Side Orders • Oct. 3, 2013

NO GUTS, NO GLORY . . . In my younger days, that was the mantra on Ajax. We’d storm the bumps, glide the groomed trails, and end of day, schuss to apres ski food and drink in Aspen.

In recent days, my weathered right knee clicks and clacks, and it’s an uphill battle to get out of my desk chair. But I’m still just as eager to hit the restaurants and see what’s new in the food and drink theater.

For starters, we hear Sam Choy is coming back to Maui to open another restaurant. He, of course, is one of the original 12 Hawaii Regional Cuisine chefs who put Hawaii on the world food map in the first place.

Now, Choy hopes to open an oceanfront restaurant on the Ka’anapali Beachwalk by the year’s end. His liquor license is already approved, he says.

In addition, the Food Network star, author and restaurateur will be a headline speaker at TechConKona Nov. 2 at the Natural Energy Lab Hawaii (NELHA) Gateway Center in Kona on the Big Island. He’ll talk about sustainability and how it boosts the bottom line as he addresses farmers, chefs and others in the industry.

Choy’s longtime friend, Chef Philippe Chin, just opened Sugar Cane Maui, a Lahaina cafe and eat bar, in the former Famous Dave’s on Front Street.

“Philippe is a world-class chef. He’s one of the great ones,” says Choy. “Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of great chefs on Maui. He just adds to the pot. I think he was the youngest Michelin chef in Paris, too.”

After having lunch there, I say run, don’t walk there. (Yes, even me with my knee!) Now through Oct. 31, Chin is doing a kamaaina special of 30 percent off of all food – and it’s not that expensive anyway. You may also BYOB, until he gets his liquor license. Look for a feature story on Sugar Cane Maui in next week’s Scene.

Of course, another world-class chef is planning to open at the Andaz Maui in Wailea this month. That’s “Iron Chef” Masaharu Morimoto at the highly anticipated Morimoto – situated oceanfront at the hotel.

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BITS & PIECES . . . A new Thai eatery should open Friday at Rainbow Mall in Kihei. Maui Thai Bistro will serve lunch and dinner daily. The chef is Prakong Tongsod, who cooked at Prawnee’s in Hana.

“At lunch, we’ll focus on single dishes of lighter fare with good and fresh ingredients,” says owner Oey Meesook, who was an economist for World Bank in Washington, D.C., where her husband, Chit Tharnthong, was in Information Technology. “We’re both from Thailand, but we have both lived abroad for many years. I thought I was happily retired, until my husband suggested this!”

Pineapple Grill in Kapalua is running what it calls End of Summer deals until Oct. 31. For instance, buy a full breakfast entree, and sip $3 mimosas until 11 a.m. Or, you may opt for the nightly three-course dinner for two with a bottle of wine for $100. Call 669-9600.

Buzz’s Wharf has reopened in Maalaea after a September closure. It just launched a new lunch menu, perfect for people on the go, from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. Kamaaina also get 25 percent off food this month.

By the way, Buzz’s Wharf will be among the 25 top Maui restaurants to participate in Lahaina Plantation Days Oct. 18 and 19 near the historic smoke stack.

This year, the family-friendly event will have a food contest with the Best of Show winning the grand prize of $1,000. The chefs will have to be quick on their feet, to race ahead of the others for the win.

Ko at Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui will oom-pah-pah with a three-course menu of Chef Tylun Pang’s local favorites, paired with three German beers in honor of Oktoberfest nightly through October.

Nick’s Fishmarket, also at the Fairmont, will Explore the Wines of France Saturday, uncorking a reception at 5:30 p.m. and dinner at 6 p.m.

I misspelled Kyle Kawakami’s last name in last week’s Side Orders. Sorry, Kyle! He’s impressing Central Maui diners with his shiny, red Maui Fresh Streatery food truck parked at Shell Gas Station in Kahului.

The former Maui Culinary Academy chef-instructor is lining up the hungry hordes with his farm-to-truck cuisine. He rotates the meny every other week from Vietnamese fare to now French fare.

“People are begging for Indian food to rotate in and I’m also thinking about creating a Japanese menu soon,” he says. “But for next week, it’s French.”

And, what about the food truck trio that just won on the Food Network’s “Great Food Truck Race?” Kihei’s Adam Tabura, his brother, Lanai Tabura, and their pal, Shawn Felipe, had the guts to go for it.

And, they certainly found the glory.