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Restaurants find delicious ways to keep our spirits up

Fried catfish is paired with green papaya salad at Nutcharee’s Authentic Thai Food in Kihei. The restaurant, and others across Maui, offers take-out service. AYA GANZ photo

Change is here, with uncertainty on the horizon, but a meal shared, whether it be a cookie broken in half, or an entire feast, is always heartwarming. With health officials urging us to stay at home and implement social distancing, rest assured our local restaurants are here for us! They are preparing food for us to take home, or on a picnic; even if that picnic is in your own living room or backyard. Some are even offering curbside pickup. It is both heart and belly warming to see our local establishments create delicious ways to keep our spirits up!

My first stop this week was Nutcharee’s Authentic Thai Food in Azeka Shopping Center (Makai) in Kihei. The restaurant is offering takeout service only, until further notice. Thai food is one of my personal favorites. It is a combination of sour, sweet, salty and bitter.

The menu at Nutcharee’s is on point, with a twist. Some of their menu is completely original. Nutcharee’s began in Hana town in the fashion of a pop-up food truck. Then several years ago, owner Nutcharee moved her celebrated food to the south side where it continues to be a huge hit.

I tried their green papaya salad first. It consists of fresh shredded green papaya and carrot and served on a bed of romaine with a light, bright, tangy dressing.

I had the salad served with fried catfish. It was not only stunning to look at, it pretty much summarizes everything I love about Thai food; the sauces are unmistakable and spicy. So good!

I paired my fish salad with some noodles and the braised short rib curry, a house speciality. It consists of a Massaman curry sauce with braised short ribs that fall off the fork, served with potato, carrot and onion. If you like red meat, order this!

Next, I ordered the house noodles with spice level — high. Lad na is a fat rice noodle that is wok sauteed with broccoli, egg, and crunchy cabbage, served in a thickened black bean sauce with fried garlic and white pepper. I decided to add prawn. The meal was a taste explosion. I am looking forward to another round of takeout here soon.

n Nutcharee’s, 1280 South Kihei Road, Suite 124, Kihei. Call ahead to order, (808) 633-4840.

Other south side offerings:

The Shops at Wailea are open with several take-away options for you as well!

Longhi’s Italian Seafood Restaurant in Wailea, winner of the Diners Choice Award for 2020, is offering their entire menu for pickup curbside and take out. Delivery will soon be available via DoorDash. If your craving Italian, Chef Bob Longhi’s menu is superb. I recommend the wedge salad and the linguini with clams. Vegetarian options are available as well. They serve brunch, lunch and dinner.

• Longhi’s, 3750 Wailea Alanui Drive, Wailea. Call (808) 891-8883.

Ruth’s Chris Steak House is also open for for takeout and curbside pickup. The restaurant is offering a special of 25 percent off takeout orders of more than $75. I love the classic steakhouse menu here. I recommend the bone-in filet: a 16- ounce cut with a blend of marbling and subtle flavor near the bone. Their Chilean sea bass is also a favorite. It’s pan roasted and served with a potato and pineapple hash.

• Ruth’s Chris Steak House, 3750 Wailea Alanui Drive, Wailea. Call ahead to make your order at (808) 874-8880.

Local farms and other notable restaurants offering delivery and pick up here on Maui:

• Oko’a Farms, (808) 276-3892, okoafarms.com. Online ordering and delivery/produce box pickup.

• Kupa’a Farms, (808) 876-0678, kupaafarms.org. Produce boxes and delivery.

• Island Fresh Delivery, (808) 664-1129, islandfreshdelivery.com. Produce box delivery.

• Kumu Farms, (808) 244-4800, variety of produce box options, pickup at farm.

• Haleakala Supa Shots, (808) 357-1927, haleakalasupahshots@gmail.com. Free delivery

• Moku Roots, (808) 214-5106, Produce box pickup at location.

• Lapa’au Farm, (562) 331-7748, lapaaufarm.org. Produce box delivery.

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