Of the official cultural designations that San Francisco has bestowed on several historic neighborhoods lately, the Compton’s LGBT District (in the Tenderloin) and Calle 24 (in the Mission) have gotten most of the attention. But there’s also Soma Pilipinas, a quadrant running from Second to 11th streets between Market and Brannan that acknowledges the century-long presence of Filipino people in SoMa and their contributions to the culture of the wider Bay Area.
Right in the middle of Soma Pilipinas is the Old Mint, which on Friday, Sept. 15 — and every third Friday thereafter — will host the second UNDISCOVERED SF, a night market with 20 food vendors catering to the Pinoy population (and to non-Filipinos who know how incredible and multifaceted Filipino food really is). The first iteration in August drew a crowd of thousands, and the 12 food vendors ran out of food in no time — so organizers have bumped up the offerings to 20 in the hopes of feeding everybody.
Look for Chef Francis Ang of Pinoy Heritage, who will serve blackened-coconut chicken skewers and other dishes that reflect the islands’ Muslim heritage, as The Coffee Adventure offers “Pinky Burgers” (sweet-and-savory patties prepared with Pampanga-style longaniza sausage, and served as burgers) and plenty of food and drink from FOB Kitchen, Señor Sisig, Lumpia Company, and others.
Lyrics Born and other DJs and live performers will provide the soundtrack while dancers curated by Emerson Aquino of Oakland’s Full Out Dance Studio / Funkanometry show their moves. Meanwhile, a marketplace populated by artisans and makers will keep you occupied as you digest and contemplate your next move.
In spite of its versatility, Filipino food has often been considered the forgotten or “invisible” Asian cuisine. Maybe you’re completely new to all this, maybe you’ve sampled a few sisigs here and there, and maybe you’re still mourning the loss of the Jollibee’s that used to be on Howard and Fourth streets — but whatever your level of familiarity with Filipino cuisine, this is a huge event.
The full list of food vendors:
Cross Hatch Eatery
The Coffee Adventure
Inay Filipino Kitchen
The Wooden Table
Sugar & Spun
UNDISCOVERED SF Night Market, Friday, Sept. 15 (and every third Friday of the month), 6 p.m. – midnight, at the Old Mint, 88 Fifth St. Free entrance; undiscoveredsf.com.