Jon & Vinny’s
Warm Banana Bread with Salted Butter
Rosemary Pinenut Tart with Heavy Cream and Custard
Honey Date Scone with Salted Butter
Nutella Toast – Pain de Mie, Nutella, Olive Oil, Sea Salt
Crispy Potato, Parmesan, Black Pepper
Olive Oil Fried Eggs, Grilled Tuscan Kale, Crispy Potatoes, ‘Nduja, Preserved Meyer Lemon
BLT: Grilled Gjusta Cuiabatta, Bacon, Fried Egg, Tomato, Arugula, Aioli
Buttermilk Pancakes, Berries, Salted Butter, Maple Syrup
Anson Mills Polenta, Olive Oil, Parmesan, Fried Egg
LA Woman – Local Burrata, Tomato, Basil, Olive Oil, Sea Salt
49th Parallel Espresso Soaked Tiramisu
Chocolate Budino, Caramel, Olive Oil, Sea Salt
Maple Apple Bread Pudding with Soft Maple Cream
Missed out on during a September trip to the City of Angels when a fire behind the oven temporarily shut the small shop on Fairfax down, it was almost a similar fate that befell a visit to Jon & Vinny’s during a more recent trip westward thanks to a fully-booked Friday evening, last-minute scrambles rescheduling a party of four for a brunch rolling into lunch that once again showed the guys behind Animal and Son of a Gun striking paydirt – not one item out of fifteen less than delicious though auto-grat service charges once again seemed to bring staff’s motivation to exert additional effort down.
At this point sort of a known entity, the narrowness of the space and loud music from days gone expected and actually conducive to happy smiles and spontaneous bouts of sing-along, Jon & Vinny’s sees the reigning kings of Los Angeles ‘cool kid’ dining take on an Italian Pizzeria concept and offering breakfast from 8:00-11:30am daily before transitioning to a lunch/dinner menu served continuously till closing the concepts of locally sourced, top-tier ingredients and in-house baking are proudly promoted both on the menu and by staff, the pastry case itself a reason to visit even in a city where modern upscale bakeries are not for lack.
Seated in a slick wooden booth, the expandable tables along the wall paralleling a Chef’s Counter and open kitchen allowing larger parties when need be, it was just past 10:15am when the full party was seated and perusing both menus before an order was placed it was only after a perplexing delay that coffee was served along with four pastries, the $1 per refill after one upcharge a bit offputting considering the fact that it was drip with a $5 up-front price.
Not a breakfast for the thrifty, though certainly not pushing the upper edge in a city with occasionally laughable cost:quality ratios, it was with four pastries from the glass plus one toasty slice of Gjusta Brioche slathered with Nutella, Olive Oil and flakes of Salt that the meal got underway and whether one starts with a light pocket stuffed with Raspberry Jam or the dense Banana Loaf there really is no ‘wrong’ choice, the scone brought to life by butter as good as most found in Europe while the Tart eats like an Italian ode to Gateau Basque with aromatics offered by Rosemary sandwiched by Custard and Whipped Cream.
Moving on to the proper breakfast menu, four “entrees” and a side of crispy smashed potatoes rife with pepper and parm selected, Jon & Vinny’s offers options intended to please fans of both sweet as well as savory and although items like a BLT that entirely eschews “L” or Olive Oil Fried Eggs may not seem all that ‘exciting’ the quality of the ingredients and care in preparation more than make up for such simplicity, the spicy ‘nduja particularly memorable as were the buttery bowl of polenta heavily shaved with Parmesan and light-as-a-feather yeast-leavened Pancakes.
Saving room for the lunch menu, though service delays would inevitably prevent ordering meatballs, chicken, or pasta it was after nearly thirty-five minutes that one of Jon & Vinny’s signature pies would emerge from the oven and featuring just the right amount of blister amidst a crust that was cracker thin the “LA Woman” proved as perfect as all the rumors would have one believe, the burrata quite literally the texture of butter while tomatoes were bright with acid complimented only by flakes of sea salt and olive oil, whole leaf basil adding its characteristic herbal tinge.
Requesting desserts to be expedited, a hockey game at Staples beginning at 1:00, it was with another quartet that the meal would end and although the budino was a relatively straight forward chocolate pudding both the unthinkably light Tiramisu and Maple Soaked Brioche with roasted apples were nothing short of reference standard, a similar compliment paid to a filled-to-order cannoli with a shell so robust that it actually proved difficult to crack without making a mess, the chocolate chip studded filling hovering somewhere between mascarpone and ricotta in texture without being overly sweet.