Craving some authentic Hawaiian cuisine? Crave no more.
Founded in 1997 in Pacific Beach, the Hawaiian eatery Da Kine’s Plate Lunches is returning to the restaurant business with a new location at 5401 Linda Vista Road near the University of San Diego.
Da Kine’s features Hawaiian cuisine with a fast casual concept and come-as-you-are approach akin to island culture. To celebrate this return after 11 years, the restaurant is holding a grand opening on Saturday, Oct. 19, featuring half-off nearly the entire menu.
Founder “Uncle” Nelson Ishii operated a restaurant in Pacific Beach between 1997 and 2008, then closed the business to to focus on catering for events like the Super Bowl and the Junior World Golf Championships.
Hailing from Kanaeohe — where he was “born before Hawaii was a state” — Ishii turned a love for his homeland into a part of San Diego’s Hawaiian history.
He attended college in San Diego in 1976, then returned to Hawaii for eight years before moving permanently to San Diego in 1989. A series of jobs, including at Motu Hawaii, eventually led to the opening Da Kine’s.
The new Da Kine’s location has been in the works since January. Its virtually unchanged menu features his original recipes for plates like teriyaki chicken, Kalua Pig with shredded cabbage, local-style macaroni salad, Polynesian-style mashed taro, Chicken Katsu, and ribs served Korean style or sweet and sour.
“So many Da Kine’s loyal customers, people who remember eating at our original beach location, kept asking me to open another place that they could come to eat,” Ishii said. “I couldn’t keep saying no after everyone kept asking!”
Following its grand opening, Da Kine’s will be open from 11 a.m. through 8 p.m. every Tuesday through Sunday.
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