How Jimmy Kimmel Does Italian Food

L.A.’s king of late night spills where to go, what to order, and proves why he’s the city’s marinara maestro

To call Jimmy Kimmel a “foodie” doesn’t really cover it. (He also loathes he term.) Let’s just say he makes his own pizza dough using a yeast starter from Ischia, his family’s ancestral home in Italy. The flour? He mills it himself, of course. His homemade tomato sauce features the San Marzano tomatoes he grows in his backyard, not far from his wood-fired pizza oven. But it’s not just pizza—Jimmy Kimmel is a gastronome of the highest order. Heck, he has two sous vide circulators in his office. His office. We sat down with the Jimmy Kimmel Live! host for our November issue cover story on Italian food. Along with family anecdotes and a killer marinara recipe, Jimmy generously shares his favorite places to chow (or is it ciao?) around town.*

Angelini Osteria


“I think my favorite Italian restaurant here is Angelini Osteria. I like to sit at the counter in the back, by the oven, which is usually where they put you if they don’t have any other seats. I just like to watch them work the oven. And I love the very crisp flatbread that comes out of it. They don’t make it anywhere else that I know of like this. They use sparkling water in the dough, and that’s what gives it that lightness and crispiness. I also love the trofie there with the shrimp and the little cherry tomatoes.”

La Sosta Enoteca


“I’ve only eaten here 5,000 times. It’s very good. Their gnocchi with lobster sauce is excellent.”

Jon & Vinny’s


photograph by Dylan and Jeni

“This place is new, and they have these meatballs with ricotta cheese and ciabatta. It’s fantastic. They pour heavy cream into the ricotta and mix it in to make it even heartier. I don’t like that they give you ranch dip with your pizza crust though. I find that offensive… But really, Jon Shook catered my wedding. I love all of his spots.”

Giorgio Baldi


Photograph courtesy instagram/rachel_roy

“The sweet corn agnolotti at Spago is great, but I have to say, it’s second to the agnolotti with sweet corn and white truffles at Giorgio Baldi.”

Bay Cities Italian Deli


“I love Bay Cities. I think it’s just as good as any Italian deli in New York, and I’ve had people from New York say the same thing, and they’re very biased, as you know. The Godmother is a classic. Their bread is fantastic, and often on Super Bowl Sundays I will get a huge tray of meatballs and some imported Parmesan and just huge loaves of bread, and everybody makes sandwiches. I can eat like 30 of those meatballs.”



“I had the pork shank there. It was fantastic. The fusilli with clams is great, and so is the tortellini in brodo. I love this restaurant.”

Larchmont Village Wine


photograph courtesy instagram/larchmontvillagewine

“They have great sandwiches—great prosciutto, their salami is great.”



photograph courtesy yelp/Tara C.

“Whatever your thoughts on Gjelina, they have great pizza. Also, the squid ink tagliolini is very good.”


“I always get the pasta ‘fajule,’ as we say, or e faglioli. They have a giant artichoke there with broth in it, too, that’s really great.”



photograph courtesy yelp/Tamar A.

“I think Terroni so good and just a solid Italian restaurant. It’s just fun to eat at.”

Frankie’s on Melrose


photograph courtesy yelp/Nicole L.

“Frankie’s has good clams on the half shell. If you’re looking for an authentic New York experience this is where to go. It’s the kind of place where you just sit at the bar and have a cocktail, and eat some clams.”

Chi Spacca


“I don’t even know if it counts as Italian, but you have to have the tomahawk chop there. I think they put fennel pollen on it or something so it’s sort of Italian. Anyway, it’s great.”

Eagle Rock Italian Bakery


photograph courtesy yelp/ Carolyn C.

“They have the best cannoli. I order a bunch from here every Christmas Eve.”



“One of the things I like about Bestia is they have zeppole, which are really the reason I started the San Gennaro feast here. For those who don’t know it’s kind of like the Italian beignet. It’s not something you see much outside of a street fair. When they’re made right, they’re great.”

*Need proof of how seriously Kimmel took these recommendations? Check out these hand-scrawled notes he brought to our interview:

Jimmy Kimmel's handwritten notes
Jimmy Kimmel’s handwritten notes

Photography by Lesley Suter














Photographs courtesy: (3) and (5) by Dylan + Jeni; (4) instagram/rachel_roy; (7) instagram/larchmontvillagewine; (8) yelp/Tara C.; (10) yelp/Tamar A.; (11) yelp/Nicole L.; (13) yelp/Carolyn C. All other photographs courtesy