It’s been an epic ride

From the Ritz to Alive & Well’s new broth concept, Maui’s got it all

Chef de Cuisine Isabella “Bella” Toland is wowing diners at the newly reimagined The Banyan Tree restaurant located The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua. Do try her fresh ceviche and other fun Lite Bites fireside with ocean views. CARLA TRACY photo

The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua’s newly reimagined The Banyan Tree signature restaurant is drawing in diners with its nightly Tiki Hour from 5 to 6 p.m. Get 50 percent off of Lite Bites from the fireside menu and Moet Imperial Champagne by the glass.

“Our menu at Banyan Tree is a mixture of cultures which I grew up with and the flavors of Hawaii using local and traditional ingredients,” says Chef Bella Toland, who was born in Bordeaux, France, and spent her teenage years in the Philippines. On Toland’s Lite Bites menu, savor her fire-roasted shishito peppers along with Kona Maine lobster lumpia, street-style barbecue skewers and shrimp dumplings in chive oil.

“Join us on Wine Wednesdays and you get 50 percent off select bottles,” says The Banyan Tree Manager Art Ortiz.

The Outlets of Maui recently launched new shopping shuttle service between Ka’anapali Beach Resort and Lahaina. The 27-seat passenger shuttle operates daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; service is cashless, accepting major credit cards only. One-way fare is $3 per passenger; children under age 12 ride for free. All passengers will get a complimentary Outlets of Maui VIP coupon book worth hundreds of dollars in savings. Dine from Pi Artisan Pizza to Ruth’s Chris Steak House. For schedules, visit www.outletsofmaui.com.

Star Noodle keeps jumping in Lahaina with everything from the Vietnamese crepes filled with pork, shrimp and bean sprouts and dipped in Nuac Cham sauce to the steamed pork buns with house hoisin sauce and namasu.

Do let Bartender John “Johnny B” Burris regale you with tales of his surfing the Indonesian islands of Bali and Lombok as he mixes, muddles and pours craft cocktails such as the Ginga Ninja with fresh ginger juice and yuzu juices, Nigori sake and New Amsterdam Lemon Vodka.

The owners of Mama’s Fish House in Kuau just celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary on Wednesday.

“It’s a love story with the owners Floyd and Doris Christenson,” says Mama’s longtime Executive Chef Perry Bateman. “Back in the day, they sailed their boat through a South Pacific hurricane to Tahiti with their children onboard. Then they came here and created their dream restaurant. It’s a true mom-and-pop, and everyone is treated like family at Mama’s.”

Alive & Well health-food store in Kahului is thrilling diners with its new restaurant concept, broth, with a lowercase “b.” While it opened back in April with lunch, dinner debuted at the end of last month with Ora king salmon and ogo dashi, short ribs and broth and farmer’s cheese and pickle platter with Haleakala Creamery goat chevre along with Manchego and Gouda.

“It’s a pretty big leap for us in the right direction, of course,” says Chef Noah Shuster. “I’m also a horticulturist, and I source product from my own farms.”

Some of you may know that I had stepped down as the full-time dining editor in May after working at The Maui News for 38 years. The last three months have been fun as a freelance columnist. Now it’s time to bid “adieu,” aka, say goodbye and a big mahalo to my readers who have followed me over the many years. I wish all of you the best, and hope to see you out and about soon!


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