San Francisco restaurant serves up plant-forward Filipino fusion

ByChris Bollini KGO logo
Wednesday, July 3, 2024
SF restaurant serves up plant-forward Filipino fusion
For Deanna Sison, owner of Mestiza restaurant in San Francisco, food is an expression of community.

SAN FRANCISCO -- For Deanna Sison, owner of Mestiza restaurant, food is an expression of community.

"Filipinos very much express their kindness, warmth, generosity through food," Sison explains.

Although Filipino foods are usually fried, high in sodium, and feature a lot of meats, Sison created a fresh take on traditional dishes with sweet potato lumpia and mushroom tofu sisig.

"We call it Filipino fusion..." Sison reveals. "What we wanted to do was offer something a little fresher, more healthy, but didn't lack the familiarity of Filipino flavors."

Although there is meat on the menu, Chef Syl Mislang, well-known for her vegetarian cuisine, added plant-forward, whole foods into the mix.

"We like our meat here, but we also want to make sure that knowing what I know about plants and vegetables and fruits, an opportunity to shine on the table," Mislang reveals.

Mestiza also offers guests a unique dining experience with the Kamayan Feast.

"It's a Filipino tradition. It's a style of community eating. It's cooking together. It's eating together," Sison explains. "Traditionally is a feast that's prepared and laid out on banana leaves to be eaten with your hands."

This communal dining experience allows diners to savor each bite as well as each conversation.

"I think Kamayan Feasts are really a sensory experience and I just think it just enhances the enjoyment, encourages laughter, conversation, just camaraderie," Sison shares.

"I just want to feed everybody that comes through the door and just want them to leave with a smile," Chef Mislang says.

For more information, visit Mestiza's website.