When you go to a particular restaurant, do you order the same thing over and over because that’s what you like, period?

Shouldn’t you forget tradition, and navigate the rest of the menu, to discover some other pleasure or treasure?

Well, at Ruscello at Nordstrom at Ala Moana Center, I’m hooked on the Crispy Panko Chicken salad. Just had it a few days ago; likely to have it again next time I go.

While I’ve tried the Market Burger, the Turkey and Swiss BLT, and the Chicken Club with Maple Bacon – hey, one of these go well with the soup of the day – I keep returning to the salad.

Crispy Panko Salad at Ruscello restaurant at Nordstrom

And remember to tell the waiter/waitress to have the chef chop up the chicken. That’s part of the secret. Trust me, you’ll mess up the chicken if you cut it yourself.

The salad is an unbeatable joy, with the chicken – in bite-sized morsels – reigning over a trove of veggies, including organic baby greens, grilled corn, petite tomatoes, plus eggs and bacon and a wedge of avocado on the side. The honey Dijon dressing is perfect,ion and with the complementary bread, it’s a fulfilling meal for $16.25.

When I add the soup, which arrives before the salad, I usually wind up taking half the salad home, which makes a dandy appetizer or salad before the beef or pork or pasta at dinnertime. Works for any entrée.

If you haven’t yet tried this salad, do so. You won’t be disappointed.

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