Like a lotus flower blossoming in a muddy lake, the windows of Azalina’s restaurant in the heart of San Francisco’s diverse and sometimes infamous Tenderloin district were gleaming, and the front step had been washed.
Chef Azalina Eusope and her partner, Tim Benson, hurried to prepare for the evening’s patrons, who would sit at wooden tables in the five-month-old restaurant surrounded by plants and murals for a tasting menu inspired by Eusope’s native Malaysia.
When her guests departed, Eusope hoped they would take with them a new appreciation for the neighborhood of immigrants and small businesses that captured her heart.
Photo: Tim Benson and Azalina Eusope are co-owners of Azalina’s, a Malayasian-food-focused restaurant in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood. Patrick Hoge / The Examiner