DA-CIDEDLY LOCAL . . . The kim-chee fried rice is ono. So is the laulau, weighing in at almost 2 pounds. The ahi katsu is crunchy, hot and fresh as fishermen bring in catch daily.
We're talking about the new Da Sushi Bar & Nai's Cafe, located next to Lee Bear on the corner of Ho'ohana and Hukilike streets in Kahului Industrial. On the eatery's first day of business, Maui Electric Co. ordered local favorites for 90 of its hungry employees.
Principal owner Larry Yamada, who was one of the first graduates of Maui Culinary Academy and a chef at Raffles back in the day, has completely renovated the place previously known as Ajiyoshi, Kujo's and 808 Plate. He's also brought in a great lineup of chefs.
Maizie Manaois (left) and Mitchie Alfonse serve local breakfast grinds at the new Da Sushi Bar & Nai’s Cafe in Kahului.
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo
"We've put together a great team,"?he beams. "We've got Ahren Uyeda and two other sushi chefs. My hot line chefs are Junior Yoshisato, Norman Oyama and Bernie Silana. Some were at Raffles, too."
While these guys are already making a killing at lunch and dinner with oxtail soup, miso butterfish and fresh Keanae poi - breakfast still needs a push. It's served from 6 to 10 a.m. daily with choices from loco moco to French toast. Lunch is served then as well. For catering or further details, call 877-4849.
BITS AND PIECES. . . How about some guilt-free martini drinking? Ambrosia Martini Lounge in the Kihei Kalama Village will launch the spirited Cocktails for a Cause on Monday night and run it weekly.
"We are really excited to begin these nights as a way to involve the local charities and give back to the community," said owner Candice Seti. "We'll donate 15 percent of the night's proceeds to a featured charity. We invite its members to share their information in a relaxing, lounge environment to individuals they may normally not have the chance to reach. Each local organization has an opportunity to make a small presentation in Ambrosia and provide pamphlets, newsletters and more."
In addition, these benevolent Monday nights will include live music at 9 p.m. from a variety of rousing local artists. Popular martinis include Lilikoi Lemon Drop, Pama Cosmo, and Almond Nightcap.
Ramey Wine Cellars will be featured as part of a wine dinner series Wednesday at Pacific'O at 505 Front Street in Lahaina. A beach reception will kick off the evening from 7 to 8 p.m. and dinner on Pacific'o's lanai will follow. Cost is $85 per person, plus tax and tip. The event benefits Maui Culinary Academy.
Also on Front Street, Kimo's is known for its reasonable prices, fresh island fish, prime rib, and picturesque sunset views. Willie K also performs this Friday night and Sunday afternoons in June. Listen to Willie and enjoy hula pie, a Maui favorite created at Kimo's.
The Japanese Cuisine Buffet has been rotated back into the mix Friday and Saturday nights at Maui Beach Hotel in Kahului. Highlights include kabocha pumpkin salad, shrimp tempura, mochiko chicken, California roll, sashimi, udon noodle soup and azuki mochi.
Due to its popularity last year, Bev Gannon Restaurants just relaunched its dine-around promotion. Save 20 percent off your bill (excluding alcohol) at Hali'imaile General Store Upcountry, and Joe's and Gannon's: A Pacific View Restaurant in Wailea.
Here's how it works. Just dine at any one of the three restaurants. Save the receipt. Then bring it to one of the other two restaurants and save 20 percent off dinner. Each receipt is good for up to 30 days.
Roy's Kahana will present a two-night party and you may attend one or both. "I'm excited and proud to announce that we will celebrate 20 years of Hawaiian Fusion Cuisine on Maui," says owner and master Chef Roy Yamaguchi. "Festivities will start Friday, June 17 with an underground dinner (location will be kept a secret)."
Then on Saturday, June 18, he'll turn the restaurant into a walk-around, food station blowout with a stellar guest chef lineup! Cost of the underground sit-down dinner is $150, and for the walk-around, it's $100 (plus tax). Or attend both and get a discount. Call 669-6999.
* You may reach Dining Editor Carla Tracy at 242-6342 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.