Rebel Kitchen specializes in Hawaiian-inspired burgers, sandwiches & salads. They also make their own range of hot sauces which are sold on site.
Located in the heart of Kainaliu, Rebel Kitchen has a community feel. The owners source as much of their food as possible from local suppliers. They also use eco friendly food packing products where possible.
Rebel Kitchen is currently only open 11-5pm, Tues-Sat. As a result, it’s primarily a lunch spot. We arrived on a weekday in the early afternoon. The restaurant was almost empty and we didn’t have to wait for a table. Kainaliu is a small collection of restaurants, second-hand stores, galleries and other shops on Mamalahoa Highway not far from Kealakekua. There is a usually easy parking in front of the restaurant.
There are plenty of tables and plenty of airflow in an area that is essentially an enclosed patio. There is also seating at the bar.
The menu is a mix of classic American staples infused with local Hawaiian flavors. Pupu’s (Hawaiian for appetizers) include – nacho steak fries (fries topped with slices of ribeye steak), Hawaiian Fire Wings (deep fried wings in their homemade hot sauce) and Cuban Rolls (pork, ham and cheese rolled in a wonton and deep fried!). Items on their salad menu include – Thai steak salad, BBQ chicken salad and a grilled vegetable salad. Why not try their local grass fed beef patty burgers, or a pulled pork sandwich. They also have a number of specialty dishes including an ono and shrimp dish, cajun pasta, and a creamy veggie pasta. All the buns used in the burgers and sandwiches are freshly made on the premises!
What we ordered
(Above) Blackened ono sandwich. Crispy blackened ono topped with lettuce, tomato and onion on a homemade bun ($14.75). Served with a spicy pineapple coleslaw (red cabbage, onion, peppers, pineapple topped with homemade sauce).
(Above) BBQ Pulled Pork sandwich. Pulled pork in a tangy spicy BBQ sauce topped with lettuce, tomato and onion on a homemade bun ($13.99). Served with a potato salad (a mustard-based salad with red potato, onions, peppers, olives and pickles.
Rebel Kitchen was a relaxed dining experience. The food was delicious and the homemade sauces were very tasty. This local favorite is the perfect spot for lunch when you find yourself in the Kainaliu/Kealakekua area.