The other day a few of us were talking about KFC, the fast-food chain that specialized in fried chicken.
We noticed that many of the local restaurants, operated by Kazi Foods, were closing, namely the ones on Kapiolani and Dillingham boulevards, on Kapahulu Avenue and in Niu Valley.
The conversation centered around the Kapahulu location. It closed a few months ago and, in its place, will be Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, KFC’s fiercest rival.
I was sad to see KFC good. I’m partial to Col. Sanders’ secret recipe of 11 herbs and spices. But others in the group protested, saying Popeyes, which was founded in New Orleans in 1972, was superior in taste and quality.
It was interesting what a lively debate it started — and all over fried chicken!
I took this debate to others and found that a lot of my friends have very strong opinions about fried chicken. Some swear by Zippy’s popular version, others are passionate about the one served at Tanioka’s Seafood & Catering in Waipahu. Some still love the fried chicken plate served at Rainbow Drive-In — which, by the way, takes 15 minutes to prepare, so you should order ahead.
Fried chicken isn’t really a staple food here, but versions of it — like mochiko, garlic and katsu-style — certainly are. So maybe there is room in Hawaii for this debate.
So I’m throwing it out there: who’s got the best fried chicken in Hawaii (and elsewhere)?