Aloha, San Francisco

The 14th Annual Aloha Festival is this weekend in the Presidio, Saturday and Sunday from 10 to 5. The festival is free and there are an abundance of vendors and entertainers that are sure to produce full smiles and full tummies. But if you find yourself in need of a Hawaiian food fix after the festivities, San Francisco has you taken care of.

The Hukilau on Geary at Masonic is probably the first place that comes to mind when we think of places to get authentic Hawaiian food in San Francisco. Run by people actually from the islands, you get a lot of what makes Hawaii so wonderful—the food, the music and the friendliness—without the expensive plane ticket and the tourists. This place can get pretty packed, but it’s worth the wait just to have some damn good Chicken Katsu. And recognizing that Hawaiian food can be on the heavy side, we highly recommend the fresh grilled salmon if the Loco Moco (“three scoops of steamed rice, two juicy burgers and two fried eggs, topped with our delicious Hukilau brown gravy) proves more than you can handle.

For upscale Hawaiian dining, San Francisco is blessed with Roy’s. Chef Roy Yamaguchi has opened several Roy’s restaurants nationwide and every meal we’ve had at the San Francisco location has been fantastic. The seafood-centric menu is “Hawaiian Fusion” and the Roasted Macadamia-Nut-Crusted Mahi Mahi is always popular, but since we’re allergic to Macadamia nuts we like to get the fish trio–Grilled Salmon, Roy’s Original Blackened Island Ahi, and Hawaiian Style Misoyaki Butterfish. As for dessert, we know that the whole chocolate lava cake has been done, but we always get the Melting Hot Chocolate Soufflé because it really is the best chocolate lava cake we’ve ever had. Really.

And of course, if you want authentic, no fuss Hawaiian food look no further than L & L Hawaiian Barbecue. This popular Hawaiian chain dishes out large portions of Hawaiian comfort food—macaroni salad, rice and meat entrées like Chicken Katsu or Loco Moco. The plates are big and proud so mainlander modest appetites should be prepared to share with a friend or take home a doggy bag.

Now, the real question is: Does Obama eat Loco Moco?…

Hukilau [Menupages]
Hukilau [Official Site]
Roy’s [Menupages]
Roy’s [Official Site]
L & L Hawaiian Barbecue [Menupages]
L & L Hawaiian Barbecue [Official Site]

[Photo of Hukilau Chicken Katsu Loco Moco via trumanlo/Flickr]

Aloha, San Francisco