The newly launched Mission D&A is a series of themed, pop-up dinners hosted by dynamic duo David Nayfeld and Angela Pinkerton in the former Roosevelt Tamales Parlor space on 24th Street. But for fans of the former Mexican eatery, don't expect to see any of the old decor in this revamped restaurant. The space was completely renovated by interior designer Jon de la Cruz, owner of DLC-ID—who even personally designed the wallpaper with scenes depicting the two chefs-owners and Nayfeld's dog, Cassidy.
Wallpaper designed by Jon la Cruz. (Kira Lauren Photography)
The idea all stemmed from the fact that Nayfeld, Pinkerton and their business partner Matt Brewer, are all set to open a new rustic Italian restaurant, called Che Fico, in Hayes Valley later this year.
"We had to keep us busy while waiting for the opening of the restaurant," explained Nayfeld. "So we created this new concept which would allow us to explore culinary traditions from around the world. As chefs, we need to be in the kitchen and cook, it is an urgency."
So, the trio decided to start a pop-up restaurant concept, similar to the Mina Test Kitchen, that would allow them to start from scratch every month—including all new decor, menu, and set up.
Mission D&A at work. (Kira Lauren Photography)
This month, Nayfeld and Pinkerton are honoring Nayfeld's Belarusian heritage with traditional dishes revisited for a Californian palate at Mama Galina. The $75 dinner is five-courses, including wine and beer pairings provided by sommelier Peter Weltman. The night starts off with a series of hors d'oeuvres such as rye sprouted bread, house cultured butter, and salmon roe, before moving on to cold appetizers like Ukrainian-cured pork belly, salad Olivier with potatoes, English peas, carrots, and onions, and uzbek plov (lamb and rice pilaf). Baked rice with lamb and Ukrainian-style holubtsi (cabbage leaves stuffed with ground pork) serve as main courses.
Meanwhile, the dining room is warm and friendly with six community tables where guests share their meals with strangers. The culinary feast ends with Pinkerton, who takes the stage to introduce her awe-inspiring array of desserts: tort Napoleon Russe, walnut and honey cake, and kartoshka (truffled candies soaked with spirits). An interesting combination of flavors that close the evening—though they opt for white wine instead of vodka.
(Kira Lauren Photography)
In August, Mama Galina will come down and be replaced with Bistronomy, a modern exploration of the traditional Parisian bistro. We can't wait. // $75/ person (beverages included); 2817 24th St. (Mission), nayfeldpinkertonproject.com