NORTH SHORE NEWS . . . Want to show support for the Paia Youth and Cultural Center while enjoying authentic Thai cuisine? Mana Foods will hold a plate-lunch benefit for the center from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday in its store at 49 Baldwin Ave., Paia.
"This plate lunch benefit features our award-winning Thai beef salad made from grass-fed Molokai beef, generously donated by Molokai Livestock Cooperative. We will also serve tofu pad Thai as well as venison chili, steamed rice and beverages," says Teresa Thielk.
We hear Dean Wong has sold the Green Banana Cafe in Paia as he's now the executive director of Imua Family Services and he's getting ready to bring a baby boy into his life. The new owners take over Sept. 1.
Skipper “Miss Aloha” Smith, left, and Roy Dunn share a moment at the second annual reunion of employees of the former SeaWatch.
KATHY FELTON photo
"Don and Michelle McGean were owners and operators of Hawaiian Moons in Kihei for over 17 years. I felt they would bring the GBC to the next level and they have a strong commitment to healthy, wholesome and organic foods as we do. Also they will work hard to maintain the eco-friendly attributes of the caf."
Wong is keeping the Green Banana Frozen Yogurt Bar next door with fresh soft-serve ice cream, shave ice and frozen yogurt.
BITS AND PIECES . . . Everyone keeps asking when Leoda's Kitchen and Pie Shop in the former Chez Paul in Olowalu is opening.
"We hope to open the doors soon, sometime this fall!" says Julie Yoneyama, director of community and employee relations for Hoaloha Na Eha Ltd., the parent company that also owns Star Noodle, Old Lahaina Lu'au and Aloha Mixed Plate in Lahaina.
"The restaurant will be casual dining, serving comfort food -you know, just like 'grandma used to make,' except we're going to take it to the top, and put a twist on it. Sweet and savory pies, and other fresh baked goods will go with old-school sodas such as Yoohoo. If you would like to be part of our family, Leoda's is now hiring cooks, food runners, counter help and a manager."
What's up with the colorful Patrick Callarec, who owned the old Chez Paul? He's now executive chef of Aulani: A Disney Resort & Spa, which is targeted to open Monday on Oahu. His restaurants include Disney's signature 'AMA, Makahiki, and Bounty of the Islands.
Roy Dunn, owner of the Plantation House restaurant in Kapalua, Koho Grill and Bar in Kahului and The Beach House in Poipu, Kauai, threw a reunion of former Seawatch Restaurant employees recently.
Held at Isana Restaurant in Kihei, the reunion brought together more than 30 attendees. Dunn said, "I don't know when the SeaWatch went from being just my business to being my extended family. So as families do, we have a reunion every year so we all can catch up."
The Maui Products Festival Saturday at the Maui Mall in Kahului will be juicy with sweet Maui Gold pineapple samplings and gourmet cups of joe from the Maui Coffee Association. George Kahumoku Jr. will perform at 1:45 p.m. He will also sell his new Slack Key Coffee (a special blend of MauiGrown coffees), Kahumoku Family Farm Mamaki Tea and CDs, and he'll do a "talk story " session about his sustainable farm.
RB Black Angus Steak House in Kahana is soothing diners with cool jazz Sundays from 3 to 6 p.m. with special drink prices, to boot.
"We are also doing kamaaina discounts of 50 percent off sushi from 5 to 7 p.m. and from 9 p.m. to closing," says General Manager Fred Sabzalipour. "And we're offering 50 percent off of entrees from 5 to 6:30 p.m.
Another perfect pairing for jazz and food lovers is from 7 to 10 p.m. at Longhi's Lahaina, when Fulton Tashombe and the Jazz All Stars play. Starting at 9 p.m., you get 50 percent off all beer, wines by the glass and liquor. Appetizers are reasonably priced and include spicy hoisin ribs, Greek salad and Italian sausage pizza. . . . From 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday at Hard Rock Cafe in Lahaina, the R.E. Metoyer Blues Rock & Soul Revue will grind it out and you get 20 percent off appetizers and $4 Stella Artois beers.
John Cruz, one of Hawaii's hottest performers, will wow the audience at two dinner shows Friday and Saturday at Stella Blues Cafe in Kihei. Cost of the four-course dinner and show is $60 per person.
Last, but certainly not least, superstar Oahu-based Chef Alan Wong, a James Beard Award winner, is planning on opening a Maui restaurant! Word has it he's signed to take over the former Kincha location in Grand Wailea in early 2012, after it gets a face-lift.