900 22nd St
San Francisco, CA 94107
Why did we dine here? – ‘Aina (means land) is a modern Hawaiian restaurant that went from popup to mega wait hit inside a couple years from Hilo born Chef Jordan Keao. We finally woke up early enough to hit their Sunday brunch. Lines start around the 9am open time, and 2 hour waits are not unheard of. (This restaurant is small) We can near opening time, allow us to minimize the wait. Some Yelp reviews suggest that Brunch is a better time to come than dinner. Aina is Michelin Bib Gourmand ranked. This spot reminded us of Liholiho Yacht Club.
Check out our Maui Restaurant Reviews
Insider Tip – Get there EARLY for brunch.
Cuisine – Modern Hawaiian
Location – San Francisco Dogpatch
Opened – 2014
Service – Aina had strong, competent servers who helped us navigate the menu and make changes painlessly.
Verdict – Aina is a great place for Brunch. If you like Hawaiian food, definitely come here. This is a great place to eat family style.
Reservations are only available for dinner and weekday brunch.
Is this restaurant worth a 5 minute drive? Yes. 30 minute? Yes. 1 Hour? Maybe.
Aina Signature Dishes – Malasadas, Loco Moco, French Toast.
Aina’s Menu for Brunch has 4 small items, 7 large plates, and a kids dish. They focus on local suppliers.
Aina Food Picks:
Malasadas ($7) 3 Portuguese style doughnuts, coconut sugar, filled with guava custard are hot and fresh. A must get! You might need 2 orders.
Hibiscus Ginger Lemonade ($6) lemon juice, hibiscus, juiced ginger was not too gingery or sweet. Any one for a Punch Bowl for 4 ($22) ??
Spam Musubi (For One) “Ssam Style” ($4.50) boston bibb lettuce, stone valley farms whole hog spam, kimchi, short grain rice, egg yolk furikake is a homemade takeoff on the classic. Small portion wise, a bit salty, but pretty fun starter. We love this dish from L&L.
Punalu’u Bakery Taro French Toast ($11/$17) taro bread, apple wood smoked bacon, macadamia nut crumble, salted coconut caramel, pomegranate seeds, vanilla whipped cream, mint. They were low on bread, so they only allowed tables to order the small portion. A dense version of French Toast with some nice bacon on top.
Kalbi Loco Moco ($19) slow braised kalbi short rib, smoked honshimeji mushroom jus, sunny side up eggs, hearts of palm pico de gallo, cilantro, short grain rice, pea tendrils was one of our favorite dishes. Large chunk on tender meat and some really nice rice in mushroom sauce.
Smoked Honshimeji & King Oyster Mushrooms ($17) smoked honshimeji & king oyster mushrooms, slow poached eggs, okinawan sweet potato purée, house made lap cheong sausage, mixed greens, portuguese sweet bread is a very good dish with lots of fresh mushrooms. You need to scoop a bit of everything and eat it together, otherwise it is a big distinct. Vegetarians can omit the sausage.
Portuguese Sausage Hash ($18) Portuguese sausage, brussel sprouts, short grain rice, sunny side up eggs, green garlic salsa verde, micro mustard greens micro cilantro makes you think about a diced up has, but this modern version has cut up sausage with lots of interesting ingredients. The Brussel sprouts are especially good.
OK: (Order if you like this dish)
Pans: (We would not reorder these dishes)
Do you agree with our review? Have you found other similar restaurants that are better for Brunch?