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La Cocina-Born Mixote Brings Slow-Cooked Mexican Comforts to SoMa Lunch Counter

The mother-and-son-run business landed a retail space inside Salesforce Tower East

A bowl topped with meat, cilantro, onions, and sauce. Mixiote

There’s a new counter-service lunch spot for slow-steamed Mexican meats in SoMa from a business born in La Cocina. It’s been more than a decade since Alma Rodriguez immigrated to the states with her husband and two sons; at first, cooking recipes from her childhood in Mexico started as a way to keep her family connected to their roots but in years since has grown into successful pop-up and catering company Mixiote — in part thanks to La Cocina, the nonprofit incubator that’s helped scores of women launch successful food businesses in the Bay Area.

Since joining the program in 2016 with the support of her son Arturo, who now helps her run Mixiote, it’s been Rodriguez’s dream to find a home for Mixiote. And as of this week, that dream has officially come true: Mixiocite’s first brick-and-mortar location is open now and celebrates its grand opening on February 15. It’s a simple takeout-only operation inside Salesforce Tower East with a menu of build-your-own bowls starring one of three slow-cooked proteins. It’s a simplified version of the full-service restaurant the family hopes to open someday, but still something to celebrate Arturo says. “It’s definitely a big blessing,” he tells Eater SF.

A woman stands in front of a colorful mural. Mixiote

The menu is short and sweet. Customers can choose from four bowls with various bases — a beet quinoa salad, zucchini carrot “noodles” tossed in cilantro pesto, turmeric scented rice and cabbage in lime vinaigrette, and a nacho bowl on a base of tortilla chips. Each comes with one of three mixiotes, or proteins marinated in a chile sauce and wrapped in maguey leaves before being steam cooked. The counter spot’s menu offers chicken thighs marinated in red guajillo chile sauce; pork cooked in a pumpkin seed and green pepper sauce; or rajas, roasted poblano and red peppers in melted cheese.

The location has been a long time coming; according to Arturo, he and his mother started planning the opening way back in 2019, well before the pandemic disrupted everything, when it would have been impossible to imagine San Francisco’s largest employer announcing plans to let its 10,000 employees work from home forever. Still, Arturo says the first days of service have been going well. “We do have a lot more offerings that we do for catering or when we eventually open our actual restaurant,” he says. “It’s made us think outside the box and how we can make this space work and serve a different community than usual.”

A wood-wrapped entry to a small restaurant space. Mixiote
A turquoise-tiled kitchen with wood accents. Mixiote

Mixiote is located on the ground floor of Salesforce Tower East at 350 Mission Street and will serve from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday.

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