'āina Dinner Tasting Menu Steals the Show With Bold Hawaiian Flavors

Going far beyond 'āina's beloved brunch.

Irresistible bites like short rib loco moco, chicken katsu and guava-filled malasada donuts easily earned 'āina lines of eager weekend patrons that wrapped around the block when the Hawaiian eatery opened in April 2016. The dinner menu, however, remained under the radar in a lesser glowing spotlight; garnering solid interest but without the craze of brunch. That is, until now. 

Chef/owner and Hawaii native, Jordan Keao, just added a dinner tasting menu that is nothing short of phenomenal. Expect an intricate approach to Hawaiian cuisine with dishes like fresh ahi tuna poke with crispy black rice "rocks," or pork belly with flavor reminiscent of underground Hawaiian cooking techniques paired with a scoop of hand-pounded poi and a gorgeous, vibrant green raviolo. All in all, you'll enjoy six marvelous, innovative courses for $60—a steal by San Francisco standards. For now, this tasting menu is only offered at the chef's counter featuring six coveted seats, available in two nightly seatings booked by reservation. Mark my words, this is about to be one of the must-try spots amongst foodies. Catch a sneak peek of a few of the exciting courses.

Chef Keao cures Hawaiian kanpuchi fish with konobu seaweed, serving it alongside dollops of ti leaf salata ricotta and crispy pa'iai puffs made from hand pounded taro root. While many associate pineapple as the symbol of Hawaii, Keao stressed that it should really be the taro root—the main foundation of traditional Hawaiian food.

The tasting menu ($60) has optional wine pairings ($20) and is offered during two seatings per night at 6pm and 8pm, reservations

// 'āina is open for dinner Wednesday through Sunday from 5:30pm to 10:00pm. The tasting menu ($60) has optional wine pairings ($20) and is offered during two seatings per night at 6pm and 8pm, reservations at resy.com900 22nd St. (Dogpatch), ainasf.com