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Nonna Changes Chefs Days After Opening

Nonna, Alen Lin, 8/20/07

A reader whispered to us that Nonna's chef departed mere days after opening, and it turns out the rumor was true. When we first wrote about the new Italian spot on Sunset, that Scott Zacky owned it and Paolo Giovani from Il Sole was the chef, a reader was offended that we didn't give Giovani his due credit: "NONNA is Chef/owner Paolo Giovani's new restaurant. Scott Zacky is a financial backer. Paolo was not at Il Sole for awhile, Paolo Giovani is the much loved and respected chef who opened Il Sole and owned it for many years, back when it was a great restaurant." Well, according to S. Irene Virbila's Critic's Notebook, something didn't mesh because Giovani is out:

Paolo Giovani, former owner of Il Sole, had been billed as chef -- and he was there the night I ate -- but he's already gone, and Bruno Puddu, formerly of Piccolo in Venice Beach, is now the chef. Puddu has been there all along, said owner Scott Zacky. When asked about Giovani's departure, Zacky won't say anything other than "That's a sensitive issue."
Miss Irene goes on to say that it's very neighborhood and kind of quiet; no doubt everyone on staff knew who she was because one of her favorite Spago servers is the GM. When Italian restaurants like Mozza and All' Angelo are serving more authentic regional Italian cuisine, the critic sounds almost bored with the middle-of-the-road offerings. Sounds like Nonna needs to get her bearings together.
· Your own Italian grandmother [LAT]
· Eater Inside: Nonna [~ELA~]
· The Dish Extra: Nonna Debuts on Sunset [~ELA~]
· EaterWire: News on Nonna. [~ELA~]