Thursday, November 20, 2014

mozzeria: san francisco's deaf restaurant

mozzeria was the most memorable restaurant experience
we've had. not only because of the incredible zagat-rated
food and wood-fired pizzas, but because there is 
truly something special and different about this place.
we've never been anywhere like this in our lives.
it is owned by melody & russell stein, a deaf couple 
who created this restaurant which employs all 
deaf or hard-of-hearing employees. this incredible 
aspect of the restaurant makes for a special 
atmosphere that will definitely make you stop, 
slow down, notice, and enjoy your meal. 
you'll want to return again and again. 
when my brother and sister-in-law were visiting us
last weekend, we knew we had to take them here...
especially because their little son zach {our nephew}
was born with a hearing loss. obviously when someone
in your family is affected with something, it becomes
more personal and makes me so much more aware
and appreciative of others with similar situations.
you also realize that it is not a disability, but a 
gift and something that makes them special. my
sister-in-law whitney was so prepared to have a
 child with a hearing loss, as she had learned sign 
language during college and took multiple trips
to kenya to work at deaf orphanages. she has a 
special connection to the deaf community and
it was strengthened even more with little z.
for all these reasons, we were excited to take her
to mozzeria! because this place has great food on
its own, it doesn't boast or publicize the deaf
aspect at all {it doesn't need to!} so, we didn't 
tell jeff & whit about that part. we simply took
a cab, walked in, and i watched them slowly
realize what this restaurant entailed.
^^ you walk in and you can circle whether you have a 
reservation, and write down your name. the restaurant
is soothingly quiet, with some people talking but lots of
others signing to each other. it is one of the coolest and
most beautiful things to look around and see many diners,
chefs, and waiters speaking in sign language. whitney
picked up on it immediately and tears came to her eyes
as she realized where we were! she had heard about it
before in an article, and remembered it at that moment.
i was so glad we had waited to come here with whit & jeff!
we loved our darling waitress, and we wrote down our 
orders while whitney signed and made new friends like 
she always does. the waitress showed us her favorites,
and we went with two amazing salads and two pizzas.
this kale salad packed with roasted beets, chevre, candied 
almonds, and the best lemon vinaigrette started us off right. 
i don't know what it is about a good, fresh salad, but it makes 
me love a place immediately. this salad starts your meal right.
^^ as does the pumpkin salad with argula // pepita // 
sesame seed / /grana padano // currants and a 
homemade port vinaigrette. this salad is perfect for
 fall and i probably ate most of it at our table :)
the pizza came out and satisfied all of us. we tried the 
quattro formaggi {four cheese} pizza, (yum!)
^^ as well as the italian sausage {boys choice}
the crust was done to perfection on both, and 
the flavors were fresh and authentic. 
i'd come back for this great pizza.
^^ here's whit showing pictures of little zach
and making new friends through sign language.
there is such a great community and a lot of groups
 who regularly meet at mozzeria, both hearing and deaf.
^^ i could have watched them sign all night! 
^^ one more shot of that perfect crust
{the most important part!}
^^ right by the door they have this painting showing
how to say "pizza" in sign language, which i loved! 
^^ here's jeff & chase making "pizza" in sign language 
together with their hands. i loved this memorable 
night and we all promised we would come back
with zach and eat here in the future!

mozzeria doesn't advertise the unique experience
of the restaurant -- they let the food speak for
itself, and people who know about it continue
to come back. we will be some of those people
now, and i hope you will too when you're in SF!
thank you mozzeria for the great meal and
absolutely wonderful, memorable experience.



  1. That's such a special thing to share with them!

  2. i am definitely taking my family here! that is the coolest experience, and so special to share it with them :)

    xoxo, kiely

  3. i've sort of been dying to go there. (ryans roommate in college was deaf, and i stuided asl for a bit in college.) i'm always hesitant to go somewhere until we get a personal review from a place haha. but now i'm glad to see you loved it, we will definitely try it out.

    1. YES. tell us when you're going and we'll come with !!!! :)

  4. Mmm I definitely want to try this. What a great place!

  5. What a wonderful experience! I love going to places like this and watching people sign to each other is so amazing.

  6. i want to cry! i love this. what a cool place. add it to the bucket list ;)

  7. that place seems so cool! I've never heard of it before! I took sign language in college and we had to go to some deaf events as participation so we went to see a play put on by a deaf school over in fremont and it was very eye opening and so much fun to watch.

  8. This was such a thoughtful move on your part. I love this post and love sharing the experience.

  9. I have heard about this place! Would love to take my sister to it (shes deaf) and would love it

  10. There is a restaurant in Toronto that is similar

  11. as a deaf person who used to live in the bay and frequented mozzeria, i loved this post! you are absolutely right; their crust is perfection. my favorite pizza is the radicchio!

  12. Whoa -- looks like you guys ran into Sean Virnig, the superintendent of the California School for the Deaf in Fremont and Manny Johnson of ASL Nook. It's hard to tell exactly but it looks like Raja Rajeshwari of Deafhood Yoga is also pictured. Nice to bump into Deaf leaders and business owners in the community!

    1. i love that you know them! what a great night this was. xoxo


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