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Step Up to the Plate

Franky Fresh

By Lynsey Beth Futa Photos By LAWRENCE TABUDLO
October 16, 2016

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A CLOSER LOOK AT THIS WEEK’S HOUSE SPECIAL: The Fresh Prince burger ($15.50) with a Cap’n Crunch milkshake ($7.49)

Nostalgia conjures up feelings and thoughts of returning to a different moment in life — often times, a better one. And what could be better than the golden era of hip-hop (think ’80s and ’90s)? Kaimuki’s new kid on the block, Franky Fresh, would argue that nothing is better.

Founder and owner Darien Provenza has built this unique burger and milk-shakes joint — with the help of partner and general manager Aubrey Owada — around his fondest childhood memories, right down to the eatery’s impressive hiphop decor and homemade recipes.

Franky Fresh — which was named after Provenza’s father, Francois — sports walls covered in Run DMC posters and mounted boom boxes (equipped with real-life cassette players, for you Post-Millennials).

On the menu, which is actually a repurposed vinyl record, is a short list of gourmet burgers, sandwiches, appetizers and milkshakes. “It’s a simple menu, but like the concept of a good vinyl, we wanted to make our menu a good album, where you don’t skip a track,” Provenza shares.

And with burger names such as The Fresh Prince and Notorious P.I.G., and sandwiches like The Heavy D and MC Hammer, diners are sure to put this delicious record on repeat.

BUNS, HON!

This bun is baked fresh at La Tour CafĂ© and is a combination of Jewish challah and brioche breads. The starchy hybrid is dense enough to sop up the burger’s juices, and tasty enough to stand out on its own.

‘MY BABY’S GOT SAUCE’

The restaurant even makes its own ketchup — along with other delicious homemade sauces to choose from — mixing in flavors like Sriracha and garlic for an extra kick.

FRESH IDEAS

Between “freestyling,” or trying out new recipes, in the kitchen with chef Jerry Gallardo and idea-man Brenton Scott, and concocting new weekly specials such as the Mac ‘n Cheese burger and Taco burger, the Franky Fresh team is working on offering healthier menu items (The Guru Veggie burger already is an award-winner). The restaurant also hopes to serve alcohol and host break dancing and beatboxing events in the near future.

SHAKE IT UP

Order your meal with one of the many cereal milkshakes offered, such as the Cap’n Crunch, which blends ground Cap’n Crunch cereal and freshly scooped vanilla ice cream.

‘WHAT’S BEEF’

The Notorious B.I.G. was talking about a different kind of beef in his song, but the kind that diners are interested in is Franky Fresh’s Big Island Paniolo beef, which is free-range, hormone-free and best described by another of Biggie Smalls’ songs: “Juicy.”

STACKED

The burger also includes smoky bacon, sauteed Portobello mushrooms, grilled onions and melted Swiss cheese.

Franky Fresh

3040 Waialae Ave., Kaimuki
744-7728
Daily, noon-10 p.m. (last call 9:30)