Kenny’s RestaurantDigest Step Up to the Plate
December 28, 2014
Story By: Alana Folen | Photos by: Bodie Collins
A Closer Look at This Week’s House Special Taco Salad, an established and permanent dish on the menu ($11.99)
Locals light up upon hearing the nostalgic name of local favorite Kenny’s Restaurant. Although it’s been 47 years since it opened in Kalihi’s Kamehameha Shopping Center, Kenny’s continues to provide quality food in a family-friendly atmosphere under the ownership of John Fujieki. And while most of its patrons are made up of loyal and seasoned eaters, the younger generation can’t help but fall in love with this local staple in restaurant excellence too. Kenny’s General Manager Rick Sciascia notes that although the eatery is famous for its Chinese chicken salad, prime rib and oxtail soup, there is another longtime and unexpected favorite dish among diners: The always colorful and delicious Taco Salad.
A slew of fresh veggies are chopped and prepared fresh daily, including: tomatoes, black beans, sweet corn, black olives and iceberg lettuce. Cheddar cheese and a dollop or two of sour cream complement the zesty dish.
The seasoned ground beef is what makes the salad unforgettable. “It’s a secret family recipe of sorts,” says Sciascia, “so, I’m not even allowed to make it!”
A hidden layer of tasty refried beans provide the foundation for the myriad of simple ingredients, all combined to create a surprisingly complex mix of flavors.
The Taco Salad is “a traditional item that people love and continue to come back for,” adds Sciascia. Not to mention the portion size can satisfy any appetite. Most diners take what’s left of the dish home with them, lucky enough to enjoy the irresistible salad a second time.
Jalapenos and roasted tomato salsa are added on top for a nice little kick, while a border of grilled flour tortillas can be crushed or used for scooping up every last bite.
Also, don’t forget to check out Kenny’s Express Hawaiian Barbeque, located at Royal Hawaiian Center in Waikiki.
Kamehameha Shopping Center
1620 N. School St.
Sunday-Thursday, 6 a.m.-10 p.m.
Friday-Saturday, 6 a.m.-11 p.m.