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Friday, June 4, 2010

Street-Food Startup Global Soul Cooking Late Nights at Bissap Baobab

Posted By on Fri, Jun 4, 2010 at 4:12 PM

click to enlarge Global Soul's salmon tacos with cilantro crema.
  • Global Soul's salmon tacos with cilantro crema.
Jessica Phadungsilp and Christina Aviles' food truck is being rehabbed, but that's not stopping the chef-owners of Global Soul from hitting the street ― Mission Street, to be precise. Next Friday, Phadungsilp and Aviles are soft-launching Global Soul, the first in a month-long late-night food series at Bissap Baobab, the Mission Street lounge steeped in funky.

Restaurant vets who also happen to be girlfriends, Phadungsilp and Aviles are clients in the business-incubator program at La Cocina. (Aviles, 38, has cooked at A16 and Lulu, and was manager at Arlequin; Phadungsilp, 33, has tended bar mostly, at clubs all over town.). Until last week, they'd planned to call their street-food startup Hot Boxx ― a reference to the food truck they'll eventually launch, with an extra x for the female double-chromosome structure. But a restaurant in New Jersey already had the name Hot Box, and even with the additional consonant, Phadungsilp and Aviles had to find another tag. So Global Soul it is.

That's appropriate, given the partners' blended histories and culinary aspirations. Aviles is grew up in a Nicaraguan family in San Francisco, Phadungsilp is Cuban and Thai. "We both like so many flavors," Aviles says. "We think of our food as global street." For the Baobab events they'll most likely offer five dishes: what Aviles calls a "kickass" Kerala chicken curry, Thai spring rolls with chile sauces made from scratch, maybe something they describe as a Mediterranean-Indian gyro.

click to enlarge Kerala chicken curry with charred chile and coconut milk.
  • Kerala chicken curry with charred chile and coconut milk.
As for the taco truck they found on Craiglist, it's currently being tricked out with kitchen equipment in Southern California. Oakland's Eat Real festival in late August might mark its debut ― Phadungsilp and Aviles still have to work out the complex and lengthy S.F. permit process. Their dream? Nighttime sales in the Mission and Castro. Possibly lunch Downtown or in SOMA. Keep up with developments via Global Soul's Twitter feed.

Until then, Phadungsilp and Aviles are honing the street-food dishes they talk about with infectious excitement. "We never had this kind of street food growing up ― maybe only hot dogs," Aviles says.

Global Soul at Bissap Baobab

When: Fridays and Saturdays in June (beginning June 11), 10:30 p.m.-2 a.m.

Where: Bissap Baobab, 2323 Mission (at 19th St.), 826-9287

Follow us on Twitter: @SFoodie. Contact me at John.Birdsall@SFWeekly.com

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