Wow Wee Maui Kava Bar & Grill and Ren's Sushi Bar have gotten bigger. The combination restaurant and sushi bar on Dairy Road in Kahului just got a remodel to increase its size.
"We used to have an outside covered patio that was perfect for private parties of up to about 20 people," says Jovi Padilla, who runs the Ren's Sushi Bar side of the business with her husband. "It looks really nice. The walls were knocked out and now the entire area is all airconditioned."
Chef Ren worked at the former Kincha in the Grand Wailea for 15 years before the famous restaurant closed. (It will reopen as an Alan Wong establishment in early 2012).
Sushi Chef Ren Padilla impresses diners with baked fresh oysters, topped with bonito flakes, tobiko caviar in creamy miso sauce.
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo
Now, he delights his regulars with sushi, such as the Diego Hurricane roll. It's got spicy tuna and tempura shrimp inside with hamachi, tuna and salmon sashimi pieces on top, all drizzled with an unagi sauce. It's a mouthful and a huge hit.
"We heard that one couple liked it so much, they went to Sansei and asked for it, but chefs there didn't know what they were talking about," laughs Jovi. "Of course, we created it here. Named it after our loyal customer, Diego."
The Bomb Roll was created when Ren worked at Kincha as one of its top sushi chefs. It's packed with crab, tempura shrimp and asparagus, unagi, tobiko and avocado in secret sauce.
Wow Wee Maui Kava Bar & Grill's longtime owner, Michael Capuano, sold his interest to Teo and Melanie Garde earlier this year. Teo is a chef at the Westin Maui Resort Hotel & Spa in Kaanapali. The couple did the remodel.
The couple plans to change their hot menu down the road. The remodel was the first step. Tiki gods, island art and a wooden canoe that hangs from the vaulted ceiling remain.
"People really like the look. It's all good," Jovi says. For more details, call 871-5050.