Yet another pop-up goes permanent with the arrival of 'āina, now open in the Dogpatch with Hawaiian brunch five days a week. From chef Jordan Keao comes a menu full of dishes sure to be quickly popular on Instagram, like taro French toast — with taro bread overnighted from Punalu’u Bakery in Hawaii — and housemade spam musubi. And while the food is beautiful, it’s also very meaningful to the Hawaiian-born Keao.
"Part of what's driven me to do this concept is it’s very rare — almost impossible — to try to find not only just snacks that are associated with Hawaii but also some of the quintessential dishes or flavors," Keao told Eater. "There are so many different elements and cultural influences between all the different immigrants and people who have been there for hundreds of years, that the food has evolved from a local aspect, but there are still the traditional Hawaiian dishes that are harder to find these days."
Low-ABV drinks are from Jason Alonzo (La Folie), incorporating lots of syrups and shrubs to pair well with the food. Succulents and leis line the walls, and the clean wood and light grey elements give the space an airy feel. 'Āina — which means "that which feeds us" in Hawaiian — is open Wednesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.