STARLIGHT NIGHTS IN KIHEI . . . There are many dining discounts right now. But they often happen at the same time frame as the next restaurant and you just can't try them all.
Well, Sarento's on the Beach in Kihei has come up with an innovative meal deal that no restaurant I know of is doing, and the food is super. I got to try it the other day and I know I'll be going back for more.
Sarento's Starlight Dining Special Menu is offered from 8 to 9:30 nightly in addition to the regular menu. You get three courses for $24.95.
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo
Executive Chef Rory Butts of Sarento’s on the Beach oceanfront in Kihei will tantalize your taste buds with his Starlight Dining Menu.
"We wanted to offer kamaaina and visitors alike a unique addition to our regular menu," says Sarento's owner Aaron Placourakis. "All the other restaurants are featuring happy hours, sunset specials or late-night discounts and we sought to fill a niche. You can go to the beach to watch the sun set and then join us for an unbelievable three-course gourmet menu afterward."
For the starter, choose from Sarento's Caesar or the Kula greens with toasted pine nuts and blood-orange vinaigrette. Entree choices are chicken piccata, spaghetti with pomodoro sauce and Kobe beef meatballs; fresh catch with zucchini linguine, or pizza Mediterranean-style. Dessert is tiramisu or fresh fruit sorbet.
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FOR THE KUPUNA . . . Kupuna means "elder" in Hawaiian and our island state reveres those with wisdom and longevity. In fact, the annual Ohana Luau will benefit all kupuna under the care of Hale Makua Health Services. It will be presented from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Kihei Community Center.
This year's theme is "Hawaii Five-O Revisited," and Na Hoku Hanohano Award-winning Danny Couch will be the headliner.
"Now in its 21st year, the signature fundraising event for Hale Makua Health Services has become known for its island hospitality, ono Hawaiian food, entertainment, good fun and festive aloha spirit," says Denise Wong. "This year's event will also include 'whodunit' Danno games and prizes, an international marketplace with silent auction and local-style country store."
Tickets are $50 for adults and $15 for keiki ages 10 and younger. Half of it is tax-deductible. For reservations, call 871-9283 or visit www.halemakua.org.
In addition, the first Aging With Aloha Festival will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Maui Community College in Kahului. There will be food booths with items such as Kawilani's Hawaiian Ice Cakes, crafts, live music and keiki fun. Admission is free and there is plenty of free parking as well.
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BITS AND PIECES . . . Now, here is something that will appeal to the animal in you. Pouchi Couture Boutique and Barkery will host a Doggie Luau from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Two-legged attendees may enjoy free shave ice and four-legged best friends may grind free treats. You can even have your pooch's picture taken in front of the luau backdrop as an added bonus.
Unisan in Wailuku has closed for renovation and when it reopens, it will be called KauKau Tin with a host of ethnic foods to please locals.
The North Shore Cafe in Haiku I wrote about a few weeks ago is actually a marriage of three eateries. Since I don't get to Haiku very often, my food spy, former longtime Maui restaurateur Micky Hennigan, did some research for me. North Shore shares the space with Haiku Sushi, which runs Tuesday though Saturday from noon to 9 p.m. and then Spice and Rice operates the same days from 5 to 9 p.m. The latter offers Burmese and Indian food. But there are only two entrees, both with chicken.
"And guess who makes the best cheeseburgers for $5?" Mickey asked me. "It's in the Kaiser building across from Baldwin High School. They make them right there and they have the best ingredients."
The new Coconuts Fish Cafe in Azeka Mauka shopping center has been luring in customers with its reasonably priced fish and chips, signature fish burgers, and fish or chicken tacos. Choose your cooking style, too, from Cajun to south of the border with ortega chile, to Asian-flair fish with soy and wasabi.
* You may reach dining editor Carla Tracy at 242-6342.