Sunday, May 22, 2022 |
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PO‘IPU — Daniel Hurtado, owner of Da Crack located at 2827 Po‘ipu Rd. adjacent to the Kukui‘ula Store, has never forgotten what it was like to be hungry.
Hurtado said Da Crack, open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., will donate 100 percent of its day’s revenue on Saturday to the Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank.
“We had 10 brothers and sisters in our family,” Hurtado said. “Daniel and Yoshiko Moke, our grandparents, live next door, and we grew up in the blue house next door. We used to eat here all the time.”
Hurtado said with that many siblings in the family, there was no money or food.
“I remember trading a rooster for a burrito,” he said. “We have great appreciation for the food bank because we knew what they did for us. When the people from the food bank came with food, it was just like Christmas.”
Behind the stove and counter of the little niche, which drew a steady stream of customers Tuesday afternoon, Hurtado said he was lucky to get into the spot because Terry Kuribayashi, his landlord and owner of the adjacent Kukui‘ula Store, offered him first choice when the lease became available about 18 months ago.
Since then, Hurtado has worked on perfecting his offerings of Mexican grinds.
“I spent a few days playing around in the kitchen and trying to get a feel of things,” Hurtado said.
Kuribayashi said one of the crowd favorites is the fish tacos and fish wraps where Hurtado uses fresh fish instead of frozen fish.
“We buy everything from local fishermen,” Hurtado said. “We try to use local wherever we can. Local beef and pork and even avocado from local producers.”
He said one of the difficulties of getting locally produced beef, especially, is the restaurant menu requires a hard-to-cut portion of beef, which means he can’t get locally grown all the time.
Kuribayashi added that Hurtado is also very generous with his portions, perhaps remembering how hard it was to get food during his childhood days.
A lot of people come and order several items, sharing between them, potluck-style, she said.
Hurtado, a member of The Garden Island Motorcycle Club and the Kaua‘i Motorcross Racing Association, received help from these two organizations which will be accepting a canned good or other non-perishable food item in lieu of admission for its 4th Annual Charity Poker Run Sunday in Oma‘o. The gesture adds to Hurtado’s efforts at Da Crack Saturday.
Hurtado said he rides a 250 cc, 2-stroke bike.
“I’m not the greatest,” he said. “But I enjoy it.”
Da Crack is open Mondays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call 742-9205 for more information.
Call 651-3000 for more information on the motocross event.
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