Wanna party? The Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa in Kaanapali will get your in the mood this Saturday with the grand opening of Japengo, its new $5 million Pacific Rim Restaurant & Sushi Lounge.
Situated in the former Cascades on a bluff overlooking the ocean and the resort's 40 acres of swimming pools and waterfalls, Japengo is an updated, sexy and chic version of a Japanese fishing village.
The evening will flow from 6 to 9 p.m. with a sampling of dishes from Japengo's sophisticated menu of Pacific Rim cuisine, as well as from the resort's other fine restaurants. These include Son'z at Swan Court, 'Umalu and Drums of the Pacific Luau.
Japengo’s General Manager Jonica Reid toasts to Peter Donnelly, the Hyatt’s director of food and beverage, on the restaurant’s grand opening.
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo
"We will also present our signature cocktails, live jazz, a silent auction, raffle prizes, take-away gifts and celebrity emcees, Hawaii News Now Guy Hagi and his wife, Kim Gennaula," says Hyatt Maui's Director of Food & Beverage Peter Donnelly.
"A portion of the proceeds will be donated to various Hawaii nonprofit organizations through the Visitor Industry Charity Walk held in May."
Upon arrival, attendees may have their photos taken at Japengo's entrance. Then stroll on the Village Alley Walk covered in mossy green and rustic porcelain tiles to a variety of distinctive settings. These include the air-conditioned Sushi Lounge and the open-air Moon Bar, made of celestial elements of the lunar kind.
Sushi Chef Jay Ledee will tempt you with fresh catch from the Tsukiji Fish Auction in Tokyo along with fresh wasabi root from Kona on sushi, sashimi and his refined izakaya (Japanese pub food).
Restaurant Chef Gevin Utrillo will wok fire and roast hot entrees at his station. For instance, you may sink your teeth into Angus filet of beef and New Caledonia prawns - served with plum wine and ginger demi-glace and kim chee and edamame potato. Slurp chow fun with spicy pork, day boat scallops, crab, new Caledonia shrimp, oyster sauce and mushroom shoyu.
Enjoy live jazz with Braddah Keoki Ruiz and friends, with special guests David Choy on saxophone and Kelly Covington on vocals.
Tickets are $95 per person, which includes food and two drinks. A cash bar will flow. You may also "take the elevator home" with a special kamaaina room rate of $159. Just call the hotel. For event reservations, call 667-4727.