Travel the ‘happy trails’ with healthy choices

A La Carte

January 14, 2020

Story By: Don Robbins | Photos by: Courtesy by Paniolos Hawaii

Bowl with Organic Chicken ($10.75)

Paniolos Hawaii gives you what you need to “giddy up and go” in a healthy way with tasty Mexican-inspired dishes with a Hawaiian vibe.

The restaurants in Kahala Mall, Kailua and Kapolei take their name from the paniolo, or Hawaiian cowboy, who are the focus of a time-honored tradition that started way back in the 1700s. Hawaiians became adept cowboys in the local ranching industry. The restaurant by that same name honors the paniolo legacy by serving beef from Hawaii ranchers that’s locally raised and grass fed. Paniolos highlights a commitment to emphasizing a healthy lifestyle by always using fresh, carefully prepared ingredients.

Chris and Sara Lufrano, a husband-and wife team of owners, opened the first Paniolos site in Kailua six years ago, then last year they established the Kapolei and Kahala Mall locations. The couple also owns the Aloha Salads company as well.

Co-owner Sara Lufrano points out that one healthy option is the Tacos ($10.75).

“They have paniolo steak in them which is our local grass-fed beef, slow-cooked in chipotle peppers and adobo sauce,” Lufrano explains.

Tacos ($10.75) Photos courtesy Paniolos

Paniolos customers can create their own delectable bowls, tacos and burritos with fresh tortillas and other mouthwatering ingredients.

Guests start by selecting a “base” of cilantro lime brown rice, cilantro lime white rice, or chopped romaine lettuce. Then, you can pick your beans like black beans, pinto, or refried beans. Step three gives diners the pick of their favorite protein from a group including “Tofurico” ($9.95), which is a protein that Paniolos trademarked which is cooked with delicious adobo sauce and chipotle peppers. Other selections are kalua pig, organic chicken, grilled steak and paniolo steak.

Topping off the menu item are your toppings — with choices like sour cream, salsa, cheese and other options like cilantro, spicy jalapenos and more.


Paniolos Hawaii offers its Bowl with Organic Chicken ($10.75). This item, and even tacos, can also be ordered as vegetarian or vegan instead — with the company’s organic tofu “Tofurico” — which is also cooked with chipotle peppers and adobo sauce ($9.75) or grilled vegetables and guacamole ($9.75).

Honolulu, HI 96816

Ilima Awards
Hawaii's Best