Michael Mina Goes Hawaiian, With Trailblazer Tavern

Opening in November in the Salesforce East building, it's a 7,000-square-foot dynamo all but across the street from International Smoke.

Between partnerships and places the company owns outright, the Michael Mina Group runs nearly 40 restaurants in the U.S. and abroad. So what’s one more? In November, Chef Michael Mina and two James Beard-nominated Hawaiian chefs, Michelle Karr-Ueoka and Wade Ueoka of Honolulu’s MW Restaurant, will open Trailblazer Tavern in the Salesforce East building, not far from International Smoke. (That’s not the Salesforce Tower, but the 30-story building at 350 Mission St.)

Inspired by the cuisine of the Sandwich Isles, Trailblazer will apply that typical Mina zest to a wide range of dishes, from pupus, dim sum, and sashimi and crudo, to noodle and rice dishes, seafood, and larger meat plates. At an impressive 7,000 square feet — including an outdoor patio — there will be tropical cocktails, local and Hawaiian beers, Japanese whisky, and an extensive wine list with 100 bottles under $100. 

Judging from the rendering, it looks like a sleek fusion of SoMa and Kona. With 34-foot ceilings in the main dining room, a bar that with room for two dozen people, and a wide range of seating — banquettes, standard tables, private rooms — it seems as though it’s going for an atmosphere not unlike the vibe at International Smoke. (And in fact, Ueoka and Karr-Ueoka have shared a stage with Ayesha Curry before.)

Ohana, the Hawaiian concept that we’re all one big family who’s in it together, is apparently a big deal to Salesforce’s Marc Benioff. But we’re just as excited to eat an elevated pupu platter on the mezzanine level of a glassed-in space surrounded by potted tropical plants and a retro sign that looks like it was swiped from the U.S. Forest Service in the Land of Many Uses. Nice transit center you got there, Salesforce. This seems way cooler.

Trailblazer Tavern, opening in November, 350 Mission St., michaelmina.net

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