We’re finally at the tipping point where weekends are jam packed with events to celebrate the holidays and account for the impending year-end. Despite the rain and outside temperatures matching that of Iceland (I checked this on my weather app, so it’s true), the city did not stop. On Friday, I had a food-filled send-off to two lovely friends moving to New York. Saturday brought too many whiskey gingers in the annual Santacon bar crawl, and in true lazy Sunday etiquette, I watched a Bollywood movie and finally tried the Hawaiian brunch at Aina, the restaurant of today’s spotlight.
Aina is a modern Hawaiian restaurant on the corner of two sleepy streets in Dogpatch. It’s compact and appropriately busy; brunch waits can be easily two hours without a reservation.
The appeal is its Hawaiian fusion cuisine. It’s surprisingly been difficult to find good Hawaiian food in SF, and after visiting Oahu in February, I’ve found myself craving it quite a few times. The brunch menu covers the classics – malasadas and spam musubi – and then has some insanely delicious unique dishes. The taro French toast is the tastiest sweet entrée I’ve had in a long time, with the creamy taro flavor infused in the bread that they import from Hawaii. The sausage hash comes with perfectly cooked eggs and just enough rice to make you full but not overloaded on carbs.
My favorite dish was an unexpected one—the breakfast potatoes. It seems unassuming on the menu, but I ate them, died, and went to brunch heaven. Furikake spice and aioli smother sliced and crispy AF potatoes; I could’ve eaten this alone and been happy.
I rarely wait hours for brunch anymore, but for Aina, it was well worth it. If you can’t come for brunch, they’ve recently opened for dinner as well, so book a table and take me pls.
900 22nd Street (Dogpatch)
Open for brunch and dinner