KAPAA — It’s not every day that you stumble upon a place that sells burgers with fries and sushi burritos. But Kenji Burger, located in Kapaa, is a treat for the tastebuds.
It can be difficult to decide what to have for lunch some days. That’s why when another reporter in the office told me about Kenji Burger, an Asian fusion restaurant, I had to give it a try.
Walking inside the small eatery, I felt an immediate cross breeze sweeping through the room. The friendly cashier said, “Yeah, it gets windy in here sometimes.”
Little did I know that the wind wasn’t the only thing that was going to blow me away during my lunch.
It took me a few minutes to decide what to order. The cashier was very patient with me and even offered suggestions. Since I didn’t eat breakfast, I figured that I would order a couple of things off the menu and take whatever leftovers I had in a box. After all, what’s the point in trying out a new place if you don’t try different things?
I ordered the Kenji Burger combo, which was a teriyaki burger with ponzu mayo, caramelized onions, cheddar cheese with tomato and fresh greens with a drink and fries, all for $13. Before I ordered the next item on my wishlist, the cashier asked if I wanted to upgrade to furikake fries.
For an extra $1.50, how could I say no?
At this point, my eyes were bigger than my stomach as I went on to order the Japanese Burrito, which is a sushi burrito with shrimp tempura, crab meat, spicy tuna, cucumber, avocado and kenji sauce for $12.
A total of $27.80, including tax, was the damage I had done before even taking a bite out of my lunch. The cashier swung by my table in a matter of minutes with a box that looked like it could’ve fit a child’s birthday cake inside of it.
Instead, there was a mountain of food that I knew I had to bring back to the office.
In all honesty, the Japanese Burrito was among some of the best sushi I’ve ever had. Not only was the burrito full of crabmeat and tempura, but no flavor overpowered the other. I also appreciated how well wrapped the seaweed was, as so often I bite into a sushi roll or Spam musubi only to witness the nori wrapping tear and have all the rice fall out.
I ate half of the burrito knowing that I still had to eat the burger and fries. The burger could’ve fed a family of three due to sheer size. While every bite of the 100 percent Kauai grass-fed beef was a symphony of flavor, the sauce from the burger made it a bit messy to eat with your hands.
While I do recommend the burger, I would advise you to make sure that you have napkins nearby to clean up the mess.
As for the furikake fries, I could’ve eaten them all day if I didn’t have to go back to work. As I wrapped up the rest of my fries and burrito to put back in the box to take back to the office to finish for another time, I sat back in my seat and closed my eyes for a second, knowing that the drive back to Lihue through the Kapaa crawl would be very challenging after such a satisfying meal.
The perfect dessert after Kenji Burger would be a nap, because it’s impossible to survive the kanak attack that soon came to fruition.
Kenji Burger is a great place for picky eaters to go for lunch because there’s something for everyone.