Two veterans from popular Bay Area restaurants AL’s Place and Rooster and Rice are bringing a modern Italian restaurant to the Mission this spring.
Itria is taking over the former Obispo space at 3266 24th Street, Thad Vogler’s colorful and short-lived rum bar, which sadly permanently closed during the pandemic, leaving the prime Mission location empty for more than a year. Now, Itria is a new project from Daniel Evers, a chef who came through the kitchens of vegetable-centric AL’s Place and pasta-obsessed Cotogna. He’s teaming up with Min Park for the new restaurant, an industry expert with experience managing operations and marketing for restaurants like the popular fast-casual Rooster and Rice, as well as international Korean fried chicken chain Bonchon.
Like countless restaurateurs across the Bay Area, Evers and Park are paring back their full opening plans due to the COVID-19 pandemic. When Itria opens this spring, the restaurant will serve a menu of five or so rectangular pan pizzas for takeout and delivery. One is topped with soppressata and charred broccoli rabe, while another — a Hawaiian-style pie made with bacon, pineapple, and fresno peppers — nods to the Round Table Pizza and Domino’s Pizza deliveries of the chef’s childhood.
Rectangular pies might call to mind the pizzerias of Detroit, but Evers says his pan pizza goes after that rare pairing of crisp-on-bottom, bubbly-on-top crust. “I wanted to make a dough that’s almost better after spending 20 minutes in a pizza box,” he says. A handful of sides, including meatballs, a chopped salad, and a Caesar salad, will also be available at opening.
Due to restrictions on indoor dining in San Francisco, where restaurants are currently only allowed to operate at 50 percent capacity, Itria will only be available for takeout and delivery. But bigger plans are also in the works: When the restaurant reopens for indoor dining, likely this summer, its menu will include lots of wine, housemade pastas, and a daily selection of crudo.
Itria is a bit of a homecoming for Evers, who grew up in the Bay Area before moving to New York for culinary school. While there, he trained under Italian restaurant phenom Michael White, learning how to make fresh pasta by hand in the kitchen of the two-Michelin-starred Marea. The chef returned to San Francisco in the summer of 2017 and has since worked in the kitchens of acclaimed Bay Area restaurants, including AL’s Place in the Mission and Cotogna in Jackson Square. Itria is his first solo project and breakout restaurant. Stay tuned for bubbly pizza updates.