Evan Funke’s devotion to Italian technique can be found in his James Beard-nominated restaurant, in a documentary film, across countless accolades and especially in the chef’s cookbook detailing the involved and reverential process he follows when crafting handmade pasta—a signature of Funke’s wildly popular Venice restaurant, Felix. This weekend that appreciation is headed to Hollywood for a six-month residency, where Funke’s new Fingers Crossed will bring Roman culinary tradition to an alley at the Dream Hotel.
While pasta steals the show at Felix, Fingers Crossed flips the focus to round, Roman-style, crisp-crusted pizzas topped with the likes of wild mushroom, prosciutto di Parma, ’nduja, fior di latte cheese, shaved garlic, Sicilian oregano, and squash blossoms, with attention to sourcing from local farms such as Thao Family Farm, JJ’s Lone Daughter Ranch and Valdivia Farms, to name a few.
Starting Saturday and running through at least the next six months, you’ll be able to find about one dozen pizzas in a near-hidden alleyway—called Dream Alley—with an entrance guarded by rustic iron gates. Inside, the 70-seat patio is draped in ivy and distanced, and it’s where you can sit down to find Funke’s pizzas; fritti such as fried squash blossoms or the oxtail meatballs with salsa verde; a handful of bruschette, including cultured butter and Cetara anchovies; and sfizi like a salad of market lettuces with herbs, or the classic pairing of melon with prosciutto.
Fingers Crossed is launching as a pizzeria but this is an Evan Funke venture, after all, so you can expect a few pastas as well. Following this residency’s theme, the pasta dishes are Roman-inspired too, and options include a cacio e pepe, carbonara rigatoni and the classic spaghettone alla gricia.
Rounding out the menu is an Italian-focused wine program, a bevy of traditional Italian cocktails and some with modern spins—and yes, there will be spritzes—plus a full espresso bar and other non-alcoholic options, including Italian sodas.
The entirely outdoor residency is a collaboration between Funke and Relevant Hospitality, the group behind Dream Hollywood and neighboring restaurant TAO, and the idea isn’t simply to provide a stage for or awareness of Roman-style cooking. Its aim is also to provide more stability for restaurant workers during a tumultuous and unprecedented era in the industry, as well as give back: Every month, a portion of Fingers Crossed’s profits will get donated to a new nonprofit such as the Independent Restaurant Coalition or Black Lives Matter.
“We can’t travel, and I miss my friends in Rome so Fingers Crossed is a way to stay connected and pay homage to the extraordinary traditional cooking of The Eternal City,” Funke says in a news release. “This partnership with Relevant has presented an important opportunity and responsibility to support our hospitality community in Los Angeles.”
Fingers Crossed is set to open Saturday, August 29, at 6417 Selma Ave, running Sundays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 5:30pm to 11:00pm, and Fridays and Saturdays from 5:30pm to midnight for the next six months.