Direct from poke paradise, Paina Cafe, also written as Pā´ina Café, is expanding from their three Honolulu, Hawaii, locations to Chinatown. While the current Las Vegas poke craze has tilted more toward sushi burritos, Painia will bring eight years of experience experimenting with flavor combinations for their bowls and also offer a menu of "ono grind" Hawaiian favorites.
With a name meaning a "gathering" of friends or family, Paina will take over the shuttered 1,975-square-foot Sushi On Rainbow space at the Korea Town Plaza, close to the intersection of Spring Mountain Road and Rainbow Boulevard. Limited changes will be made to the structural interior before the interior design makeover.
Co-owner Derek Uyehara debuted the Paina concept in 2008, under the original name of The Poke Bowl. While he makes no claim to have invented the long-time Hawaiian favorite of serving poke over rice, he does believe they were the first to add the term "poke bowl" to a menu.
Guests will be able to choose a white or brown rice base, a hot or mild sauce, then options such as spicy tuna, shoyu ahi, shoyu ginger salmon and sweet chilli tofu. Toppings includes Taegu, natto, tempura flakes and pickled cucumbers.
Also served on their Honolulu menus, acai bowls, smoothies, salads, sandwiches like "Kalua BBQ pork" and "Pā'ina Plates," including steak or shrimp skewers.
A projected opening date has yet to be revealed.