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SF Eats: Mission Pie to close, Azalina's debuts new restaurant, Clusterfest's food lineup, more

Photo: Alisa Scerrato/Hoodline
By Alisa Scerrato - Published on June 18, 2019.

In this edition, a Malaysian restaurant opens in Noe Valley, a popular Mission eatery announces it will shutter, and the city's big comedy festival runs down its food lineup.

Openings

Noe Valley

Mahila (1320 Castro St.)

Photo: Azalina's Malasian/Facebook

Azalina Eusope, the chef behind Azalina’s Malaysian, has opened her first full-service restaurant. Mahila debuted this past weekend in Noe Valley's former Contigo space

Mahila will focus on Mamak food, made by members of the Muslim minority group in Malaysia. The cuisine blends Chinese, Indian and Polynesian/Malay influences, with dishes like sweet potato dumplings, salted fish curry, mee mamak (spicy stir-fried noodles) and pasembur (a salad of shredded cucumbers, potatoes, bean curd, turnips, bean sprouts, and seafood with a spicy nut sauce).  

For drinks, Mahila will offer beer, wine and teh tarik, a hot pulled milk tea.

Eusope comes from a multi-generational family legacy of street food vendors, and began her career as a farmer’s market vendor in San Francisco in 2010. She also operates a stand in The Market in the Twitter building.

The move to Noe Valley was meant to be, she told Hoodline. "Most of the time, when I am interested in a space, it takes some tugging and pulling. This space, however, was moving forward, which is a good sign," she said.

"It’s not easy, but it did happen after almost half a year of trying to get all the permitting going."

Closures

Mission

Misson Pie (2901 Mission St.)

Mission Pie co-owners Karen Heisler and Krystin Rubin. | Photo: Alisa Scerrato/Hoodline

After 12 years, Mission Pie will shutter on September 1. In a story in Mission Local, married owners Karen Heisler and Krystin Rubin explained in detail how the cost of living in San Francisco has made it too difficult for their business to sustain itself while remaining true to its principles. 

"The costs of operating Mission Pie have increased substantially, mostly in direct reflection of the extraordinary increase in the cost of living in the Bay Area," Heisler and Rubin wrote in a Facebook post. "As a result of the increasing costs, Mission Pie's profitability curve has been leveling and even tipping downward, even as we've gotten 'busier.' "

As the pair note in the Mission Local story, they've struggled to find employees who can afford to live in the Bay Area on what they're able to pay, despite offering salaries and benefits that are very generous by the standards of other local food businesses.

Partnering with delivery services, which charge 30% fees, would destroy their bottom line, and their commitment to using only peak-season ingredients from local farms makes selling their pies commercially a difficult proposition.

"After a lot of deliberation, we concluded that we don't want to abandon our core values and we don't want to ask our community to bear witness to the slow collapse of a beloved place," the Facebook post concludes. "So come let us thank you for the last 12 years. We're glad we got to spend it with you."

Events

Civic Center

Clusterfest (Civic Center Plaza and Bill Graham Civic Auditorium)

Photo: Southpaw BBQ

This weekend, Comedy Central’s Clusterfest will return to Civic Center for a third year of comedy, music, interactive exhibits — and food. 

This year’s culinary lineup will include Southpaw BBQ, Kronnerburger, Señor Sisig, Curry Up Now, Humphrey Slocombe and more.

A "Drunk History"-themed Beer Garden will serve “reality bites” such as "Al Capone’s Italian Sausage" on a bun with marinara, peppers and onions, or "Alexander Hamiltots" with corn dog muffins.

Tickets remain available on the Clusterfest website.

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