Akna [San Francisco, Hayes Valley]

I had dinner at Akna in Hayes Valley today. It’s a Mayan-Yucatecan pop-up in the former space of Barcino, which was a Spanish restaurant operated by the Absinthe restaurant group. Run by a father and son team of Absinthe chef Eddie Arriaga and general manager Ivan Arriaga. They have a couple of parklets outside and also indoor dining. Seating is first come first serve. Kind of a fast casual model of service where you order at the counter first and get a number, and they bring out the food to you.

quesabirria con consomé ($14)
two stewed-beef tacos on a cheesy, hand-made blue-corn tortilla, served with consomé
Quesabirria tacos are the hot thing these days. I’m not a quesabirria expert - I think this was my second quesabirria taco experience - but I thought they were quite good. Some of the cheese in the taco had melted out and was a little toasted and crispy from the griddle. Nice handmade blue tortillas as well. This came with a lime wedge, grilled scallion, a vinegary cabbage slaw, tomatillo salsa, and a cup of the broth from the birria. The broth was meaty and salty and a little spicy, with onion and cilantro. I dunked pieces of the tacos into the broth and applied a bit of the salsa. Bit like a french dip in taco form.

tamal de pollo ($7)
braised chicken in adobo sauce, wrapped in banana leaves, served with traditional spicy tomato sauce, roasted habanero salsa
A very nice tamal. Good texture to the masa, nice chicken filling. With a little fragrance from the banana leaf. The tomato sauce was only a little spicy. It came with the same slaw as the quesabirria.

I also had an agua fresca of mango, melon, and flaxseed. Quite refreshing and with just the right amount of sweetness.

Enjoyable meal. I wonder how long the pop-up will run for.