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KALBI LOCO MOCO
’Aina, Dogpatch
900 22nd St. (near Minnesota St.), 415-814-3815
’Aina calls itself a “modern Hawaiian eatery,” but it could just as easily be described as a cure for the common brunch. While you’ll find doughnuts, eggs, and French toast at the sunny Dogpatch restaurant that chef-owner Jordan Keao opened in April, there’s nothing rote about them: The French toast is made with taro Portuguese bread, and the eggs—well, the best way to eat them is in the kalbi loco moco. In Keao’s version of the Hawaiian staple, they sit sunny-side up on a heap of braised short rib and short-grain rice. Throw in some furikake, pea tendrils, heart of palm pico de gallo, and some hon-shimeji mushroom jus, and you have yourself a brunch to remember. $19

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Brunch: ‘aina
900 22nd St. (at Minnesota St.), 415-814-3815
Small wonder that brunch lines formed at ‘aina the day it opened in April: The permanent iteration of Jordan Keao’s pop-up casts a ray of Hawaiian sunshine on the monochromatic brunch universe. Yes, you’ll find eggs and French toast at the friendly Dogpatch spot. But these eggs come sunny-side up with braised kalbi short rib, rice, smoked hon-shimeji mushroom jus, and pea tendrils in an inspired version of loco moco, and the French toast is made with taro bread from Hawaii’s Punalu‘u Bake Shop. But it’s abundant deliciousness, not novelty, that makes ‘aina a winner. And for that, we say mahalo
Runner-up: Brenda’s Meat & Three