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Chew On This

Gimme Some Healthy Lovin’

By Rachel Breit Photos By Rachel Breit
April 21, 2013

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The hostess who warmly welcomes you into Kenny’s Restaurant also beckons you back to a golden, bygone era. Take a seat at a comfy booth by a window, listen to the oldies-but-goodies playing overhead and peruse the classic, local specials on the menu. But take a closer look — the red hearts decorating the menu titles indicate something new is happening at Kenny’s.

“All the items with the hearts are ones that can be made sugar-free,” explains Erlene Hutchinson, senior assistant manager.

Kenny’s, at the prompting of its health-conscious customers, now offers more options. Many of the classics can be ordered sugar-free, with brown rice or made with substitutions according to people’s diets and allergies.

One such healthy option is Menpachi ($28.95) — locally sourced protein served with whole grain brown rice. Easily picked off the bones with chopsticks, the fish’s meat is mild and flaky. Kenny’s serves the menpachi, or squirrelfish, whole so locals can enjoy the entire fish, skin and eyes included. “It’s really good prepared nitsuke style, steamed in regular or sugar-free shoyu sauce. A lot of times, the only thing left is the bones,” says Hutchinson. Reef fish, a specialty and a longtime favorite at Kenny’s, change daily based on the fresh catch.

Other more healthy options include Kenny’s Famous Chinese Chicken Salad ($11.45), a signature dish for its tangy sesame seed dressing that can be enjoyed sugar-free; Kamaaina Chopped Steak ($17.49), thinly cut, wok-seared New York steak with vegetables and optionally sugar-free teriyaki sauce; and the Boca Burger “Original Vegan Veggie Burger” ($9.25), which features a grilled Boca brand vegan burger patty and the usual burger fixings, although vegans may consider ordering it without the bun.

Kenny’s Restaurant

Kamehameha Shopping Center
1620 N. School St., Honolulu
841-0931
Sunday-Thursday, 6 a.m.-10 p.m.
Friday-Saturday, 6 a.m.-11 p.m.