101 Best restaurants of Los Angeles
The menu at Jon & Vinny’s is a heat-seeking missile for a certain sort of nostalgia. The salads, the herb-speckled mozzarella sticks, the crisp-chewy pizzas, the saucy pastas, the smothered chicken entrees, the dairy-laden desserts: If you grew up in any way knowing the abundant comforts of Italian American cooking, something on the list will call to you and melt you. As familiar as it can all register, the best of these recipes have been calibrated with just a few degrees more finesse than you’d expect. That’s the formula, overseen by chef de cuisine Craig Tragni, that makes Jon & Vinny’s such a success. It’s why the original on Fairfax Avenue has been booked for lunch and dinner daily since chef-entrepreneurs Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo opened it in 2015. (Breakfast, with its righteous spaghetti carbonara, has always been the prime time to slip in spontaneously.) The second Brentwood outpost — and surely there will be others eventually, this brainchild was born to be cloned — stands almost twice as big as the Fairfax flagship. Though nearly as booked at night, at least lunchtime tables are easier to score.
Wine and beer. Street parking (and valet in Brentwood). Credit cards accepted.