Yes, it is true that Barack Obama himself gives Kua’ Aina a ringing endorsement and frequents the brand’s flagship Hawaii shop for top notch burgers. His favourite is purportedly the Avocado burger, which seems about right. This festive joint on Carnaby Street is small on space but big on charm and is pronounced koo ah eye nah. The brainchild of two former Lehman Brothers employees, Kua’Aina is all about laid-back good times and burgers that’ll knock your socks off.
The overall effect is naturally tropical: think chilled out wait staff in funky floral shirts, island vibe decorations and food that’s legit Hawaiian. There are surfboards aplenty and the obligatory island scene murals on the walls. Sandwiches, salads and most importantly burgers form the backbone of a menu that really grows on you. Kona Brewing Co. in Hawaii supplies pitch perfect craft beers and you can also get pretty competent house wines, spirits and cocktails.
There’s ample use of grilled-to-perfection beef patties, avocado, pineapple and meltingly tender tuna steaks. Like any good Hawaiian restaurant, Kua’ Aina also offers some more Eastern options like a teriyaki chicken and a few Japanese ales. Bulk up your order with some crispy sweet potato fries or bowl of fresh slaw if you like, but the burgers are mammoth enough that you may forgo a side altogether.
As a warning: while you may fall in love with the burgers here, this place is not the best choice for a romantic rendezvous, and you should expect to be licking your fingers and getting pretty messy. The desserts are all-American and include blueberry and banana pancakes and ice cream with fudge sauce.
Check out Kua' Aina here
Prices are fair, making Kua’ Aina an easy choice for your new regular burger shop. Oh and one last thing – they don’t serve Spam, in case you were wondering.
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