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Mixt Plans Salad Lounge for Valencia Street’s La Rondalla Space

With dinner and kale mimosas

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A “honeybee salad” at MIXT
MIXT [Official]

Mixt is expanding its horizons with a new executive chef from Bi-Rite and a Mission District location complete with a so-called “salad lounge.” The restaurant will be the second location of the chain outside of downtown, joining a Cow Hollow Mixt that emphasizes dinner as well as the desk lunches that got Mixt started in 2006 under the original name Mixt Greens.

The latest Mixt will open in May at 901 Valencia Street (at 20th Street), a space familiar to Missionites as the home of La Rondalla. That longtime neighborhood business closed in 2016 in the wake of financial troubles and a lawsuit with the city, ending decades of oversized margaritas and mariachi band performances.

“We’ve been looking for years for the right spot in the Mission, a place we could make a nice home for Mixt,” CEO Leslie Silverglide tells Eater SF, “one that would be able to reach different neighborhoods and be close to the park.”

MIXT [Official]

As with its Cow Hollow location, Mixt on Valencia will shoot for an atmosphere equally suited to a quick lunch or a longer, casual dinner date. That means “different seating options, beer and wine options, and our market plates and sides,” Silverglide explains.

In a side space of the sizable new location, Silverglide and the Mixt team conceived of a tongue-in-cheek “Salad Lounge,” which will serve drinks like kale mimosas. “Let your imagination run wild, It’s supposed to be over the top,” she says.

“We like twists that are a little more indulgent. It might seem silly to pair a beer with a salad, or to have really good bacon on salads, but actually, it’s awesome.”

Beyond such evening indulgences, Silverglide thinks her new executive chef, Jeffrey Amber of beloved grocer and food store Bi Rite, can help draw diners at any time of day. “I love the way he thinks about our entree salads — usually people think crunch, they think crouton —but instead, he came up with crispy chickpeas with dukkah (an Egyptian mixture of nuts and spices).”

An emphasis on all-day dining and dishes beyond salads is partly what lead Mixt to drop the “Greens” in its original name. But so did a slew of competitors with similar monikers.

“Since we started, a lot of others have entered the space with ‘greens’ in the name,” the CEO says, verbally subtweeting a coterie of salad chains jockeying for desk lunch space.

One more aspect of Mixt’s early brand that it’s evolved away from is aggressively emphasizing sustainability to customers. “Our goal is still to send as little as possible to landfills, and our overall goal would be to get to zero waste,” Silverglide says. “That’s always what we’re shooting for... but we don’t talk about [sustainability] as much as we used to, just because it’s much more widely expected. It’s been awesome to see that become more commonplace.”

Mixt Valencia is the chain’s ninth San Francisco location and, including two Los Angeles outposts, will be its 11th overall — after that, the business will tip into San Francisco formula retail territory. As the city’s southernmost Mixt, the Valencia location also extends the brand’s take-out and delivery reach: Mixt is available through third-party delivery services like Caviar and UberEats.

Finally, for customers who would prefer hanging out in Dolores Park to chilling in the Salad Lounge, the store has another cheeky promo: They’ll give away a free picnic tote with the purchase of four or more salads. Just remember: Those containers might be recyclable, but pick them up before leaving the park.

When Mixt opens at 901 Valencia Street in May, hours will be 11:00 am to 9:00 p.m.