Review: ‘āina.

After dining at one of San Francisco’s most popular Hawaiian restaurants Liholiho Yacht Club, I was more than intrigued when I heard about another Hawaiian eatery that just opened up a few months ago with great reviews.

‘āina, in the Dogpatch, is a small quaint restaurant currently only open for lunch (soon for dinner as well) serving some simple yet delicious treats. The menu consists of some Hawaiian classics with a Californian touch. We came here on a weekday, with reservations of course, and the restaurant was packed (Saturdays and Sundays are typically booked).

Left: Hawaiian Vog (Fillet, Byrrh, Early Grey Infused Caramelized Banana Spice Blend, and Malted Black Sesame Foam), Right: Smoked Swizzle (Sage/Mint/Berry Compote, Smoked Soju, Lemon, and Amaro).

These cocktails were super fun and tasty. I especially loved the black sesame foam.

Spam Musubi “Ssam Style” (9/10).

I could have easily eaten five of these scrumptious spam musubis. The spam was extremely flavorful and had an incredible creamy soft texture that paired so well with the short grain rice, egg yolk furikake (Japanese seasoning), and spicy kimchi, all wrapped up with the bibb lettuce. A must get.

Kalua Pork Belly with Poached Eggs and Rice (8/10).

The Kalua pork belly was cooked perfectly, crispy skin with a moist interior, and was on top of a silky fennel purée. The fresh raw shaved squash with arugula was a great accompaniment with the fatty pork belly.

Breakfast Potatoes with Aioli and Furikake (8.5/10).

Inside the Malasada.

Everything we ate at ‘āina was well executed and extremely satisfying. This is the perfect brunch spot since they have innovative cocktails (even punch bowls) and yummy food. Overall my rating is an 8.5/10.

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