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  • Writer's pictureMaya

Mestiza Reopens with a Bang: Delicious Filipino Dishes and Kamayan Dinners Storms SoMa in San Francisco

A vibrant display of Filipino dishes arranged on a table, with colorful plates and utensils. The aroma of delicious cuisine fills the air, inviting diners to indulge in traditional Filipino flavors at Mestiza in San Francisco's SoMa district.

Not so long ago, the year 2020, to be precise, the world was hit with a global pandemic which saw lots of businesses close down. Sadly, one of them is the famous Filipino-Mexican street food eatery Mestiza, which temporarily put a hold on its business in April 2020. However, it seems the pandemic was a blessing in disguise as the owner, Deanna Sison, is now poised for a remarkable comeback, with chef Syl Mislang leading the fort. Mestiza's new home is set for SoMa in San Francisco. 

Their reopening sees Mestiza in the heart of San Francisco's Filipino Cultural District, just a stroll away from Oracle Park, commencing on Thursday, April 18. The restaurant will adopt a fast-casual approach, taking over the former Primo Patio space and catering to the local community with a grab-and-go case and a convenient takeout window, perfect for both neighborhood residents and great fans heading to games.

Now for the juicy bit. The new Chef, Syl Mislang, specially curates Mestiza’s new menu, which consists of small bowls, plates and wraps that center on vegetables—highlights the traditional ways of Filipino cuisine and also Mislang’s cooking. Drawing from Mislang's culinary expertise, previously showcased at the vegan pop-up Roaming Spoon, Mestiza’s menu will feature a perfect mix of vegan-infused dishes alongside meaty dishes. So, it is a place for everyone to find their taste. Some noteworthy dishes will be the restaurant’s chicken inasal, which is a succulent grilled chicken accompanied by green papaya achara, a tangy pickled relish, and the braised pork adobo wrap. What a way to ignite our taste buds with flavorful Filipino cuisine. 

However, Mestiza isn’t done yet; Mislang’s culinary expertise extends beyond conventional ideas. Her creations in vegetarian and vegan dishes are nothing short of exquisite. For example, her recreation of the lumpia, a traditional Filipino dish usually made with pork or beef, is reimagined with sweet potato filling and served with pineapple chile jam. Another example is the calabasa coconut curry with aji verde, which features squash as the star ingredient and combines flavors inspired by Mislang's Filipino and Mexican touch. In her version of the popular Filipino dish sisig, pork jowl is replaced with mushroom tempeh, accompanied by chile garlic crisp and pickled red onions. One other thing the locals can anticipate is refreshing salads like the rainbow salad with sesame-miso dressing.

Deanna Sison has thoughtfully prepared takeout options which are amazing. However, those who choose to dine in will be treated to a delightful experience on the lush patio adorned with a vibrant mural titled "Vanilla Sky" by artist Cheyenne Randall. The mural, showcasing Filipina singer Grace Nono, serves as a heartfelt homage to both the entertainer and the Filipino heritage of Mislang and Sison. The patio is adorned with plants, creating a serene atmosphere.

Additionally, the patio is the setting for an exclusive dining experience called the Mestiza experience, featuring a reservation-only kamayan feast starting in May. This feast showcases Filipino cuisine served family-style on a table lined with banana leaves, where guests are encouraged to eat with their hands. The menu includes delectable dishes such as pork belly, whole shrimp, chicken skewers, garlic rice, and more.

Kamayan dining is a rarity among Filipino restaurants due to its intricate nature, which typically requires full participation from everyone at the table. However, Mislang's kamayan dinner is unique in its emphasis on vegetables, featuring items like sweet potato lumpia, grilled eggplant, pickled cucumbers, baby bok choy, and slices of sweet pineapple.

To top the cherry on the cake, the menu offers oat milk soft serve, accompanied by a variety of toppings like pinipig (toasted rice) and ube brownies. For drinks, enjoy craft beer, local wine, and soju cocktails, or opt for nonalcoholic options such as pineapple-ginger shrub and cold brew featuring Barako coffee.

The Mestiza restaurant's return is nothing short of a bang. Deanna Sison took time and careful preparations for this relaunch. Not to forget the beautiful and experienced chef Syl Mislang, who brought the traditional Filipino touch to the menu. The folks of SoMa are in it for a delicious treat and experience at Mestiza!

DISCLAIMER: This article is informative and not for promotional purposes. Moreover, the content belongs to the owner, and there are no affiliations or marketing motives behind it.


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