Nonna of Italy
West Hollywood
9255 W. Sunset Blvd. No 100
West Hollywood, CA
310. 270-4455

One Half of The Dining Duo (Scott) used to play in the sand on Maui with little Scotty Zacky, from the Zacky Farms family, and who would have thought back then that he’d grow up to go from chickens to restaurants.

Opening on Sunset, just west of Doheny, in August of 2007, Scott grabbed Paolo Giovani from Il Sole and the charming and accommodating Oscar from Spagos to form a Chef and Maitre D’ force for his new creation. Scott named the restaurant in memory of Paolo’s grandmother (“Nonna” means grandmother in Italian) since so many of the dishes on the menu were inspired by her family recipes. Although Paolo is no longer with the restaurant, the new Chef, Keith Silverton, brings with him a pedigree that includes Chez Panisse in Berkeley, The Water Grill and Dominick’s here in L.A., as well as a variety of specials with his own expert signature. The combination is perfect, and quite frankly, Chef Keith’s food preparation is, in our opinion, a significant upgrade on the dishes now served.
Scott did a terrific job with the space, keeping it open and clean, yet warm and comfortable. Centered on a gorgeous blood-red Murano chandelier, the wood floors and wood ceiling are surrounded by quilted floor to ceiling leather and includes some foreign movie posters from his own collection, which add a splash of color. On warm nights, there’s a great patio area to enjoy, and it doesn’t feel like it’s right on Sunset until myriad celebs like DiCaprio or Ben Stein enters Nonna.
We always start with one of the wood-burning pizzas as an appetizer because it’s that yummy. Thin crust, and with just the right amount of cheese and sauce, it’s a light way to whet your appetite for what’s to follow (all of them are $14). There are a lot of terrific items on the menu, but having been here many times since Chef Keith took over, we recommend listening to, and trying his interesting and delicious specials.
We started with the exceptional salad seasonal special: a fig salad with fresh yellow peaches from Weiser Farms, grilled toasted maytag bleu cheese and brown turkey figs, arranged around wild arugula with truffle vinaigrette and toasted hazel nut, and then drizzled with avocado honey (the latter is only available certain times of the year); sheer fabulous for only $16.
We like a lot of the entrees, but if you’re going to want fabulous poultry, where else to get it but from Scott Zacky. The Roasted Chicken is pan roasted organic chicken breast, cooked in white wine, shallots, herbs de Provence, and served with a side of gold whipped mashed potatoes and sautéed spinach ($23). The chicken was so tender; it was like slicing a sharp knife through soft butter. It was also spiced just enough to be flavorful without being overbearing. Also worth mentioning is the Spaghetti with half a Maine lobster, very well priced at $18, and loaded with cherry tomatoes and flavor. The pasta was cooked just right, and it was teased with tender lobster chunks.
Nonna’s also has a nice wine list that includes about 150 titles, 80% of which are Italian. Most of the selections range at a reasonable $40-80 per bottle. We opted for one of their reasonably priced by the glass, the Bogle Cabernet, $10 by the glass, and big, broad flavors with fruity notes. They always pour generously, sending the message that they are generous with their portions and generous with their attitudes toward patrons. The Prosecco split for only $9 is also a festive and delicious way to start your meal.
This is a great “run-in” place to be comfortable and enjoy good cooking. Scott Zacky named the place after family, and Oscar and the gang treat you like family. If you’re thinking of a “where should we go for dinner tonight” option, this is a great choice!

© The Dining Duo. Visit us at: Review meals are paid for by The Dining Duo. The Dining Duo can be reached at; feel free to send us suggestions for new restaurants to review!

Posted by The Dining Duo | 3:20 PM | , , , , , | 2 comments »

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  1. Katherine Hall Page // October 3, 2010 at 1:11 PM  

    What a find! The photos alone made my mouth water. And a pleasure to see Maine lobster, which is especially abundant right now, used in such a scrumptious way. Lobster used to be thought of as an only for special occasions food—and an expensive choice. It's a tribute to Chef Silverton's creativity that he's using it in a relatively simple pasta dish— simplicity is the true test of a kitchen. After all, it's about the ingredients.
    Thanks, Dining Duo!

  2. Irv Gelb // October 13, 2010 at 8:05 AM  

    This place sounds great! When will I get a chance to join the Dining Duo on one of their gastronomic adventures?

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