Los Angeles can always use more pasta, right?

Please note that this story was originally published in September 2021. Mother Wolf is fully open now.

Chef Evan Funke, known for the regional Italian restaurant Felix in Venice, sets the tone for Italian food in Los Angeles. Now, foodies have another reason to rejoice: Funke just announced plans to open his second brick and mortar in Hollywood.

Mother Wolf is set to open this fall in the historic Citizen News Building, which was built in 1931 and housed the Hollywood Citizen News, the fourth-largest paper in the city at the time. The two-story Art Deco building became a landmark in late 2019 and will be home to Funke’s new restaurant as well as private event spaces.

The restaurant as a whole will pay tribute to “Rome’s mythological origin story of Remus, Romulus, and the Lupa Capitolina” according to a press release, “With Rome as the singular inspiration for Mother Wolf, Funke’s rich and soulful cooking is a mosaic of the ancient, pastoral, and urban culinary heritage of Roman cuisine.”

The menu will feature traditional dishes like “wafer-thin wood-fired pizzas, hyper-seasonal antipasti,” according to the release, as well as the handmade and thoughtfully designed pastas for which Funke is known.

During the pandemic, Funke opened a pop-up in Hollywood called Fingers Crossed, which was inspired by his time spent in Rome as well as the cities that had an influence on his cooking. Last we caught up with Funke, Fingers Crossed had just closed and he shared with us the secret to making his porchetta made popular after he served it out of a food truck around Los Angeles.

While Fingers Crossed featured iron gates and vines wrapping around the interior inspired by the streets of Rome, Funke looks to create an illustrious dining experience in partnership with Ten Five Hospitality; the Ten Five team also worked on the neighboring Tommie Hollywood. As an accompaniment to the pastas and seasonal antipasti, diners can expect a thoughtfully curated wine cellar of Italian varieties.

While dining at Felix a few months ago, I indulged in two orders of the fluffy focaccia, head-on prawns in a bright green bagnetto sauce, and an array of pastas from each region on the menu. Getting a slot at the reservation-only dinner restaurant on Abbot Kinney was no easy task, but as each dish made its way to the table, I knew it had been worth the wait. Mother Wolf will be located on Wilcox Avenue in Hollywood.