Longtime Kalihi diner shines with specials

Columns Foodie Fare

October 12, 2014

Story By: Christina O Connor | Photos by: Anthony Consillio

For nearly 50 years, Kenny’s Restaurant in Kalihi has been a neighborhood hangout with all the markings of a classic diner — it has an expansive dining room, complete with counter seating and the menu is filled with plenty of comfort food, along with local favorites.

“There’s a little bit of everything for everybody,” explains senior assistant manager Leihulu Irvine. “We have plate lunches, Japanese food, pastas, and then we always have been known for our fresh fish.”

Plus, Kenny’s also regularly creates various specials. This month, seafood lovers have it made with Seafood Pasta with Lobster Cream ($11.99). The dish features shrimp and bay scallops sauteed with onions, mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes bathed in tarragon lobster cream sauce, served over linguine. It also is accompanied by garlic bread.

The dish has already been so popular that supervisor Jimmy O’Donnell says he can’t imagine discontinuing it at the end of the month.

Whole Hawaiian Reef Fish, Nitsuke-style Menpachi (market price)

Whole Hawaiian Reef Fish, Nitsuke-style Menpachi (market price)

“We are thinking about making it permanent,” he says. “People really, really like our seafood, and we have received a really good response. It’s a high-quality, affordable dish.”

Chinese Chicken Salad ($11.45) has been a long-time customer favorite at Kenny’s.

Part of what makes the salad so special is the homemade dressing, a sesame vinaigrette. While the dressing, which can be made sugar-free, may be the standout item, the rest of the salad also is delicious, consisting of iceberg lettuce, shredded carrots, shoyu chicken, char siu, wonton and roasted peanuts.

Kenny’s also is renowned for its fresh fish, such as Whole Hawaiian Reef Fish (market price), including Menpachi (pictured), which can be prepared grilled, fried or nitsuke (Japanese steamed) style. Nitsuke style can be created sugar-free as well.

“Fresh fish is something that has been a main-stay at the restaurant since its founding,” Irvine says.

It’s hard to believe that it’s almost time to start planning your Thanksgiving meal, but with Kenny’s at your service, you don’t have to stress. The restaurant offers roast turkey with all the fixings to go. Call the restaurant for prices and to place your order.

Kenny’s Restaurant

Kamehameha Shopping Center
1620 N. School St.
Sunday-Thursday, 6:30 a.m.-10 p.m.
Friday-Saturday, 6:30 a.m.-11 p.m.

Honolulu, HI 96817

Hawaii's Best
Hawaii's Best