sparkling, white, red and rose wine can be bought by the bottle or the glass, and I ordered a 2014 Gamay—which I couldn’t finish. I like chilled wine as much as the rest of us, but this glass, and the one that came after, were both frigid (and the first was slightly turned). I’ll give Helen the benefit of the doubt—she’s been doing this for a while and knows her wines—but it was an unfortunate part of our meal.

Where to Sit: The narrow, 45-seat restaurant includes booths on the right and in the back, and a row of counter seating on the left. A meal lasting for a couple hours can prove difficult, as the seating is hard and wooden, but snag a booth for maximum comfort (and better service). And if you’re coming for dinner, make reservations.

By: Erin Kuschner



Address: 412 N Fairfax Ave
Los Angeles
Opening hours: Daily 8am-10pm
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Users say (3)

4 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

4.3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:2
  • 4 star:0
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
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Everything at Jon & Vinny's shines in its simplicity. Hit every category on the menu, but you should probably start with something veggie heavy to make up for the carb and cheese loaded meal to come. Must trys include: LA Woman pizza, White Lightning Pizza, Bucatini, Spaghetti with 6-hour bolognese, meatballs. While the food is spectacular in every way, the restaurant itself functions with a little pretentiousness (the host would check in on us constantly to let us know there was another party waiting for our table). But all is forgiven when you take a bite of pasta. Or bite into a dollop of burrata on the LA Woman pizza


Recently ate here and the pizza was fantastic! We had to make reservations way in advance (be sure to do that) and were seated at the bar which wasn't super comfortable. Next time I will be asking for a booth or even considering getting carry out as the restaurant is very small. All in all, great food but not a place where you can enjoy a long meal.