The Big Kahuna of BBQ
By Braxton Caudill
Trying new food destinations is one of my all-time favorite hobbies. Although the act of breaking from a preferred set of “comfort restaurants” can be unsettling, tasting new flavors is exciting and fulfilling! A few days ago around lunchtime my stomach began to rumble, and my mind started scanning through an archived list of go-to restaurants, in hopes that one sounded appetizing. Alas, it was one of those situations where nothing felt like the right fit. I sought help within my restaurant must-try list where my attention was seized upon reading the bullet point “Big Kahuna BBQ”. The establishment, opened in May, was recommended by a friend. After a quick glance at the menu on their website, I knew this was the one.
Now, before we get to the good stuff, let's talk about some pre-dining aspects. Their location at the corner of Winchester and Liberty Rd in Lexington is easy to miss, so be on your toes as you approach. Also, securing a parking spot in the small lot at the rear of the building is a pain in the buttocks, especially during busy hours, so be ready to do some finagling. Nevertheless, I would do it a hundred times over for the experience I left with, so don't let it deter you!
This joint has labeled themselves as Hawaiian and West Coast fusion cuisine. I am admittedly no expert on either culinary subset; all I know is the food was absolutely bursting with flavor. I ordered the Katsu plate, which is crispy fried pork drizzled in spicy mayo, eel sauce, and their house-made chili sauce. Every lunch plate comes with a side of sticky rice and macaroni salad. My total came in at around $9, an unbelievable deal for the portion size and impeccable quality of food. I hardly ever leave restaurants with leftovers, but I left the Big Kahuna with a portion of tasty morsels that were enjoyed as a late night meal. After conversing with customers and staff, my understanding is that you can’t go wrong with any choice on the menu, but consensus states that the coconut shrimp are to die for! They have refined their menu to the point where each portion is hot and made to order. There is also a children's menu as well as vegan options, ensuring that each guest is taken care of. Simply put, Big Kahuna is the real deal. I could tell by the freshness and flavor of the food that whoever is in the kitchen is passionate about their art and there is always room for places like that in this world! I will be back sooner rather than later to try more of their delicious food.