Mother Wolf is a Roman-style Italian eating place in Hollywood.
A restaurant I have been wanting to try for over a year? One that every “trendy” LA person has tried? The answer is: Mother Wolf. I had been waiting to get a reservation at this restaurant for a while now, so I was beyond thrilled I had the chance to go this past week.
The exterior of Mother Wolf is clean and neat, with the logo, which consists of humans feeding off a wolf, and the restaurant name printed in all capital letters on the window. The heavy gold doors to enter and exit the restaurant is the first touch of the classy, prestigious vibe. Upon walking in, you are instantly transported out of LA. The bar area is beautifully displayed, with each table in its own little bubble, reflective mirrors on the walls, dim-lit lighting, and everything in red.
We were seated at a table near Mother Wolf’s open kitchen, which is located in the back. This was the perfect table to sit at to be able to soak in the atmosphere of the restaurant, from the scents leaving the open kitchen each time a dish was brought out to being able to see each new party that entered the restaurant. The sensory experience I had while at Mother Wolf was incredible– from the scents of fresh vegetables, pizza dough, and the various meats and fish blossoming out of the kitchen, to the visually pleasing views inside the restaurant of the pizza-making and open-air kitchen, to each bite of the dishes we ordered that was either crunchy (from the squash blossoms) or softer (from the pastas).
When going to fine-dining restaurants, I always try to order things out of the following three categories: something the restaurant is known for, something I typically order or am used to, and something I typically would not order but the waiter recommends.
To start, we ordered the squash blossoms, a dish the restaurant is known for perfecting. Since Mother Wolf is known for this dish, I was not going to miss out on trying them. They were so unique, from the salty, buttery taste of the crunchy exterior, to the melt-in-your-mouth texture of the squash inside, and ultimately became one of my new favorite dishes.
Then we got the Margherita pizza, which is a classic as it appears on most Italian restaurant menus and is something I frequently order. The way in which a restaurant handles something so mainstream is telling whether or not a restaurant can distinguish itself from other restaurants even though the dish is the “same” universally. In this case, I appreciated how the thin crust could support the toppings. I prefer thin crust, but one of my pet peeves is when the toppings fall off because the dough is not supportive enough. Therefore, Mother Wolf adequately mastered the perfect topping ratio for thin crust, which made each slice enjoyable.
Up next, we devoured two pastas: the rigatoni al vaccinara and the tonnarelli cacio e pepe. The rigatoni dish was something the waiter recommended to us. It consisted of oxtail ragu, guanciale, peperoncino, and pecorino romano. The pasta was cooked to perfection, and the meat sauce had such incredible, rich flavoring that the homemade pasta could really hold. The cacio e pepe was really good too, but I preferred the rigatoni dish. What I appreciated about the cacio e pepe was that the cream sauce was not too rich or thick; however, it could have used a little bit more flavoring (possibly even more pepper flakes).
Lastly, we tried the braised lamb belly, Arrosticini, which came with insalata di cipollina and a lemon sauce. I did not try this dish, but my friends said that the lamb was cooked to perfection, and the salad and sauce on the meat went really well together.
All of the food was perfect for sharing amongst our group of four people, both in terms of portion and diversity of flavors and trying various things on the menu.
The food at Mother Wolf was amazing, but the staff and service were next level. You truly get what you are paying for here. You are never left with an empty glass waiting for a refill, and anyone and everyone is willing to answer any questions you may have about the restaurant, the menu, the location, etc. I had the amazing opportunity to meet Chef Evan Funke after our meal, which completely made my entire night and was the perfect cherry on top of the great experience. As mentioned earlier, the ambiance of the place is phenomenal from the second you walk into the second you leave. The white marble floor, the wooden frames, the various styles and sizes of mirrors, and the blue patterned wallpaper made even the bathroom aesthetically pleasing and photo-worthy.
All in all, I am waiting for an occasion to go back to Mother Wolf because I am already craving the squash blossoms again. Next time, I am most definitely going to try different items off the menu because you never know what Chef Evan Funke might do to spice up what might be thought of as normal.