‘āina, a San Francisco’s modern Hawaiian eatery located at 900 22nd street in San Francisco’s Dogpatch neighborhood, announced the debut of dinner service this week. After opening with brunch in April of this year, ‘āina quickly solidified its position as a part of the fabric of the Dogpatch community—catering to neighbors and destination diners alike.
Helmed by Big Island-born Chef Jordan Keao, at ‘āina he’s joined by his wife Cheryl Liew acting as CFO, and long-time collaborator Jason Alonzo who runs front of house and bar developing low-ABV bar offerings to complement the food. New to the crew is Chef Chris Yang formerly of Hog & Rocks and Hops & Hominy who has come on as Jordan’s Chef de Cuisine. Chef Chris, also a past resident of Hawai’i, brings an extensive knowledge of Hawaiian, California, and Chinese cuisine, pulling from his arsenal to help develop and elevate the dinner menu. In this expansion to dinner, 'āina continues to grow as a concept, pulling elements from the team’s impressive collective background to create a restaurant with deeply personal roots and an innovative story.
With dinner service always on the horizon Chef Jordan worked to evolve the accessible home-style flavors of brunch, pulling in elements of his fine dining training. “At dinner we wanted to keep the fun and comfortable feeling of brunch,” says Jordan. “However we all really saw dinner as an opportunity to kick it up a little, try out some more complicated preparations, techniques, and plating. We are really excited to put out some dishes that take these nostalgic island flavors and showcase them in a different light.”
Notable dishes on the menu are the Spam Bao featuring the fan-favorite house made spam made popular on the brunch menu in the musubi dish, but served instead in a Portuguese sweet bread roll or bao with yuzu kosho aioli and smoked trout roe. Other standouts include the Portuguese Butter Bean Cassoulet marrying Hawaiian flavors with French preparations and overtones featuring Stone Valley Farms portuguese sausage, iocopi butter beans, edamame cream, and pistachio brown butter panko; one of Chef Chris’ contributions to the menu is his take on a pickle plate, Pickles and Banchan showcasing house made kim chee, namul, cured daikon, fermented cucumber, and pickled lotus root; as well as Chef’s take on poke. ‘āina’s Ahi Poke with Inamona is served in a red ti leaf with ahi tuna, Hawaiian hearts of palm, smoked sesame oil, shiso and salicornia. It’s made with inamona, or kukui nut, a quintessential Hawaiian component as well as limu, a red seaweed – two ingredients found in traditional island preparations of the dish.
The dinner menu will be divided into three sections, Pu-Pus (snacks), Small Kine (starters), and Kau Kau a Hawaiian phrase meaning to gather and chow down signifying entrees. The dinner menu will feature:
squid ink shrimp chips
with smoked trout furikake
pickles and banchan
kim chee, namul, cured daikon, fermented cucumber, pickled lotus root
Portuguese sweet bread, pork spam, yuzu kosho aioli, smoked trout roe
kiawe wood smoked bbq char siu pork ribs
binchotan grilled with a char siu glaze, pickled red cabbage & Thai basil
lomi lomi arctic char
smoked, paprika cured arctic char, green onion soubise, rouille, fried sunchoke
shoyu cured pipikaula
thinly sliced shoyu cured beef, okinawan sweet potato focaccia, black garlic puree & yuzu kosho aioli
charred octopus luau
binchotan grilled octopus, rainbow swiss chard with kalo coconut cream, vadouvan spiced almonds & german butterball potato
ahi limu poke with inamona
ahi tuna, Hawaiian hearts of palm, smoked sesame oil, shiso, salicornia
Stone Valley Farms heritage berkshire pork
alaea sea salt, broccoli de ciccio, ginger citrus chimichurri, radish, carrot top pistou
okinawan sweet potato gnocchi
banana leaf ricotta, inamona, charred eggplant puree, pickled yellow wax beans, easter egg radish
ti leaf steamed mcfarland spring trout
preserved black bean beurre monte, roasted baby beets, smoked mushrooms, pea tendrils and crispy shallots
portuguese butter bean cassoulet
Stone Valley Farms portuguese sausage, iocopi butter beans, edamame cream, pistachio brown butter panko
baked coconut mocha
yuzu curd, five spice compressed apple, guava-pineapple jam, candied walnuts
Much like the brunch offerings, Bar Manager Jason’s dinner cocktails will be both low ABV and food friendly. The new list nods to island flavors, with both refreshing, tart, and complex profiles. As always Jason works closely with Jordan, sharing ingredients across the pass from kitchen to bar. In addition to Jason’s custom cocktails, 'āina will also offer a small curated list of wine, beer and sake.
The opening cocktail menu will include:
Byrrh, Cardamaro, papaya juice, lemon juice, egg white, savory
rosemary & tonic
Cocchi Americano, Bonal, lime juice, tonic of lime peel and rosemary
Ferreira white port, Cappalletti, lemon juice, ginger and lemongrass juice, rose petal syrup, shiso
kiawe smoked soju, cucumber cured in salt and lime juice, Vadouvan, melon juice, Cocchi Rosa to finish
Dinner is available now and will be served Tuesday through Friday night 5:30 to 10 p.m. 'āina will be welcoming walk-ins, as well as reservations which can be made on their website.