Side Orders • Jan. 30, 2014

NOT TONGUE TIED . . . I planned to do gardening and other household chores on Sunday, but decided to kiss it all goodbye.

My friend and I headed to Paia for the blessing celebration of the new Rock & Brews, where we spotted some people we knew in the crowd.

Glass artist Tom Trottier says he etched the Hawaiian figures on the restroom doors. Al Lagunero conducted the blessing in full native regalia (and his murals adorned the walls). Olelo Brown (formerly chef at StopWatch) said she’ll run the grill, when the restaurant opens in February. Marty Dread was spotted, talking to partner Mark Blietz about joining the music lineup.

Partners Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of KISS met with me in the back hallway, where I told them I heard they had performed at Dodger Stadium the night before. They had sunglasses on, but I swear their eyes lit up, pleased that I was aware of it.

KISS rocked down the Dodger Stadium with costumes, makeup and pyrotechnics for the first warm weather hockey game there between the LA Kings and the Anaheim Dukes. On a video I watched, Simmons stuck out his famous tongue throughout (and even used it to play his bass).

Hmm. . . wonder if he thinks his Rock & Brews cuisine is finger-licking good? He wasn’t tongue tied during the meet and greet, and neither was Stanley.

“It’s The Maui News!” exclaimed Simmons when I cut around the corner. “We wouldn’t be here unless we loved Maui,” he added. “We’re really excited to be here,” chimed in Stanley. “We not only buy local produce, but we also have local partners. And, we support local charities such as Paia Youth & Cultural Center.” (The center was presented with a $10,000 check at the event.)

The musicians, who have sold more than 100-million records with their bandmates, also credited their friend, Joe Gannon, as the reason they got to know and love the north shore of Maui. If you want to know more, read my As Maui Dines blog at

Speaking of Gannon, his Joe’s restaurant in Wailea has added a decidedly south-of-the-border slant to some of the menu items.

“Our Mexican Caesars are to die for,” says his famous chef wife, Beverly Gannon. “We also do chile rellenos; and cumin-dusted scallops with roasted bell pepper and potato puree, cilantro pesto and fresh lilikoi. But we still have our signature ribs and meat loaf.”

Part two of season’s “Top Chef” finale was filmed largely at Gannons: A Pacific View Restaurant in Wailea. See it at 8 p.m. Wednesday on Bravo.

Gannons will also present the second annual Book Trust Extravaganza from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Saturday with an Ocean Vodka martini bar, heavy pupu, unique auction items and entertainment.


BITS AND PIECES . . . The Year of the Horse will gallop into Maui on Friday. Look for the special Chinese New Year section in today’s paper.

We also hear Vietnamese Cuisine in Kihei will offer a Chinese New Year special Friday of sweet-and-sour pork with egg and mustard cabbage “In Vietnam, everybody makes this,” says owner Ann Carpenter.

Hop aboard the Kai Kanani in Makena for a sunset cruise at 4:15 p.m. Saturday and savor and sip a Greek-themed wine and food spread by Christopher Kulis of Capische and the soon-to-open Market by Capische?

Pacific Whale Foundation’s Island Rhythms Sunset Cocktail Cruise, featuring the above-mentioned reggae artist Marty Dread, sails Fridays from Maalaea. It will now launch from Lahaina Harbor on select Saturdays. . . PWF is also gearing up for its 34th annual World Whale Day in Kihei Feb. 15. Making a splash will be tons of food from top restaurants, Mick Fleetwood will be parade grand marshall and a huge music lineup will follow. You can kiss household chores goodbye. I know I will. Rock on, Maui!