OUT HAIKU WAY. . . Breakfast lovers will want to wake up to the fabulous new morning meals served daily, except Tuesdays, from 8 to 11 a.m. at Hana Hou Cafe in Haiku.
"We launched the breakfast service January 15, and Sundays we usually have a musician playing here," says Hana Hou's owner Laurent Thibault, a native of Paris who was head waiter at Chez Paul for many years.
While the breakfast menu is varied, several of the "French connection" dishes are top sellers. These include ratatouille of roasted vegetables with poached egg as well as Croque Monsieur and Croque Madame.
Katie and Laurent Thibault of Hana Hou Cafe in Haiku recently debuted their new breakfast menu, featuring classic French bistro fare and other crowd-pleasing items.
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo
"We wanted to make our breakfast different from what North Shore Cafe and Colleen's serve nearby," Thibault says. "Croque Monsieur means 'man's bite.' It is two slices of sourdough bread open-faced with ham and sauce Mornay. Add an egg for the Madame."
Another unusual top seller is the Haiku scrambler of eggs with pohole fern shoots, sauteed onions, tomato and pesto sauce. Or opt for loco moco, made with Mau Cattle Co. beef and brown gravy.
AT THE MACC . . .Come to a free party from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday to celebrate the opening of the Yokouchi Pavilion, Courtyard & Morgado Hall at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center in Kahului.
A Saigon Cafe will magnanimously serve free small cones of chow fun; Maui Kazowie Kettlecorn will pop free bags on site; and Haleakala Snow will dish up free sample sizes of shave ice.
Other vendors selling signature items include Flatbread & Co. with pizza slices; Alexander's Famous Fish with grilled chicken plates, seafood won tons, and green salad with mango salsa; and Food for the Soul Catering with burgers, hot dogs and wraps.
In addition, pastry chef instructors Teresa Shurilla and Chelsie Higgens of UH-Maui College's Maui Culinary Academy will team with students to bake a large pyramid shaped to look like the new Yokouchi Pavilion, made out of pastillage and more. Check it out and enjoy free cupcakes baked by the team.
Speaking of UH-MC's Maui Culinary Academy, it will prepare a gala dinner Sunday, following the Pocket Opera Co. of San Francisco's concert at the MACC. Diners will be able to schmooze with performers and entertainment will be by Joel Katz and "Jimmy Mac" McLemore.
Take a wok on the Chinese side with an exotic buffet piled high with kung-pao shrimp, orange chicken, vegetable chow mein, Szechuan eggplant, char siu pork bao, white and fried rice, Chinese chicken salad, and wok-fried vegetables with oyster sauce.
Cost of the buffet is $75 per person. Concert tickets are separate. "Auriol Flavell has organized the gala and plans to decorate with orchid centerpieces by Bob and Louis Uedoi, so the Yokouchi Pavilion should look gorgeous," says event publicist Jill Engledow.
BITS AND PIECES . . . Now here's some BIG news. An up-and-coming Maui chef and the restaurant where he works are both semifinalists for the James Beard Foundation awards. I'm very pleased to say Sheldon Simeon and little Star Noodle are now on the world's radar for the Oscars of the food industry.
He's among 31 semifinalists in the category of chefs who are 30 or younger, nominated across the country. And Star Noodle is among 33 contenders for Best New Restaurant in America.
The list will be narrowed down even further, and the final nominees will be announced March 21. The awards gala and reception for the winners will be held May 9 at Lincoln Center in New York City.
The next Girls Night Out will flow with martinis, fondue and fun Tuesday at the Melting Pot in Lahaina.
"We'll have different vendors from across the island," says General Manager Cindy DelleFave. "Drink specials, raffles, prize giveaways, fun upbeat music, awesome service and our famous four-course fondue extravaganza will cost $35 per person."
The next Friends of Dorothy Dining Club event will be held Tuesday at the new Famous Dave's barbecue on Front Street in Lahaina. All are welcome.
* You may reach Dining Editor Carla Tracy at 242-6342.