With a fresh new look and new owners, Moana Cafe just celebrated its grand reopening this week with a private party and live tunes for its guests.
The owners are David and Yulie Law, who bought the restaurant in May. They moved here from Palo Alto, Calif., but have visited Maui before.
"We also own Speck products, the cases that go on Iphones," says Yulie, who has hired top guns in the business such as Helen Hong, who has cooked at the Ritz in San Francisco and acclaimed restaurants in the Seattle area.
Owner Yulie Law showcases bi bim bap (clockwise, from top left), fresh catch on focaccia, baked items, pickled vegetables, pickled beets and roasted potatoes.
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo
"My goal is to hit the local market and we decided to keep the name because it seems everybody knows Moana Cafe. But we really made the place look different with new furniture, paint and air conditioning among other things."
Moana Cafe is open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesdays to Saturdays for breakfast, lunch and dinner. On Sundays and Mondays, it offers breakfast and lunch only until 3 p.m.
During dinner, service is different from what it used to be with tapas style dining. Popular appetizers include puffed rice nori that is made in house, lemongrass chicken skewers, fried tofu and ahi-poke tostadas with shoyu and sesame.
Share plates include tamarind-glazed pork ribs, Southern Thai orange curry, and pan-roasted half chicken. Mix and match share sides such as green beans, kim chee and Hamakua mushrooms.
"I'm of Korean heritage and so we offer bi bim bap in a stone pot, and for our saimin we use Iwamoto noodles."
Live music rotates on Wednesdays. On Thursdays, the Benoit Jazz Works perform. As a special, spend $25 at dinner per diner and get free dessert such as lemongrass creme brulee or chocolate decadence.
For more details, call 579-9999.