It looks like the Jon & Vinny’s team is continuing to expand, albeit in a slightly different way. The group, already famous for its many restaurants, wine sales, and prodigious catering operation, has entered into formal negotiations to purchase Cookbook, the mega-popular micro-grocery with locations in Highland Park and Echo Park. Cookbook is widely known for its tight collection of upscale produce, small-producer dry goods, and grocery staples like deli meats, wine, and sauces, often drawing long, socially-distant lines at both locations during the pandemic. “We have spent the last ten years developing the Cookbook brand and it’s time for us to take a much needed break,” ownership said in an email to staff this morning. “We are eager for a new group to expand on our work.”
Reps for Jon Shook, Vinny Dotolo, and Helen Johannesen have confirmed the impending sale, saying that all staff is being retained and that they’re eager to meet everyone soon. There are currently no plans to change up either shop, only to help the brand continue to maintain, and possibly grow, long term.
In other news:
- Eater Vegas has the scoop on the LA Lakers’s championship celebration on Sunday evening at Encore Beach Club, where they had a 12 liter bottle of champagne and 36 bottles of tequila. Players also had dinner at Elio, a modern Mexican restaurant owned by Damian chef Enrique Olvera. Finally, the entire team had dinner at Lavo at the Palazzo, with the trophy sitting at the table with them.
- Taqueando festival will launch a series of pop-ups at the former Church & State space, starting with Poncho’s Tlayudas serving this Thursday to Saturday with tinga and barbacoa tacos, plus its signature tlayuda. Dishes are available for takeout or on the restaurant’s outdoor patio from 5:30 to 11 p.m. Subsequent weeks will feature Mariscos Jalisco, Tacos El Ruso, Priscilla Curiel from San Diego’s Tuetano Taqueria, Eduardo Ruiz of Chicas Tacos, and Ray Garcia of B.S. Taqueria. Everything is first come, first served. (Note: Taqueando organizer Bill Esparza is an Eater LA contributor)
- The Friend is reopening this week on October 22 with a menu of cocktails, beers, and wine, plus snacks, in order to comply with the new regulation that bars offer some sort of food option with drinks. Hours will be 6 p.m. to midnight starting Thursdays to Saturdays with all outdoor seating.
- Though Halloween might not look the same this year, LA Times writer Lucas Peterson has done his power rankings take on all the best candies from the season. The top pick? Reese’s peanut butter cups. On the bottom? Those restaurant-style red-and-white mints.
- Restaurant Business has assembled their annual list of top independent restaurants in the United States, and only three LA-area places make the cut, all based on 2019 figures. Bottega Louie comes in at number 34 with an estimated $18.5 million in sales, followed by Castaway and Boa Steakhouse in Burbank and West Hollywood, respectively.
- There’s a new smash burger popping up setting up in a driveway in Redondo Beach called Proudly Serving beginning this Saturday. Here’s the intel:
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Who's ready to eat burgers?!? Saturday, October 24th, I'll be slingin smashed burgers in my driveway from 1-4pm. A limited amount of burgers will be available for pre-order through Venmo. This will be to simply lock in your burger. Additional items for purchase such as my whirled famous chocolate chip cookies. So you are aware, below is exactly how I make my burger. No substitutions at this time. MENU P.S. Burger ($9) - A Double Cheeseburger with cheese, griddled onions, pickles, burg sauce served on a potato bun. To be respectful to our neighbors and our health, I will have one-hour time slots to choose from when ordering so it doesn't get too congested. Walk ups will be available but limited based on pre-orders. When placing your order through Venmo (@proudlyserving) state what time slot you would like: 1-2pm 2-3pm 3-4pm All pre-orders must be placed by Thursday, October 22nd at 12pm. Questions? ---> email@example.com. Insta: @proudlyservingburgers NO MASK NO BURGER!! Address: 1819 Armour Ln Redondo Beach, CA 90278 (follow the smell of meat down the driveway)