Helen’s Wine Bar inside Jon & Vinny’s in Beverly Hills.
The Jon & Vinny’s pasta empire expanded into Beverly Hills at 456 North Bedford Drive on Monday, October 31. The menu of Italian American fare will be familiar to longtime diners with pizzas, pastas, and rainbow cookies. The new location boasts a wine and espresso bar near the entrance of the 800-square-foot space from Helen Johannesen, a longtime collaborator and partner of chef-owners Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo. It’s the first wine bar from Johannesen, whose Helen’s Wines retail shops are tucked inside of Jon & Vinny’s three other restaurants on Fairfax and in Brentwood and View Park.
“We felt the space and Beverly Hills would benefit from a new version of Helen’s, an inside-out Helen’s,” says Johannesen. The all-day counter serves multiple purposes: an espresso bar in the morning and an aperitivo bar in the evenings. To drink are wines by the glass or flight, and cocktails like Aperol spritzes and espresso martinis made with sake. Complementary snacks are served between 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily.
Jon & Vinny’s is open daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Reservations can be made via Resy, takeout and delivery can be found on DoorDash.
The new dining room at Jon & Vinny’s in Beverly Hills.
A Cafe Gratitude dinner collaboration with Anne Thornton
Cafe Gratitude’s executive chef Dreux Ellis will be linking up with vegan chef Anne Thornton (formerly Neuehouse, Little Pine) for a one-night dinner on November 10 at 7 p.m. The four-course squash celebration will include dishes like squash gnocchi in a rosemary-thyme pesto cream and five-spice pumpkin mousse. Tickets are $50 and available on Eventbrite, with the option of adding on sommelier Taylor Grant’s wine pairings for an additional $15 per course.
LA’s Salvadoran vendors struggle to stay afloat
Karla Tatiana Vasquez wrote a deep-dive for the Los Angeles Times about the past, present, and uncertain future of an iconic vendor market in LA’s El Salvador Community Corridor. The market has been an integral part of the community for more than 20 years.
Buvette transforms into a sparkling wine bar
Sherman Oaks’s Buvette flipped into a sparkling wine-focused spot with a new tinned fish and charcuterie menu last week. Expect an expansive bubbly selection (with over 40 bottles of sparkling, rosés, and Champagnes) and the option for a choose-your-own-adventure flight curated by co-owner and sommelier Rebecca Phillips, who also co-owns Vintage Wine + Eats in Studio City.
The SGV’s Luminarias gets a major makeover and new menu
The new iteration of San Gabriel Valley hilltop restaurant Luminarias will be unveiled on November 2 after a multimillion dollar remodel. The over 40-year-old restaurant’s revamp includes new experiences, like the option of dining in large swings instead of chairs and sitting at a chef’s table. It will have a completely new food and drink program, with dishes like beef birria empanadas and grilled oysters with a chicharrónes crumble; and drinks like a pisco sour with tingly Sichuan buttons. Reservations are available on the restaurant’s website.
A corn dog crawl in Chinatown
A corn dog crawl is taking place from November 3 to 6 in Chinatown, with Highland Park Brewery, Homage Brewing, Burgerlords, and Pearl River Deli creating their own takes on the beloved dish. In addition, there will be limited edition merchandise and a hot sauce collaboration from Burgerlords and Eszette (of Sbez Hot Sauce). Follow Highland Park Brewery’s Instagram for more details.