You can trace Señor Sisig’s origin story back to 2010, when co-founders Evan Kidera and Gil Payumo bought a Chinese food truck off Craigslist and turned it into the Filipino-fusion food empire that it is today. Or, you can go back even farther to Kidera’s childhood on San Francisco’s Valencia Street, where the future Señor Sisig CEO was born and raised.
“I’m from San Francisco,” Kidera says. “I was born on Valencia Street. My dad was an immigrant. He worked on Valencia Street as a chef.”
Now, Kidera is set to open Señor Sisig’s first brick-and-mortar on that very road. There’s a mini park and a sizable back patio and of course, walls. For Kidera, opening up Señor Sisig along with his childhood best friend, Payumo, is like a homecoming in the most poetic way.
“It came full circle. My dad passed away when I was 13,” Kidera tells SF Weekly. “He started his own restaurant, and three years into it he passed away.” Nori Restaurant — now called Sushi Zone — was situated just next to Valencia Street, and is just one mile from where Señor Sisig now stands.
“That was his dream. An immigrant coming in and starting his own business,” Kidera says. “And he achieved it, but it was cut short.”
Payumo also has Bay Area roots. He was born in San Francisco and grew up in Daly City, according to Señor Sisig’s website. Payumo spent his free time helping his family run a grocery store and learned how to make sisig from his father.
Now, years of both Kidera and Payumo’s hard work are culminating in a brick-and-mortar opening. The two spent five or six years looking for a “space that fit our culture, our brand.”
“Some spots we looked at just didn’t have the vibe,” Kidera says.
Eventually they found 990 Valencia, a space that stayed true to the food truck experience within and outside of its four walls because of the intimate size and outdoor seating.
“It really spoke to the experience where you go to the truck and you find a bench in a park or stairs to eat on,” Kidera says.
The Señor Sisig brick-and-mortar will feature the food truck items you’re familiar with, along with some special featured menus that have cycled through the food trucks in years past. There’ll be nacho-rrones (a chicharrones-nachos duo) and the Whole Barnyard Burrito with “all the proteins.” “There’s so much flavor and texture,” Kidera says about the Whole Barnyard Burrito. “It’s like an everlasting gobstopper where it just changes with every bite.”
For dessert, try the ube horchata soft serve, courtesy of Annabelle Topacio of the Dogpatch ice cream shop Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous. Another big change the brick-and-mortar is bringing is a liquor license — beer and wine will be served. “Sisig traditionally and historically was a food that was made to eat with beer,” Kidera says. There’ll be San Miguel on tap along with some beers from local breweries.
And of course, despite the brick-and-mortar location, Kidera wants to emphasize that Señor Sisig’s food trucks are at the core of its brand — and those won’t be going away.
“At our roots we are a food truck, and we will always be a food truck,” Kidera says. “We’re going to continue to do our food trucks and do it at a high level as we’ve always been expecting.”
Señor Sisig, 990 Valencia St.
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