Azalina Eusope hails from Malaysia, and she's a fifth-generation street food vendor whose great-great-great-grandmother first began perfecting the family's recipes. She's been operating her own catering business in San Francisco, Azalina's, since 2010, which she started with a single $500 loan. With help from La Cocina, Azalina's became a major local success, with her jarred sauces available in Whole Foods markets. Now, Eusope is opening her first brick-and-mortar restaurant in the Twitter building later this year, marking one of the most high-profile examples of a La Cocina alumna making good.
Simultaneously, she's building a 15,000-square-foot commercial kitchen to support her growing business, and she does all this by working 18- to 20-hour days, getting up at 3 a.m. to start her day. The business grew out of her own homesickness for her family's food after moving to San Francisco with her husband. Eusope is of mamak descent a Tamil Muslim tribe of Malaysia descended from South Indians who are known for their street food stalls.
Her food, sold at Off the Grid events and elsewhere, includes things like the traditional mamak flatbread roti canai, which is served with beef turmeric stew; crab tamales; traditional kabocha squash fritters with coriander peanut sauce; and cracked fried capon served with ramp and burrata crema, spicy ketchup, and polenta.
Above is a recent video from Mashable in which she talks about her move to the Twitter building and the current state of her business. Below, a video from 18 months ago by Dark Rye (the Whole Foods-backed food site), in which she talks more about her past and the beginnings of her business.
We'll update you on Azalina's opening date on Mid-Market when it's announced.