BITS AND PIECES . . . Those fond of ramen will find it's hard to beat the authentic taste you'll get at Izakaya Matsu, tucked away in the back of Azeka I shopping center in Kihei.
"We're comfortable to say our ramen is really the best on the island," says partner Joshua Hirata, who is originally from Tokyo. "The name of the game on the ramen is the broth. We do a shoyu-based broth and we use onomo or curly noodles. With gas and other prices going up, I'm proud to say we haven't raised our prices."
Izakaya Matsu also features 125 other dishes. Many are pupu and go with beer and sake. Try the soft shell crab, miso butter-fish and Godzilla wings.
Chef Masa Kurata showcases some of the sushi he rolls at Izakaya Matsu in Kihei. His ramen is arguably the best on the island because of the rich broth and the curly “onomo” noodles.
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo
Irish eyes will be smiling this weekend, because it's the official halfway to St. Patrick's Day. The Celtic Tigers will perform at Mulligan's at the Wharf in Lahaina Saturday night and once again at Mulligan's on the Blue in Wailea Sunday night.
"In Lahaina, the Maui Celtic pipers and special guests will be accompanied by Irish food and drink starting at 6 p.m. and continuing throughout the evening," says owner Kevin O'Kennedy. "The corned beef is already cooking and the cabbage is stewing."
It's sad Compadre's Bar & Grill in Lahaina closed after 17 years in business.
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SCHOLARLY THOUGHTS. . . His regular job is as a chef at the WokStar International Noodle Cafe in Kihei. But this semester, Phill DeMott will teach the Maui's Asian Markets Cooking Class from 6 to 8 p.m. on four Mondays starting Oct. 6 at the Maui Culinary Academy on MCC's campus in Kahului.
"Learn about the variety of Asian markets on Maui," says Phill. "Where they are located, what they sell, how to get the best deals, and how to cook the wonderful foods that they contain. Classes will focus on the health benefits of fresh grown and caught products."
By the way, WokStar International Noodle Cafe is now offering a special of "buy one pupu, get one free." You may indulge in crispy vegetarian spring rolls, chicken pot stickers and curry-and-coconut chicken pate with Balinese peanut sauce.
Speaking of school, Leilani's on the Beach in Kaanapali continues to honor Maui's top teachers with its Educator of the Month program. Nathan Williams was the most recent recipient of a Leilani's on the Beach "dinner for two" gift certificate worth $100.
"We are so pleased to honor Nathan Williams of Lahaina Intermediate School for his commitment to educating Maui's youth," says Leilani's General Manager Buff Weaver. "Education is valuable not only for individuals, but also for the growth and development of society as a whole."
Meanwhile, Leilani's sister restaurant, the Hula Grill in Kaanapali, provides guests with Hawaii Regional Cuisine while supporting its island community with its latest Chef's Tasting Menu. The three-course feast is offered from 5 to 6 p.m. daily for $27.95 - and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Maui Food Bank.
"In tough economic times, it's even more important for us to support our community and we hope that our special menu will help raise much needed funds for the Maui Food Bank, says General Manager Orrin Cross.
Kahili Restaurant in Waikapu is also dishing out deals with a 15 percent discount on every menu item. All you have to do is pick up the coupon in the adjacent pro shop and no purchase is necessary. Executive Chef Eddie Munoz does a fabulous job with the food and Saturday is prime rib day from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Also check out the extended lanai, a perfect place to book your holiday parties.
Ruby's Diner at Queen Ka'ahumanu Center in Kahului is now offering a $2.99 milkshake from 3 to 5 p.m. daily through Nov. 3. Perfect as an after-school treat, each shake comes topped with whipped cream and a cherry. It's served in an old-fashioned silver canister. . . I'o Wine Club will host a Mediterranean tasting Friday with wines paired with tapas on Front Street in Lahaina. Both Longhi's restaurants are doing wine dinners this weekend, too.
* Carla Tracy is dining editor of Maui Scene. She will be on vacation until the issue of Oct. 30. In the meantime, you may contact Rich Van Scoy at 242-6323 or email him at email@example.com.
CORRECTION: This story includes a correction from the original published on Sept. 25, 2008, reflecting a change to the prime rib special information for Kahili Restaurant.