SUNNY SOUTH MAUI . . . Situated in the old Jawz Tacos at Azeka Mauka shopping center in Kihei is the new Ziriguidun, a Latin-island fusion restaurant.
Vibrant and colorful with murals, flowers and tablecloths, it serves lunch and dinner with creamy white mussels pasta, fish muqueca on coconut sauce and rice, and desserts such as Macakito (little monkey): fried dough stuffed with banana and served with ice cream.
"I've been dreaming of doing this since I was five years old!" exclaims owner Renata Demoraes, who grew up as the daughter of a Brazilian diplomat and an Italian mother in Washington, D.C. "The menu is based on our travels through Latin America."
Ziriguidun server Autumn Wigley brings out a plate of fresh shrimp ceviche with chips and lots of lime in the new restaurant in the old Jawz Tacos spot at Azeka Mauka in Kihei.
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo
Demoraes calls herself an "island girl with an accent." A stage singer, she'll do Bossa Nova Fridays and Saturdays, hopes to get her liquor license Tuesday, and wants to expand to serve breakfast soon.
So what happened to Jawz Tacos? "We want to lease the old Amigo's spot at Lipoa Center, hopefully opening by the end of May," says owner Joe Baldwin. "We still operate our food trucks. One is parked in Makena. Another is between Kam II and Kam III. Call 874-TACO."
Took a hard-hat tour of the upcoming Andaz Maui at Wailea resort last week and found out that Executive Chef Brent Martin will incorporate the Hyatt's "Thoughtfully Sourced, Carefully Served" food concept, when the boutique hotel is targeted to open in early summer.
Got restaurant / dining-event scoop? Call Dining Editor Carla Tracy at 242-6342; or email email@example.com.
Besides the freestanding signature Morimoto restaurant under the direction of Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto that will open on the beach at a later date, Andaz will feature the 24-hour-a-day Mokapu Market with light fare, prepared foods, flat breads and housemade gelato; the full-service Ka'ana Kitchen for breakfast and dinner; Lehua Lounge with small bites and handcrafted cocktails; and Bumbye Beach Bar for lunch and afternoon snacks. Hawaii native and New York mixologist Julie Reiner will shake things up at all outlets with spirited original cocktails. The hotel also has its own Ka'ana Farm in Kula.
Leaving the Andaz offices, I noticed names of famous Maui people on the backs of barstools across the breezeway at Manoli's Pizza Co.
"We recently hosted a charity event for Montessori school and we auctioned off all of our bar stools," says General Manager Lisa Karpf. "Some of the people who won the bids were Bev Gannon, Roy and T. Dunn, Jerry Olsen and our owners Aaron and Rhonda Placourakis."
In addition, Manoli's chicken piccatta is flying out the door; and the new cocktail menu will debut next week with drinks such as the Rhondarita.
And, sad to hear that Sharkey's and Ocean's Beach Bar & Grill are both now closed.
For those in the visitor biz, come see, hear and taste the best of Hawaii at Maui's second annual Hospitality and Lodging Expo from 12:30 to 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Wailea Beach Marriott Resort & Spa. While it's free, you must RSVP to attend. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (800) 323-5686, ext. 5686.
"The expo is first come, first served," says Rich Sato, the GM of Hawaii for American Hotel Register Co. "The keynote speaker is Rosa Say, renowned Hawaiian author; and other speakers will include Kainoa Horcajo, cultural advisor for Andaz.
BITS AND PIECES . . . Also for people in the "biz," Sushi 101 Hawaii Style featuring award-winning chef D.K. Kodama of Sansei restaurant fame will be held from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. today at Maui Culinary Academy. You must wear chef attire to participate.
A two-session Alzheimer's Disease & Nutrition class will run from 9 to 11 a.m. Monday and April 29 at UH Maui College. It's the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. and frying and broiling foods wreak havoc and cause inflammation. Call 984-3231 to register.
The former Fleetwood's on Front St. executive chef has jumped ship to work at Maui Prime Fine Foods at Emerald Plaza in Lahaina.
"First and foremost, we're offering chef advice to answer all of your questions on sauces, marinades, and how to cook what you buy here," says Maro Gjurasic.
"We're also starting to do a lot of premade seafood salads such as crab and calamari. Right now, I have fresh mahimahi with Thai spices such as galangal, lemongrass, ginger and garlic for your dinner table."
In addition, Maui Prime owner Cary Button is starting to bring in East Coast seafood such as littleneck clams from the Northeast, St. John Island mussels, Boston lobsters and fresh oysters. To order, call 661-4812.