RR: Inside Funke, the Massive Beverly Hills Pasta Palace by One of America’s Finest Sfoglinos
The centerpiece is a “pasta lab” where you can watch the team hard at work.
Evan Funke’s name has long been synonymous with pasta in the L.A. dining scene, but now he’s taking that association a tad more literally.
On Friday, the lauded chef opened Funke, a namesake restaurant in Beverly Hills where he’s churning out stand-by faves from his other restaurants, Felix and Mother Wolf, alongside fresh dishes inspired by regional Italian classics. In the center of it all is a “pasta lab” where Funke and his team are creating a dozen different shapes, six hand-rolled and six extruded, according to Eater L.A.
“This theatrical environment of pasta-making provides the guests with this transportive experience,” Funke told Eater. “I don’t think it’s good enough to just have good food or a good wine list or a nice ambience. Guests are looking to be transported to another place, and storytelling is the biggest component of that for me.”
Alongside the pastas—including tagliatelle Bolognese, cacio e pepe, and a new agnolotti dal plin—Funke is serving Felix’s signature sfincione, here with a new variation including tomato, anchovy, caciocavallo cheese, and onion. There’s also cipollina (a savory puff pastry stuffed with onions, provolone, and tomato); loads of seasonal vegetables like artichokes, asparagus, and fava beans; and larger plates including whole-roasted fish, steak, and the ribeye cap that Funke offers at all his restaurants.
The desserts, spearheaded by Shannon Swindle—who’s also making the bread and Neapolitan-style pizzas—draw a lot of their influence from Sicily, the Italian region most inspiring Funke right now. You can expect granita with brioche à tête, gelato and sorbet, and cannoli, among other sweet treats. Similarly, seasonal cocktails will be takes on Italian classics, and the wine list is composed of labels only from Italy (except for the Champagne, which understandably comes from France).
While many guests will certainly be stopping by for Funke’s cuisine, the chef and his team spent just as much time—if not more—working on the design of the restaurant. Over three years, Funke teamed up with the real-estate expert Kurt Rappaport, the architect Dan Brunn, and the designer Clint Nicholas to build out a massive, 10,000-square-foot space that still feels homey.
“We wanted to create a restaurant that felt like a residence; it’s on three levels that all feel interconnected,” Rappaport told Eater.
Up on the rooftop, you’ll find Bar Funke, decked out with a pink onyx bar almost as stunning as the views out toward the Hollywood Hills. Here, a separate menu of small plates is available, including crudo, Petrossian caviar service, and desserts. The striking outdoor spot—for walk-ins only—is simply the jewel atop Funke’s new pasta palace.
Click here to read the article on robbreport.com.