To-Go Takes is Resy’s regular feature wherein we quiz the folks behind some of our favorite restaurants about all things related to takeout.
In this edition, we speak to Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, chefs, owners and partners in a slew of iconic Los Angeles restaurants, including Animal, Son of a Gun, Jon & Vinny’s, Petit Trois with Ludo Lefebvre, Kismet with Sara Kramer and Sarah Hymanson, and Helen’s Wines with Helen Johannesen. At the beginning of the pandemic, the two closed all of their restaurants, with some returning as marketplaces only (Animal), and others as a hub for takeout only (Jon & Vinny’s). But with mandates lifting, there are new outdoor dining options — Jon & Vinny’s Brentwood now has an elaborate parking lot patio — and reopenings, including indoor dining at their Italian-American original on Fairfax. Moving forward hasn’t diminished their love of takeout, either for their own families or customers. Below, the two share some of their favorite tips, tricks, cocktails, and regular stops.
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Restaurants: Jon + Vinny’s, Son of a Gun, Petit Trois, Kismet
Name + Title: Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, Chefs & Co-Owners
Resy: What’s your favorite dish from any of the takeout menus?
Dotolo: My favorite dish at Son of a Gun is also the trout almondine. You would never think that fish travels well, but it does! At Jon & Vinny’s, so many things, but in particular the chicken cutlet. It’s good hot or cold.
Where are you getting takeout from these days? What’s your go-to order?
Shook: My order really depends on my mood, but I have to give a shoutout to Bombay Palace in Beverly Hills and Luv2eat Thai in Hollywood. At Luv2eat Thai, we get spring rolls, hat yai fried chicken, beef pad see ew, red curry, sticky rice, and the wifey likes eggplant tofu. If I’m super hungry, I’ll add some tom yum soup.
Dotolo: I have been trying to spread out where I’m getting takeout and have been ordering from everywhere, just spread my support. We’ll get Italian to Thai to Armenian to Chinese to Japanese. I do like Lal Mirch Indian Restaurant, the malai kofta, saag paneer, and chicken tikka masala. At Mizlala on Adams, falafel, fries, and chicken shawarma.
What’s a tip someone can do to amp up takeout from your restaurants?
Shook: The best dish to always reheat are the meatballs from Jon & Vinny’s. Insider tip: Always order extra to pop into the oven the next day. Also, be sure to get an order of ranch. And for the salad pizza, dress the salad before topping the pie.
Dotolo: I’ll add, never heat anything in the microwave. Always do it in the oven or pan, whatever it is.
What’s your favorite place for to-go cocktails?
Shook: Been finding myself drinking more bourbon on the rocks, so I’ll pop by a local store. My go-to bourbon right now is Pappy Van Winkle. Also been ordering more wine from Helen’s Wines.
Dotolo: I like Dear John’s.
What single restaurant dish would you walk miles for?
Shook: Anything from Nobu.
Dotolo: The chocolate croissant and canelé from Konbi.
What was your first meal out when restaurants reopened?
Shook: My first meal was breakfast with my kids at Jon & Vinny’s.
Dotolo: South Beverly Grill with my kids.
What do you miss most about restaurants being fully open?
Shook: I miss customer service, just the customer interaction, and the overall experience and energy of the restaurants.
Dotolo: I miss eating off a real plate instead of out of to-go containers.
Jon + Vinny’s Brentwood has reopened with outdoor seating; make reservations here.
Kismet is currently only open for takeout and delivery.
Animal remains temporarily closed.