Loosen your belts, and savor pancit by Plantation House. Sip a Bikini Blonde by Maui Brewing Co. Walk the event and get a blast of Lahaina's plantation past at historic exhibits. And, let your keiki have tons of fun on game zone attractions.
The fifth annual Lahaina Plantation Days will be front and center for residents and visitors alike from 5 to 10:30 Friday and Saturday nights.
Held on the former Pioneer Mill site surrounding the old smokestack on Lahainaluna Road in Lahaina, it will bring in the throngs, just like the old Taste of Lahaina days. It will be the place to see and be seen.
Addie Viera (in orange dress) is a lifelong West Maui resident who attended last year’s event with friends on Lahainaluna Road under the historic smoke stack. This year, more than 25 top restaurants will participate with food booths, and continuous music will flow.
Lahaina Restoration Foundation photo
Aloha Mixed Plate will serve seven Hawaiian tastes on a mini plate for five scrip.
Na Hoaloha ‘Ekolu photo
"It's a fabulous night of entertainment and fun with great plantation-style grinds," says Tom Muromoto, Ka'anapali Beach Hotel's executive chef. "Come join the chefs under the stars, cooking just like they do in their backyards - all having a great time."
Muromoto will make crowd pleasers such as his oxtail soup, as well as his Taste of Lahaina award-winning dessert, Banana Caramel Eruption.
More than 25 restaurants will participate with booths, so do bring your appetites and even shopping bags to take food home with you.
* What: Fifth annual Lahaina Plantation Days with 25 restaurant food booths; music lineup by Da Braddahs and more; multicultural, coffee, beer, wine and historical tents; and game zone for keiki.
* When: Hours are from 5 to 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
* Where: On Lahainaluna Road in Lahaina under the historic smokestack.
* How much: Admission is just $3. Children 5 and younger are free.
* For more details: Call 661-3262 or visit the website at www.lahainarestoration.org.
Na Hoaloha 'Ekolu's new director of food and beverage, Aaron Trujillo, says that "People want to taste small bites of everything," so that's why his team from Aloha Mixed Plate has created seven tastes for five scrip.
The mini mixed plate with feature laulau, signature kalua pig from Na Hoaloha's Old Lahaina Lu'au, lomilomi salmon 'Hoaloha Farm's poi, two mini scoops of rice, mac salad and pineapple upside-down cake.
"We really scaled it back, doing a plate ala Thomas Keller of the French Laundry," says Trujillo. "In addition, Aloha Mixed Plate's Executive Chef Casey Piquet will do poisson cru for four scrips. It will be a fabulous citrus marinated Hawaiian ono with cilantro, Maui onions, mild Fresno chiles and sweet coconut milk.
The heat is on as one of the creative restaurant dishes will be selected as "Best of Show" winner, and its chef will take home the grand prize of $1,000.
Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar will do its famous shrimp dynamite; Penne Pasta will mix green salad with crab and lobster; Pacific'O is making pig and cabbage with lomi salmon and dessert of buttermilk panna cotta with Kula strawberries.
Buzz's Wharf will tempt you with poulet fafa (Tahitian chicken with taro leaves) and teriyaki short ribs served with mac salad; Teddy's Bigger Burgers will do kid-friendly plantation fries and tots, chicken nuggets and corn dogs; Sea House will bake Pina Colada cupcakes with mango frosting and fry Tutu's tots, grandma's version of sweet potato puffs with kalua pig.
Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. won't be bringing boxes of chocolate for Forest, but it will do shrimp veggie skewers and Dixie style baby-back ribs. Other participants are Cool Cats, Capt. Jack's Island Grill, Royal Ocean Terrace, Penne Pasta Cafe, Roselani Tropics Ice Cream, Maui Fish & Pasta, CJ's Deli, Kimo's, Leoda's Kitchen & Pie Shop, Leilani's on the Beach, and Kumu Bar & Grill.
The entertainment lineup is extensive and continuous, and more information about it may be found in Maui Beat by Jon Woodhouse.
You may also buy two-for-one commemorative bricks to help restore the old Pioneer Mill smokestack.