Jon Shook & Vinny Dotolo

son of a gun los angeles

As staunch Manhattanites, we can still proclaim our love for Los Angeles here at The New Potato. There are a number of reasons to love what many call ‘La La Land.” For us, two of them come in the form of restaurateurs Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo. The two are responsible for some serious LA foodie favorites like Animal, Son of a Gun and Trois Mec. When the cold weather hits, we suggest going West if only to eat your way through all three spots and then head back East (perhaps with an extra food layer to shield you from the cold). We chatted with the two about their personal experience with the LA food scene, what menu items are must-trys at their restaurants and why Uni is overrated…

animal los angeles menu

JON SHOOK

From start to finish, what would be your ideal food day?

I would start by enjoying an H&H bagel with a nice crisp cold bottle of water, preferably in a glass. For lunch, I would have a light sushi lunch prepared by Nobu at my house, while enjoying wine spritzers all throughout the day. For dinner, I would like a smorgasbord of some of my favorite meats accompanied by sides that must include prime-rib, fried chicken and braised short ribs with seasonal vegetables, fresh homemade pasta and mashed potatoes. I would save some room to make myself sick off soft-serve ice cream and fresh baked brownies.

How do you always start your day? 

A bottle of water and a shower.

What ingredient do you consider overrated?

Uni.

Which ingredient makes everything better?

Salt.

Advice to young chefs/restauranteurs…

Go out to eat.

A quintessential dish in three steps…

Anything fried. Flour, egg wash, flour, fry (4 steps).

Go-to recipe for weeknight eating in…

Rib-eye nachos!

What can be seen at all your restaurants that screams Jon/Vinny? 

All-Clad pans.

Your favorite menu item at each restaurant…

It changes depending on my mood. The Smoked Fish Dip at Son of a Gun, the Turkey Leg at Animal, the Fried Tapioca at Trois Mec and the Omelet at Petit Trois.  

What would your last meal be? Who would it be with?

It would be my ideal day of food (answer above) with my daughter and Shiri – but Shiri is only allowed at lunch.

A passion outside of food…

Sleeping.

What are your favorite cities for food and what restaurants do you go to in each?

My favorite city is the city I live in. I go to Matsuhisa, Ruen Pair, Madeo, Mario’s Peruvian & Seafood and Ink.

In the same vein as ‘what is the new black’ in fashion, what is ‘the new potato’ right now? 

The new potato is Uni.

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