Side Orders • Feb. 6, 2014

AUSPICIOUS EVENTS . . . If you haven’t had your fill of Chinese New Year events, the Year of the Horse is still cantering around the island. Ka’anapali Beach Hotel will celebrate its 23-year tradition with a buffet from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday.

The lion’s mouth will snap, cymbals will crash, fireworks will explode and martial arts will be performed by Au’s Shaolin Arts Society. Sip free-flowing champagne and enjoy Hawaiian music, too. More than 50 Asian foods will be presented, such as Chinese roast duck, pot stickers, shrimp chow mein, mini-manapua. sweet-and-sour pork ribs and sauteed snapper in yellow curry. For reservations, visit

Traveling to Hana for Valentine’s Day weekend? In the land of beautiful sunrises and rainbows, Travaasa Hana’s Ka’uiki Restaurant will present a multicourse feast of seafood on ice with shucked oysters, crab claws, shrimp, sashimi and mussels; roast rack of lamb or fresh catch; and apple-banana sundae to share.

Kahakuloa is another remote spot on Maui, and Mendes Ranch is on the route there. With neighbor and slack-key master George Kahumoku Jr., it will launch its Hawaiian Cowboy Barbecue on Valentine’s Day. The full moon will be out and you may take hay rides, roast marshmallows, line dance and pet horses. Call 669-3858.

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ALL OVER THE MAP . . . I remember vacationing on Koh Samui island in Thailand, where a three-story shrine to Bob Marley reigned supreme. It was also a bar, a ton of fun, and it rained red, red wine and Mekong whiskey, and people danced reggae all night.

Saturday, Kokomon, Bengali and the Super Dub Tribe will perform a Bob Marley birthday bash tribute at Sports Page Grill & Bar in Kihei.

“Doors will open at 9 p.m., and we’ll serve food until midnight,” says assistant manager Paige Henderson. “We’ll slide all of the pool tables and games out of the back room, add high tops, and make way for the dance floor. Advance tickets are $10.”Sponsors include Red Bull, Jaegermeister, Jose Cuervo Tequila and more.

Lingering KISS stories continue to pour in. We hear that diners at The Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui were elated when Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley performed “Hard Luck Woman,” the lead single from their 1976 album, Rock and Roll Over, at Ko restaurant.

“We’re thrilled,” says Charles Head, the resort’s general manager. “More than $50 million has been invested into the resort in the past three years, resulting in an unrivaled destination, ideal for our highest profile VIP guests.”

MauiGrown Coffee Store, near the historic smokestack off Lahainaluna Road, is the place to go for the coffee lover in your life when shopping for Valentine’s Day.

“We’re famous for our French Kiss coffee; it’s red catuai beans with a dark roast,” says partner Diane Boyd. “We also sell chocolate-covered espresso beans in cute Valentine’s heart packages, and we have Mokka coffees to sample and taste.” Call 661-2728.

Love Italian fare? Maui Fresh Streatery food truck parked at Ilima Shell gas station in Kahului will continue to roll with an Italian theme this week.

Chef-owner Kyle Kawakami is impressing diners with his eggplant or chicken parmesan, pasta with rosemary-grilled shrimp, and vegetarian Caprese paninis along with pizza fries. To order, call 344-7921.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts’ upcoming starMixologist and HOTChef competitions will soon be held in San Diego and two of Maui’s finest have made the cut with more than 2,000 attendees planning to watch.

Bartender Freddie Sconfienza of Westin Maui Resort & Spa will return as a finalist to defend his 2013 win. Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa also has executive sous chef Raymond Nicasio cutting the mustard as one of five finalists in the HOTChef contest. Stay tuned. And, what did you think of the “Top Chef” Maui finale last night?