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Kaci Goff Embraces Her Malaysian Tamil Heritage at Wolf and Woman Pop-Up

Tune in to Episode 221 of the Happy Half Hour podcast

By Noah Harrel

Today’s special guest is Kaci Goff, chef and owner of contemporary Malaysian pop-up restaurant Wolf and Woman. While serving Malaysian Tamil cuisine like penang laksa noodles and garam masala lamb shank, Kaci is also planning on launching a commissary kitchen in Vista at the end of April. This weekend, she’s selling dessert boxes that can be preordered, and on April 21, Wolf and Woman is hosting a dinner with Hidden Craft that will benefit the San Diego Rescue Mission.

Kaci started her career in LA after attending culinary school in San Bernardino. She says she didn’t end up learning as much in school as she did working, and as she gained experience, she saw the reality of the pay gap in the food industry. That’s why she started Wolf and Woman: To create a setting where she wouldn’t be paid less than a man for doing the same work. After a few years in Seattle, she decided to move the business to San Diego for its more laid-back atmosphere and to be closer to her family in Idyllwild.

Wolf and Woman originally offered New American food, but Kaci felt that something was missing, so she changed the menu to Malaysian Tamil cuisine to reflect her heritage on her mother’s side. Now she’s spent the last few years exploring her heritage and educating people at the same time. With her mother as her taste tester, her goal has been to so faithfully capture the country’s flavors that if someone from Malaysia were taste her food, they would be reminded of home.

One of Kaci’s favorite dishes is rasam, a South Indian tamarind soup that was a big part of her childhood. It’ll be on the menu at the Rescue Mission dinner benefit, along with mushroom satay; chicken wings brined and marinated in sambal oelek and oyster sauce; a strawberry rhubarb cremeux; and roti chenai, a Malaysian-Indian flatbread, topped with seasonal veggies and chutney.

In Hot Plates, a new “virtual food hall” called Socal Eats OnTheGo is opening in Pacific Beach late this spring. Restaurants operating out of it include Azulé Taqueria, Street Noods, and Hollywood Crab Shack, and it’ll offer its own delivery service free if you live close by, or delivery via third-party app if you don’t. Panda Country, a Szechuan restaurant that’s been in Clairemont for 40 years, closed last week. After the owner posted the sad news on the restaurant’s Facebook page, it’s been flooded with comments from families who have dined there since the ’80s. The Flying Pig in Oceanside is moving a mile north from their Tremont Street location to Mission Avenue and plans on reopening June 1.

In Two People for Takeout / Two People for $50, Kaci has been looking forward to trying OB Noodle House’s noodles and famous spicy garlic chicken wings. Marie’s pick was Tim Ky Noodle in Mira Mesa for their wonton noodle soup that’s filled with dumplings and char siu pork; make sure to add some spicy chili sauce. O’Brien’s Pub on Convoy Street is Troy’s pick, where you can find bacon beer and “Birthday Bacon”—a slab of bacon braised for over three hours in beer, then cubed, sautéed, deep fried, and served with truffle guacamole and pickled onions on top. Since today is the Padres Opening Day, David’s recommendation for fans is every food item at Petco Park, especially Friar Franks, ice cream sandwiches from Baked Bear, ribs from Phil’s BBQ, and a Swami’s IPA. My pick is Fit Tacos, a food truck parked right outside Societe Brewing Company, where tacos are available on jicama “tortillas,” offering a crisp, juicy substitute to the corn tortilla that pairs beautifully with their chipotle shrimp tacos.

Thank you for listening! As always, we want to hear from our listeners. Need a recommendation for takeout? Is there a guest you want us to book on the show? Let us know! You can call us at 619-744-0535 and leave a voicemail, or if you’re too shy, you can email us at [email protected]. See you next week!

Kaci Goff

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