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Side Orders • May 16, 2019

Restaurant Week Wailea returns with dining deals galore at 21 eateries such as Ko at the Fairmont Kea Lani resort with three course meals designed by the chef. Fairmont Kea Lani Maui photo

THE BUZZ AROUND TOWN . . . Jumping with fresh catch, Japanese fare and karaoke on special nights, Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bars in Kihei and Kapalua are among Maui’s most popular hot spots. Maui partner Tom Alejado says that Kihei will move to a larger location later this year.

“By the end of this year, Sansei Kihei will move to Kukui Mall (in the old Tony Roma’s location),” he says. “It will be considered the largest Sansei in capacity. We started in our original location at Kapalua Bay Hotel, opened another one on Office Road, expanded to Kihei and now have restaurants in Waikiki and the Big Island. Owner DK Kodama still does personal catering.”

Looking for some local kine favorite grindz in Kahului? Strut your stuff at the Maui Sunday Market featuring more than 30 vendors — including food purveyors and 10 food trucks, live entertainment and Hawaiian cultural activities. The weekly market runs from 4 to 8 p.m. Sundays in the Kahului Shopping Center lot. Admission and parking are free. Visit www.mauisundaymarket.com.

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. on Front Street in Lahaina is celebrating now through Sept. 2 with new drinks such as the Summer Time Smash and Tequila Party Punch and new food items including the Spudtacular: Family-style mashed tater tots loaded with Monterey jack and cheddar cheeses and crisp bacon; and Create Your Own Dockside Fry with wild-caught flounder filet, a choice of two shrimp preparations, fries, coleslaw and dippin’ sauces that would please Forrest.

The bailii, or “head,” of the Chaine des Rotisseurs’ Maui chapter tells me that the gastronomic organization, the oldest in the world, just savored an epic dinner at nyloS in Paia. Bailii Adele Rugg is already planning her next big Chaine function at Sugar Beach Events in Kihei and will go back to nyloS next year for a three time-repeat. If you wish to join this fun food club, call Rugg at 879-9964.

The Kickoff celebration for the 19th annual Maui Matsuri Festival will be held from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Friday at Queen Ka’ahumanu Center with taiko drums, bon dancers and more. It then moves to University of Hawaii Maui College for two events: International Culture Night on May 24 with comedian Frank De Lima bringing laughs, and Maui Matsuri Festival Day on May 25. The latter will feature Japanese food booths and trucks, entertainment, free keiki crafts, martial arts demos, saimin and natto eating contests, exhibits and drawing contests.

Restaurant Week Wailea returns Sunday through May 25 with three-course discounted feasts. Choose from Bistro Molokini at Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort to DUO Steak & Seafood at Four Seasons Resort Maui to Gannon’s on Wailea Gold & Emerald Course. There are 21 participants in all.

“Each year the Wailea community looks forward to partnering with the Maui Food Bank, and Restaurant Week Wailea is one of the ways we have proudly supported the organization,” says Bud Pikrone, general manager of Wailea Community Association. “Each participating restaurant makes a contribution to the Maui Food Bank for every prix fixe entree sold during Restaurant Week Wailea, as part of the resort’s community giving.”

For participating outlets and menus, visit www.restaurant weekwailea.com.