Side Orders • October 11, 2018

5 Palms Hostess Stephanie Bodin (left) and Server Amy Ventura display an array of tempting options on the lanai. Sean Michael Hower photo

FOOD FOR THOUGHT . . . Looking for a fun happy hour hangout? Beach goers, golfers, visitors and those in the hospitality industry gather at 5 Palms in Kihei for cold drinks and enticing food.

Set at the north end of Keawakapu Beach overlooking Neighbor Islands and the ocean, 5 Palms rolls out happy hour from 3 to 9 p.m. daily in its open-air bar and lounge, according to GM Moki Chong Kee.

“Happy Hour favorites include pulehu-style pork ribs, spicy-tuna roll, tempura-shrimp roll and coconut-crusted shrimp with papaya salsa,” continues Kennan Randolph, 5 Palms director of operations. “We offer half-price sushi and pupu and drink specials on Mai Tais, beers, wines by the glass and margaritas.”

The former Maui A Taste of Asian Blend is moving to Oahu with a new date of Dec. 14. But a smaller-scale version will rock Kahili Golf Course Nahele Ballroom in Waikapu from 6 to 10 p.m. Sunday.

” ‘Deja Vu 14: Reminiscing’ is the theme, and three of Maui’s top dance bands from the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s will be featured,” says event coordinator Mitch Hazama. “Bring your dancing shoes, as they are the Fabulous Shamroks, the Sakuras and Hauula.

Choose from upgraded pupu tickets featuring prime rib, shrimp cocktail, rack of lamb, stuffed mushrooms and more; or opt for finger-food pupu such as teriyaki chicken wings, veggie spring rolls and other crowd pleasers. Tickets range from $50 to $62.50. To reserve a seat, call 276-6645.

Yvonne Biegel, the former director of public relations and marketing communications for Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, has left the hotel industry for hospital work. Yes! She is now the Director of Strategic Communication for Maui Health System.

What’s this have to do with dining, you ask? Biegel tells me that Greg Gaspar is new executive chef of Maui Health System entities, which are Maui Memorial Medical Center, Kula Hospital and Lanai Community Hospital — great news, indeed, for patients, visitors and health-care workers. Gaspar is former executive chef of Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa as well as the old Maui Prince Hotel — and he knows how to impress palates.

“It’s really interesting,” says Gaspar. “Improvements in the cafeteria include more healthy options, like the grilled marinated vegetables with hummus on whole-wheat tortilla. The idea is to improve the dining experience for employees, patients and at catering events. I look forward to bringing on a five-star, five-diamond experience.”

“Restaurant Week Wailea returns Nov. 4 through 10, and we are just finalizing the participants,” says Destination Diva Kathleen Costello (yes, that is her real title). It looks like 20 Wailea resort restaurants are on board. . . AND good news. . . Lineage (opening on Monday) will participate, another new first timer for us!”

Former “Top Chef” fan favorite and Maui restaurateur and chef Sheldon Simeon is opening Lineage in The Shops at Wailea. I just received a sample menu and it definitely digs into Simeon’s roots.

Menu items will include poi cascaron with shiso-koji chicken liver pate; Maui flying saucers with beef goulash and American cheese, and pork and peas.

* Got restaurant/dining-event scoop? Call Dining Editor Carla Tracy at 242-6342; or email carlatracy@mauinews.com.