This week, Besha Rodell heads to Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo's latest project, Jon & Vinny's. The LA Weekly critic is attracted to the Animal duo's move to family-oriented dining with the intention of creating "an Italian-American joint serving pizza and pasta where you can bring the kids regardless of whether your particular kids are into foie gras loco moco." To that end, Rodell brings her son and elementary-school friend to the restaurant, where "all was well. Until Big Sean showed up." That is to say, Big Sean's most popular, rather profane song starting blaring on the speakers, enveloping the idea of the evolution of the family restaurant:
One of the aims of Shook and Dotolo is to change the nature of the family restaurant, to bring it more in line with what we expect from great restaurants, or trendy restaurants, because God knows, many parents these days are hip enough to appreciate Big Sean and to want their salads to include burrata and white peaches. I know I'm not the only parent in L.A. who's raising her kid to delight in the appropriate interplay between char and stretch and crisp in a pizza dough, an interplay that Jon & Vinny's practically reinvents with its smallish pizzas, which are light but stiff, stretchy but crisp, Neapolitan but Californian. That you can buy a side of tangy, house-made ranch dressing for crust dipping only adds to the fun — and fuels the nostalgia many of us feel for the kind of pizza places that had no burrata to speak of. [LAW]
Ultimately, B.Rod is wowed by the L.A. Woman pizza and decidedly simple pastas. In the words of Big Sean she concludes, "in its own way it's a great restaurant. I ain't fuckin' with you."
The Elsewhere: Bill Esparza goes to Lakewood to chow down on vampiros at Adobo Grill, Josh Lurie runs down 10 great banh mi sandwiches in LA, The Offalo has an early look at Maple Block Meat Co., and TimeOut gives Catch & Release three stars.