WALK OF HEROES . . . Maui's own community television station, AKAKU, will kick off what it's calling its Independence Celebration from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday in its parking lot at 333 Dairy Road, Kahului.
Following in the footsteps of the famous Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood, Calif., AKAKU will honor three Mauians by imprinting their hands, feet and signatures into the sidewalk. The event is free and open to the public.
Andy Bumatai is master of ceremonies, and you may enjoy free music with saxophonist David Choy and Maui's new music sensation, Slam, along with Terri Garrison, George Kahumoku Jr. and other special guests in the lineup.
Jason Chau, owner of Asian Star restaurant in Wailuku, will serve Chinese chicken salad Friday night at the AKAKU party on Dairy Road, Kahului.
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo
"There will be soup donated by some of Maui's finest restaurants, special presentations to more local heroes and fun-loving antics from Maui's Comedy Hui, not to mention dancing in the parking lot," says AKAKU's CEO Jay April.
Asian Star will serve Chinese chicken salad; Linda Puppolo, cioppino; Amigo's, tortilla soup; Cary & Eddie's Hideaway, corn chowder; Ren's Sushi Bar, miso soup; and Maui's Molina Family, Portuguese bean soup.
Other participants include Monsoon India, Denny's, Kihei Cafe, Costco, Flatbread Pizza, Foodland, The Coffee Store, Pukalani Superette, Brigit & Bernard's, Pizza in Paradise, and Cafe O'Lei. The soups and the pupu are free; but any donations you wish to offer will go to AKAKU. In addition, other vendors will sell specialties.
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BITS AND PIECES . . . Some of the restaurants above have additional scoop. For instance, Asian Star in the Wailuku Millyard, is offering two new specials diners are raving about. Saba (mackerel) is deep-fried crisp and served with sweet-and-sour sauce; and luk funn is packed with vegetables and tofu . . . Monsoon India of Kihei is a whirlwind of expansion. It recently stormed into Wharf Cinema Center in Lahaina, open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily; and it's up and running in Waikiki across from the Hilton in Discovery Bay. "Our signature specialties are chicken tikka, vegetable korma and lamb curry," says owner Hari Reddy.
Speaking of a growing restaurant empire, Coconuts Fish Cafe of Kihei has announced it will expand its concept to the West Coast. "So far, I've been approached by people from San Francisco, Santa Cruz, San Diego and Seattle," says owner Mike Phillips.
The Northwest Cherries group has commissioned one iconic restaurant in each U.S. state to create a unique menu honoring National Rainier Cherry Day on Monday. It's known for its crisp bite, pale yellow flesh and exceptionally sweet taste. "I'm excited to announce Longhi's in Lahaina has stepped up to the challenge, and will offer a special cherry dish next week, the peak of Rainier cherry season," says publicist Kassi Lee.
Longhi's Pastry Manager Michelle Fabiani will wow diners with chocolate-cherry tart. . . Meanwhile, Peter Longhi of that famous restaurant family will continue as owner of all of the restaurant outlets at the newly named Travaasa Hana, formerly Hotel Hana-Maui. The resort just changed names June 30.
Sip and learn: Slow Food Maui's next Taste Education session will take you on a "field trip" to Maui Brewing Co. in Kahana from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. Cost is $15. Register at slowfoodmaui.org.
Ali'i Kula Lavender Farm will host Summer Fest from 9 a.m. to 2 pm. Saturday with top Hawaiian entertainment along with bentos, hot dogs, shave ice, kalua pork, teri chicken, fruit smoothies and kettle corn. Admission is $3, adults; free for keiki 5 and younger.
In Kaanapali, the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa's Black Rock will continue to tee off its Nine & Dine promo until July 31. For $114 per person, you may golf at the Royal Kaanapali Golf Course, then enjoy a four-course feast at the restaurant afterwards.
The Maui Health Explosion will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Maui Mall in Kahului and you'll find cooking demos and much more.
Lastly, Kiwi Roadhouse in Kihei shut down Thursday night for an indefinite period of time. But the owner hopes to pick up again.
You may reach Dining Editor Carla Tracy at 242-6342.