Ever wonder how many plate lunches Rainbow Drive-In produces in one day?
Today, the Kapahulu location produces over 1000 plates daily, and Lanai is in that count a number of times a week for sure. We were happy to finally bring in CEO, Chris Iwamura of Rainbow Drive-In to share their story.
The late Seiju Ifuku, founder of Rainbow Drive-In was born 1915. He was raised in Okinawa and moved to Hawaii where he joined the army and learned to cook. In 1961, in the midst of major economic changes in Hawaii, he and his wife, the late Ayako Ifuku took a chance and opened Rainbow Drive-In in Kapahulu. They served 50-cent chili and rice plates, $1 BBQ beef plates, 25-cent hamburgers and 14-cent fries.
Seiju and Ayako’s philosophy was to serve plates with generous portions of hearty, simple food with two scoops of rice and a side of macaroni salad at a reasonable price. This continues to be the restaurant philosophy today and is sure to be the reason for its great success.
Every day, locals and visitors from around the world dine at the restaurant for big, hearty meals… the classic, Hawaii-style plate lunch.
We are excited to have Chris Iwamura in the kitchen to give us some insight into their success and a few secrets to their recipes.
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Rainbow Drive-Inʻs Chili by Chris Iwamura of Rainbow Drive-In
- MEASURING SPOONS & CUPS
- SMALL BOWLS FOR WATER
- SPOON FOR MIXING
- LARGE POT/PAN/WOK
- LARGE WOODEN SPOON
- SERVING PLATTER
- LADLE OR SERVING SPOON
- PLATES FOR TASTING
- 1 Pack RAINBOW DRIVE-IN CHILI SEASONING
- 2 Cups WATER
- 1 Med. TOMATO DICED
- 1/2 Med. ONION DICED
- 2 Lbs. GROUND BEEF
- 2 15 OZ. CANS KIDNEY BEANS
- 1 6 OZ. CAN TOMATO PASTE
- 6 OZ. ADDITIONAL WATER
- 1 DASH WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE (LEA & PERRINS)
- 1 DICED JALAPENO (NOT ON RECIPE PACKET)
PRE-MADE PLATING OPTIONS:
- RICE, MAC, FRIES, TOTS, WIENERS, HOT DOG/BUN, PATTIES, EGGS CHILI MOCO
- CHEESE, ONIONS, GREEN ONIONS, RED DEVIL
- COMBINE WATER, TOMATO AND ONION IN A POT AND BRING TO A BOIL.
- ONCE BOILING, ADD THE MEAT AND COOK FOR 10 MINUTES, STIRRING TO BREAK APART.
- ADD BEANS WITH LIQUID, TOMATO PASTE, ADDITIONAL 6 OZ OF WATER, CHILI SEASONING, AND WORCHETERSHIRE SAUCE NOT ON PACKET INSTRUCTIONS.
- ADD JALAPENO FOR EXTRA SPICE.
- BRING TO A BOIL, THEN SIMMER FOR 5 MINUTES.
- ADD SALT TO TASTE AND SERVE!