Craving some bomb Asian fusion dishes in San Francisco?
There are some traditionalists out there that can’t even stand the thought of mixing flavors across cultures. And to be completely honest, it can often be a real hit-or-miss game when trying to craft the perfect fusion dish. Well, we want to take the mystery out of trying to find the best Asian fusion in San Francisco! We’ve put together 7 must-tries from our journeys around the Bay including Indian, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, and Hawaiian flavors all fused in different ways with other cultures and tastes. We promise these will even get the traditionalist skeptics out of their seats and salivating. Let’s go!
Best Asian Fusion in San Francisco:
1) August (1) Five
August (1) Five is a really cool spot in SF that elevates Indian food to a new level. We tried their brunch menu awhile back and were super impressed by the way they brought together the usual idea of brunch foods with some Indian flare. A great example is their Chicken and Waffles, which is comprised of dosa waffle, spiced fried chicken, and chili maple syrup. The dosa waffles and the way they fried their chicken was new, but the concept still felt familiar, and it all came together perfectly.
2) Hula Hoops
Hula Hoops is an awesome place to go for Asian Fusion in the San Francisco Bay Area. Located in South San Francisco, they combine Filipino and Hawaiian styles together seamlessly in a cool tiki bar setting. They make a bunch of tasty (and well presented) tropical cocktails if you’re looking for a relaxing drink, but their food is truly unique. The photo above is of their Sisig Pizza, which is topped with sisig, egg, jalapeno, and onion. It may not look like a typical pizza, but that’s the beauty (and yumminess) of it! They also have Spam fries, which are deep fried Spam cut to look like fries, and they’re amazing. But they told us that they usually sell out of those quickly so make sure you get there early if you want some!
3) Ozumo SF
Ozumo has been around doing some traditional Japanese as well as Asian Fusion in San Francisco for over 25 years. Over the past year they introduced a Taco Tuesday special during their happy hour where you can get chicken or maguro tuna with avocado on a circular crispy wonton. These were super delicious, but we wish they were a bit bigger. You’d probably be able to eat one of them in two bites, and each order comes with two tacos. Read more about Ozumo here.
Sushirrito has been around for a bit, and even has several imitators across the country, but they claim to be the originators behind the Sushi Burrito concept. And if you’re thinking, “oh, it’s just a big sushi roll,” you’re wrong because there’s much more thought that goes into each of their sushirritos. It’s not just simply adapting existing rolls into burrito form, but rather innovating and fusing flavors from all over the place together to create something brand new. They take inspiration from Japanese and South American cuisines and bring them all together like it was meant to be. Read more about Sushirrito here.
5) Social Fusion Kitchen
Social Fusion Kitchen, as their name suggests, has crafted their menu around the idea of Asian fusion, and they totally nailed it. They’re not actually located in SF, but San Mateo is only a 30 minute drive away and we absolutely love them! Our personal fave from our visit was definitely the Ahi Nachos. We’ve been to other places that have done this dish using tortilla chips, but we feel like that’s just one of those things that doesn’t pair especially well with Asian flavors. Improving on the concept, Social Fusion Kitchen decided to use crispy wontons instead, which made this dish totally and completely mind blowing! It’s topped with ahi tuna & avocado poke, crab salad, green onions, black sesame seeds & cilantro with wasabi aioli, unagi sauce & Sriracha aioli. So. Bomb. Read more about Social Fusion Kitchen here.
6) Aria Korean Tapas
Aria‘s bread and butter is Korean street food, and they make some awesome stuff. It’s definitely their own take on the cuisine, and they make some amazing sweet and spicy fried chicken using only dark meat and fresh chicken bought ever few days. If they run out, they close up shop for the day so keep that in mind!
Aside from their more “traditional” Korean street food, they’ve come out with several permanent and limited time menu items that blur the line between cultures and cuisines. The photo above shows their Sweet and Spicy Fried Chicken in front, and their newer Bulgogi Waffle Fries in the back. I’m sure many of you have had fully loaded fries before, but maybe not with this kind of Korean spin. With their rich and flavorful bulgogi, sweet and spicy sauce, and melted mozzarella cheese, it’s everything you never knew you wanted in a tray of fries. Read more about Aria Korean Tapas here.
The dish above is, unfortunately, no longer available since it was a limited time menu item, but maybe we can convince them to bring it back! It was the Big Loco, and was the first Korean Fried Chicken Chimichanga. It was made with a mouth watering combination of sesame oil seasoned rice, kimchi, marinated bulgogi rib-eye cut beef, boneless/skinless non-GMO Korean fried chicken, and mozzarella cheese. Make sure to follow them on Instagram where they announce their new fusion creations!
Hope this gives you all some new things to try and opens the minds of those who are still skeptical about the possibilities of Asian fusion in San Francisco. We love ourselves some traditional, tried and true foods, but our mindset is always “don’t knock it till you try it” because progression requires innovation, and we appreciate all the chefs and culinary minds who step outside the box to try new things. Till next time, Nomsters!
For more awesome Bay Area food, make sure to check out our SF Bay Area section!