Malia Spanyol is a fighter. She trains in the tradition of Muay Thai, with a fierce determination despite bruises, bandages and bloody noses. But even after living in the Mission for more than a decade and owning Pop’s Bar on 24th Street, she has never had to use her combat skills outside the ring. She trains with world champion Miriam Nakamoto once a week at the Park Gym in the Mission. Her regular gym is El Nino Training Center on Third Street in Potrero Hill, with Muay Thai coach Jongsanan.

Follow Us

Justine Quart knows everyone calls themselves a foodie in San Francisco, that's why she goes by gastro-ethnologist.

Before joining Mission Loc@l, Justine graduated from Brown University with a double major in Ethnic Studies and Visual Arts. In between gypsy stints abroad and working at a community health non-profit, she learned the delicate art of playing roller derby and making the perfect veggie burger. After working at the Discovery Channel Headquarters in Washington DC, Justine migrated to the warmer coasts of California to hone her reporting skills.

Aside from food, Justine likes to get nerdy about visual storytelling, experiential journalism, and investigative stories.

Join the Conversation


  1. Malia inspired me to take up Muay Thai 4 yrs ago, i remember my first week I thought I was going to die, i was bruised up from not knowing how to do anything correctly and the workout was the hardest thing i had ever done, she said to me just stick with it 4x a week for 3 weeks. And she was right on, it went from feeling impossible to endless possibilities.

    votes. Sign in to vote
Leave a comment
Please keep your comments short and civil. Do not leave multiple comments under multiple names on one article. We will zap comments that fail to adhere to these short and very easy-to-follow rules.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *