COCONUT WIRELESS . . . Rumors are being passed around the island as fast as opihi at a luau that Roy's Kihei will close. So I called the famous chef-partner of 37 of these immensely popular Hawaiian-fusion restaurants that are scattered from Japan to Florida, and here's what he had to say about it.
"If we were going to close, believe me, I'd be the first one to tell our staff," says Roy Yamaguchi, who was on island earlier this week. "We do have only five years left on the lease. Being prudent, we're always keeping an eye open to see what's out there, always looking to better ourselves, to find a place where we can best prosper -before the lease is up. Of course, we will remain loyal to the developers at the same time."
Bottom line is, "We get offers from other developments, there's always opportunities and there's always talk. It's a good thing people wonder what we are going to do, especially in this economy."
Rusty Harpoon’s Chef-owner Suzzette Metcalfe will move her staff into their new digs at the main entrance to Kaanapali Saturday.
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo
As for the award-winning cuisine, it's as quality-driven as ever with tossed Nalo Farm salad, hibachi-grilled salmon, Szechuan baby-back pork ribs, basil-seared ono and Roy's famous dark-chocolate souffle.
By the way, the original Roy's Hawaii Kai location on Oahu marks 20 years Oct. 4-5 with Roy's famous chef pals such as Nobu Matsuhisa and Ming Tsai cooking. "There will be 14 or 15 of them."
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BITS AND PIECES . . . Located in its longtime spot at the Maui Mall in Kahului, IHOP Maui is now under new ownership with fast and friendly service.
"We now feature Seniors' Night every Monday for dinner. Buy one regular adult meal, get one free," says partner Ron Wells. "Kids' Night is every Tuesday. Get a free kid's dinner with the purchase of each regular adult meal. We also have IHOP To Go, and our new fall menu features three dinner specials for $9.99 each."
The Rusty Harpoon has been a landmark on Kaanapali Beach for decades. But Saturday it will move into a larger location, overlooking the 18th hole of the Kaanapali Golf Resort's clubhouse.
"The facility, setting and atmosphere of our new location will take the Rusty Harpoon experience to the next level," says Chef-owner Suzzette Metcalfe.
"The menu will showcase the tradition of excellence that my father established for more than a decade, combined with some innovative new items reflective of my culinary training." The decor features a museum case displaying golf and sports artifacts. There's an African mahogany bar and art by Mauian Christoper Morales and a San Diego design firm put it all together.
Plus, sports fans may view 14 state-of-the-art HD TVs with surround sound and Suzzette says she will offer live acoustic music, pool tables, shuffleboard and Golden Tee 2009 Live game. The grand opening of this fun-sounding enterprise is targeted for Oct. 10.
Last weekend, Chez Paul hosted a fabulously homespun benefit for Maui Culinary Academy and it was great to see chefs and restaurateurs such as Jennifer Nguyen of A Saigon Cafe, Jason Chau of Asian Star, Christian Jorgensen of Comfort Zone, and Michael Moore of Old Lahaina Lu'au come out in full support.
In addition, Chez Paul will offer live jazz from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Sept. 13 and 27 with drinks, pupu and desserts. Savor escargot, duck with green peppercorn and cognac sauce and pineapple creme brulee.
Before you have belly laughs at the Augie T. show at the MACC?on Saturday, get a bellyful of mahimahi piccata, chicken parmesan, or penne Pomodoro catered by Penne Pasta of Lahaina.
The first Sushi 101 class sold out in a hot Makena minute at Maui Prince Hotel last week. So another is on the agenda for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the resort's signature Japanese restaurant, Hakone. "This is your opportunity to find out everything you've always wanted to know about sushi," says new Food & Beverage Director Richard Romanoski. "At the end of the class, you will receive a certificate of completion and a limited-edition 'Got Sushi?' T-shirt. Our goal is to have continuing classes."
The chefs who teach Sushi 101 are Tom Kamijo and Ivan Bersamin. Maui Prince also recently reinstated its Mahalo Card program with a specials, deals and promotions on food and much more.
* Contact Carla Tracy at firstname.lastname@example.org.