Move over jelly doughnuts — Hawaiian malasadas are here

The aroma of fried dough is irresistible. Add a sugary coating and a luscious, creamy filling, and you’ve got the wildly addictive malasada, a house specialty at ‘aina, San Francisco’s modern Hawaiian eatery, owned by chef and Hawaiian native Jordan Keao.

“Everyone loves fried dough,” Keao says. “A malasada is a Portuguese doughnut.”

12 best new Bay Area restaurants for date night

We all know a Valentine Grinch or two — the folks who grumble about heart-shaped chocolate boxes and Hallmark holidays. “The sheer commercialism of it all!” they shout. “Who’s being manipulated by a stationery-confectionary-floral cabal? Yoo hoo! You, that’s who!”

Hey, we all could use a little extra affection these days. It’s been a grim, grey last few weeks. Sparkling wine, fragrant flowers and a night on the town? Yes, please.

In fact, here are a dozen fabulous new restaurants — 12 long-stemmed, date-night beauties that opened in the last year and are guaranteed to sweep your sweetheart off his or her respective feet, not just in February but for months to come.

Review: ‘aina brings Hawaiian-inspired cuisine to San Francisco

You’ve probably heard of ‘aina, the Hawiian-inspired restaurant in San Francisco’s Dogpatch, for its super-popular (read: two hour wait) brunch. Yes, chef Jordan Keao’s warm, chewy malasadas are filled with perfectly tart and creamy guava custard and the dreamy French toast is made with taro bread overnighted from the Punalu’u Bake Shop in Hawaii. It is certainly an original and welcome departure from the gaggle of indistinguishable brunch spots.