'SOME PLENTY' FOOD . . . The chicken katsu plate is so heavy, you can feed a small army with just a few of them. We are talking about the new Da Kitchen at the Wharf in Lahaina, which ensures that customers are "thoroughly full, satisfied and anxious to tell everybody about their dining experience," according to Alison Ito of the Wharf Cinema Center.
"Some plenty," by the way, is pidgin English for "huge amounts" of food on the plate.
Open daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., the first Da Kitchen in West Maui is located in the former Blue Lagoon. It boasts shady courtyard seating with waterfall and ponds, making it an oasis in hot Lahaina.
Wharf Cinema Center photo
Dion and Julis Navarro are the brother-and-sister team who own Da Kitchen at the Wharf in Lahaina, drawing in locals since May.
Those who want a taste of local food will find "choke" Hawaiian plates, hamburger steaks and loco moco along with lighter-side fare of sandwiches, salads, appetizers and noodle dishes.
Da Kitchen at the Wharf is planning to throw its grand opening bash later this month. We'll have more details in an upcoming issue.
OUT HANA WAY . . . The last time I was in Hana, I noticed yet another new part-time eatery of the 10 or more that have cropped up. The so-called Chinese Food Stand is set up on the corner of Kalo Road and Hana Highway about three miles Kahului side of Hana. The owners have 40 years of organic farming experience, utilizing their fresh produce for the stand.
"We offer real family-style Chinese food made with our organic produce Wednesday through Saturday," says Steve Gold, whose wife, Kemei Gold, is originally from Chong Quing, famous for its Szechuan cuisine. "We offer six items daily, plus brown and basmati rice and organic vegetable salad. Many visitors have told us this is the best Chinese food they have ever had."
Hana favorites include char-siu pork (without the red dye), kung pao chicken, mapo tofu, Beijing beef and the ubiquitous banana bread, found at just about every stand in the Hana area.
In addition, the Hotel Hana-Maui sends word it has a new chef and a new general manager. Chef is Culinary Institute of America grad Robert McCormick, who wowed diners at a Rotary Club fundraiser in Makena with his beef in Hamakua mushroom demi glaze with white truffle oil recently. The general manager is Mark Stebbings.
The two newcomers to Hotel Hana-Maui worked closely together at The Willcox, a Relais & Chateaux hotel in Aiken, S.C., where acclaimed Master Chef Guenter Seeger ran a restaurant managed by Stebbings, with McCormick as chef de cuisine.
"Our next scheduled big winemaker event will be with Kathleen Heitz Myers of Heitz Cellars on the weekend of August 29," says Director of Food and Beverage Keith Mallini.
BITS AND PIECES . . . Speaking of wines, there's a new promotion called Wine Down with Four Seasons and it runs through August. Simply head to the resort's Lobby Bar in Wailea any evening from 8 to midnight and you'll get 50 percent off bottles from the extensive list. It pairs perfectly with our gorgeous Maui sunsets.
Enjoy wines from Provence, also known as the French Riviera, from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday as part of the monthly I'o Wine Club at 505 Front Street in Lahaina. The sips are served with regional pupu for $30.
"Come and try some wines from the best region in France, which happens to be where I am from!" says I'o co-owner Stephan Bel-Robert."
Another popular series is the Art Night Party from 7 to 11 Saturday at Wow-Wee Maui's Kava Bar & Grill on Dairy Road in Kahului. Savor sushi specials, $3 Maui Brewing Co., beers and art by Darren Quinn.
Casanova Italian Restaurant in Makawao will celebrate its 20th anniversary Sunday by offering a $60 four-course feast for two. But there is a catch.
Anyone who met or fell in love at Casanova in its 20-year history may enjoy the repast. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Mana'o Radio. Come and tell your story to Mana'o's Kathy Collins and the winner of the most romantic tale will receive a gift certificate for two, according to owner Giovanni Cappelli.
* You may reach dining editor Carla Tracy at 242-6342.