ON THE NORTH SHORE . . . Paia will kick up its heels this week with the Paia Fourth Friday town party from 6 to 9 p.m. We hear Pa'ia Inn will host a night of fashion, food and fun.
Cafe Mambo will present a movie screening of "Walls of Deception" during dinner service and you may dine on kalua duck fajitas and fresh mahi burgers.
"It's a specific north shore Maui surfer movie and it brings in all manner of wind surfers, surfers and kitesurfers to dine here," says owner Jamie Betham. "We keep playing it in the background during dinner service and then at 9 p.m., we turn down the lights and have a proper screening with the sound on."
Indian fare is authentic and fresh at Saffron in the Dolphin Plaza in Kihei. RJ Dhawan roasts his own spices then grinds and blends them into exotic and fiery entrees such as allo gobi and lamb tikka.
CARLA TRACY / photo
Cafe Mambo's Spanish and Moorish menus items are a big draw as is its exotic ambience and friendly service. You gotta love this place!
Moving east on the north shore, new and exciting things are also happening at Aloha Aina Center at Haiku (formerly known as Haiku Town Center).
"As you may have heard, Max World Bistro has reopened under new management with a new look and new menu," says Marketing Manager Dove Sifferlen.
"The name of our new restaurant is Lilikoi Grill. Our menu features fresh, natural and local quality ingredients that are grown on Maui."
Owner Paul "PJ" Johnson says he's always looking for new farmers as vendors. "Come check out our vegan and vegetarian dishes as well! We're open Tuesday to Saturday from 5 to 8 p.m. Our kitchen sometimes stays open later on Friday and Saturday nights."
Johnson also runs the adjacent Farm Fresh Cafe, serving morning coffee and baked goods starting at 6:30 a.m. from Monday to Friday. "For lunch we bake authentic Italian-style pizzas made with fine-milled organic flour, which makes exquisite dough that is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside," he says.
BITS AND PIECES . . . You'll find a host of vegan, vegetarian, traditional and contemporary Indian dishes at Saffron Indian Cafe & Grill located in the back of Dolphin Plaza in Kihei.
"I have people coming all the way from Paia and Haiku, who want the vegan and organic food we serve here," says owner R.J. Dhawan, a native of India who most recently ran restaurants in the Bay Area.
"We serve both brown and basmati rice, make all of the sauces and cheeses in-house and we have our own tandoori oven. We buy special spices, roast, grind and then blend them into our specialties such as vindaloo, saag, korma and curries and we cook to your specifications - mild, medium or hot. We bake our own naan (flat bread) and we offer the Desi pizza special." Vegetarians will love the palak paneer and dal and you may BYOB.
National Frozen Yogurt Day falls on Monday, Feb. 6, and Yogurtland is celebrating by offering FREE frozen yogurt to everyone who visits any of the 160-plus locations across the country! On Maui, Yogurtland at Whalers Village in Kaanapali will give away 5-ounce cups of frozen yogurt that day from 4 to 7 p.m.
In addition, Maui Mall in Kahului will throw its 13th annual Chinese New Year Celebration from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28. Come watch the Fried Rice Cooking Contest, and feed the lion dancers, mouths snapping, lai see for good luck.
A Saigon Cafe will be there with a food booth, selling juicy roast ducks, spare ribs and chicken cutlets to the crowds. Asian Star will be there, too, selling crispy chicken, green papaya salad, and fried spring rolls. Royal Island Drive In will do chow mein, beef with broccoli, orange chicken, gau and jin do; and Siu's Chinese Kitchen will make sweet and sour pork ribs, Chinese mochi donuts and chow mein.
Of course, if you would prefer a nice and quiet meal in an elegant setting during Maui Mall's festivities, head over to Dragon Dragon Chinese Restaurant and revel in its feng shui ambience and seafood delicacies.
Looking for something fun for your kids to do? Maui Ocean Center in Maalaea will host several sleepovers that include pizza dinner, continental breakfast, snacks and night activities. The dates fall on Fridays and include Feb. 10, 17 and 24. The sleepovers typically begin at 5:30 p.m. and end at 8 a.m. the next day. Private sleepovers for groups may be booked anytime. Call 270-7075.
Ruby Tuesday at the former Roy's in Kihei is off to a great start with dinner. On Wednesday, it will open for lunch; and Feb. 8, for breakfast service.