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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Sammy's Aloha: A Hawaiian-Style Pop-Up on the Bay

Posted By on Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 11:01 AM

click to enlarge Sammy's Aloha ahi poke bowl with Thai black sticky rice, topped with a poached egg, salmon roe and garden fresh fixings. - ANASTASIA CROSSON
  • Anastasia Crosson
  • Sammy's Aloha ahi poke bowl with Thai black sticky rice, topped with a poached egg, salmon roe and garden fresh fixings.

San Francisco's cool bayside breezes may be far from the sunny shores of "the big island," but that doesn't stop lines from forming outside Sammy's Aloha (no website). Occupying a curbside corner of the takeout window at Butterfly on Pier 33, this casual Hawaiian-style pop-up that took the place of Pan Grill serves a unique take on the usual suspects, like kalua pork and loco moco.

See Also: Dispatch from Guam: Prubechu Aims to Please Your Inner Chamorro

t's no surprise the venue's namesake, Sammy Kong Kee, holds contest-winning titles for his poke recipes. The Ahi Poke Rice Bowl ($9) is a favorite, served with either Thai black sticky rice or Yomegokochi white rice. Similar to a chopped salad, the addition of avocado, radish and cucumber to the poke bowl bring a freshness to complement both the ahi and the briny flavors of a salmon roe garnish. Plus wasabi coulis adds a dash of heat. Top it with a poached egg, a rich addition to an otherwise light tuna dish.

click to enlarge Ono Chicken BBQ sandwich dripping with all the fixings stacked into a flaky, sweet house baked milk bun - ANASTASIA CROSSON
  • Anastasia Crosson
  • Ono Chicken BBQ sandwich dripping with all the fixings stacked into a flaky, sweet house baked milk bun

click to enlarge Order up from the counter at Sammy's Aloha - ANASTASIA CROSSON
  • Anastasia Crosson
  • Order up from the counter at Sammy's Aloha

The Ono BBQ Chicken sandwich ($8) is a solid lunchtime option if you'd like to err on the side of turf over surf. This sandwich features house-baked milk buns stacked with a sweet Hawaiian-style chicken BBQ and fixings familiar to a banh mi, including pickled carrots and daikon, cilantro, and (the near cult-favorite status) Kewpie mayo. One fixing that might be unfamiliar - sweet shishito peppers.

Looking for something more on-the-go? Sammy's Aloha also offers "Bao" stuffed buns ($4) with a choice from: mushroom (with bacon, brie, and white truffle), kalua pig (with spicy gochujang), and one sweet option of haupia and banana. The kalua pig bao airy, sweet milk bun is dense with pulled pork stuffing and dripping with a mildly spiced red sauce.

click to enlarge Spammy Fries: spam shavings top crispy fried sushi rice squares - ANASTASIA CROSSON
  • Anastasia Crosson
  • Spammy Fries: spam shavings top crispy fried sushi rice squares

And don't forget a side of Spammy Fries ($4)! Squares of sushi rice are fried and crisped, then topped with shavings of -- you guessed it -- Hormel's finest: Spam. Salmon roe, and sweet and spicy sauces complete the dish.

Sammy's Aloha, located at: Pier 33 (Butterfly take out window), open: Tuesday - Sunday 11a.m. - 3p.m.


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About The Author

Anastasia Crosson

Bio:
Anastasia has been writing freelance since 2010, and is a 2012 alum of SJSU, B.S. Journalism and Mass Communications. She also tweets @westandwander for her blog, westandwander.com. Her foodie obsessions include farm-to-table dining, micro producers, and keeping backyard chickens.

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