The usual Fairfax bustle of late happy hour-goers and business-casual diners was replaced with a different scene Thursday night: first responders and firemen trying to douse the blaze at Jon & Vinny’s. Some diners had to be evacuated from the restaurant, and the entire street was later shut down.
LA Weekly reached owner Vinny Dotolo, who explained that “the cause was the heat of the wood grill slowly heating and drying the insulation behind the wall where the pizza oven is located,” and though the damage is minor, it could have been much worse. The team posted on its Instagram handle @jonnandvinnydelivery, “Jon & Vinny’s will be closed tomorrow, standby for more details. We’ll be back up soon, thankfully nobody was hurt.”
So, now that one of the city’s best Italian restaurants is going to be temporarily out of commission—and with a lazy three-day weekend filled with dining out possibilities ahead—where should you turn for your pizza and meatballs fix? Start with the three restaurants below:
8729 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, (310) 855-7285
The wood oven-fueled pizzeria that sprung up earlier this year in West Hollywood has some of the most authentic pizzas in town thanks to chef Vito Iacopetelli and his family’s 100-year-old Sicilian recipes. The meatballs marinara serve as the perfect appetizer for any of the made-to-order pies, and save room for the Nutella pizza as a grand finale.
641 Highland Ave., Hancock Park, (323) 297-0101
There’s not much that can be said that hasn’t been repeated a thousand times over about Nancy Silverton’s pizza—or most of the other dishes at Pizzeria Mozza, for that matter. But perhaps the meatballs have rolled under the radar for a bit. They’re made with ground pork butt and veal, and their tenderness is anchored day old Italian bread that’s been soaking in milk and gentle hands from the chef. The meatballs get seared in a hot pan, cooked in the oven, and, of course, finished with cheese and marinara.
9575 West Pico Blvd., Pico-Robertson, (310) 277-0210
Sotto’s wood-burning oven is so hot (right about 900 degrees-hot) that their pizzas—depending on the toppings—can cook in less than a minute. The result is a leopard-spotted, charred exterior that makes you wonder how you ever ate monochromatic crust in the first place. Their grilled pork meatballs deviate from the typical marinara theme and are served on a bed of simply dressed greens.