AUSPICIOUS 08-08-08 . . . Famous for decades here as a "numerology pundit," restaurateur Bob Longhi knew when he founded his restaurant in Lahaina 32 years ago he had to have the right address number to be a success. So when he landed 888 Front St., he knew Longhi's Lahaina would be a winner.
"Eight is the most powerful number in China," he says. "I've heard claims an 888 address in Hong Kong is worth a million dollars!"
Even the Olympics will kick off in China Friday on that auspicious date. When Bob bought the Lahaina restaurant, he thought the address "was a gift from God." And there's more, "888 adds up to 24, which in numerology is 6 - the number for successful restaurants."
Wilson Wu of Oahu is one of the principal owners of the new Ramen Ya that is packed every day from when the doors open at 10:30 a.m. It’s located near Macy’s in Queen Ka‘ahumanu Center.
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo
So come join Bob and the gang Friday for the Longhi's Lahaina 888 Party. Come dine at your leisure from 5 to 10 p.m. Menu highlights are grilled local seafood, pasta in light sauces and lobster Longhi.
Live music starts at 10 p.m. and Chinese citizens and those who have dined there that night get free entertainment admission.
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BITS AND PIECES . . . Wine lovers should mark 2009 calendars now for another auspicious event:?Kapalua Wine & Food Festival. It will change dates again, this time moving up to be uncorked June 11 to 14, 2009.
Beverly Gannon will a celebrity chef in the Kahala Food & Wine Classic happening Sept. 12 and 13 at Kahala Hotel & Resort on Oahu. The theme will be G'day Meets Aloha, which is a good match for her as she's corporate chef for Hawaiian Airlines, and flies to Down Under regularly as part of her job.
Pineapple Grill in Kapalua just kicked off its weekend brunch service last Saturday and Sunday in addition to its regular menu. It runs from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and includes Asian braised short rib hash with Kapalua Farms fresh eggs; lobster Florentine with sweet-chile Hollandaise; and Belgian waffles with roasted pineapple maple syrup.
The owner of Maui Brewing Co. in Kahana has dyed his hair blue to raise some green for a good cause - to benefit charities in his native San Diego.
"Some of you may be asking yourselves, 'Garrett doesn't have all that much hair?' But having personally never dyed my hair before, this is quite a leap," says Garrett Marrero, whose goal is to raise $2,500. You may pledge by visiting www.stonedyehards.org/pledges.
Right before Ramen Ya opens at 10:30 a.m. in Queen Ka'ahumanu Center in Kahului, the owners yell, "Is everybody ready!?"
When heads nod with a resounding "yes," they open the finely etched doors and the masses stream into the 50-seat hot spot with a yin-yang look.
Chinese owners run this Japanese-style noodle house and they make the broth and the gyoza from scratch. Udon and ramen noodles are made on Oahu and flown in. Popular items include the mochiko chicken; the chicken katsu curry; and the gomoku ramen with bamboo, seaweed, corn, bean sprouts, onion and seasonal veggies such as bok choy or won bok.
"We have a kids menu, rice plates and party tray and we can cater to any size party," says Wilson Wu, one of the owners. "Our combo sets with various items are a good way to check out our menu."
There will be lots of food to munch at the Lahaina Film Festival from 4 to 11 p.m. Saturday at Campbell Park in the historic town. Those who want to do it up in style may enjoy VIP dining at the Front Street Grill & Bar overlooking the festival. Or opt for the food in the booths by Cool Cat Cafe, Amigo's Mexican Food and Jamba Juice.
Manana Garage in Kahului is rocking with its Pau Hana Fridays in the courtyard from 3 to 6 p.m. Dine al fresco on pupu specials such as calamari and beef chimichangas, and drinks such as cosmos and class margaritas.
* Carla Tracy is the dining editor of the Maui Scene.