AS MAUI TURNS . . . The old KFC spot in Pukalani Square shopping center upcountry will be sizzlin' soon as the first Fatburger on Maui. Starting Monday and running all week long, official grand-opening festivities will include live music and giveaways such as hand-scooped ice cream shakes.
The Fatburger phenomenon was started by Lovie Yancey back in 1952 and its popularity has spread around the globe from its roots in Southern California.
"A lot of people are waiting for this here on Maui," says owner Ernie Abarro, who also operates IHOP at the Maui Mall in Kahului. " We have an outdoor patio and just bought nice outdoor furniture for 24 people and have seating inside for 22 people."
Hop aoard a 4th of July cruise out of Maalaea Harbor to see the fireworks shown in Lahaina from your choice seat on the sea.
PACIFIC WHALE FOUNDATION photo
Each menu item has its calories listed on the digital menu board. You'll find not just hamburgers, but boca, turkey and chicken burgers as well.
Former Kobe Steak House teppanyaki chef and Wow Wee Wayne's World sushi chef Wayne Miyahira is back on island after about seven years of dazzling sushi lovers in Sin City restaurants.
Wayne's Sushi & Karaoke Bar is targeted to open today in Haiku, sharing the fun and open-air space on Kokomo Road with North Shore Cafe by day and shining alone for dinner at night.
Hours will be 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. It's BYOB for now, "As soon as I get organized, I want to do teppanyaki during the dinner hours," says owner-chef Miyahira. "My signature sushi specials are What Brah? Beef with shrimp tempura, asparagus and beef tenderloin in ginger-pepper dressing; Cajun ahi salad with Asian-Caucasian dressing; and No Yuzu Me with walu and more."
Wayne says he moved back here from Vegas as his wife, Heidi, missed the islands. Their son, Jesse Miyahira, also cooks in the restaurant.
"It's a team effort," says Wayne. "I'm the singing sushi chef. Jesse does rap. So we do a combo entertainment kind of thing for you." Call 281-8810.
The buzz around town is Moana Cafe in Paia has got new owners and that the whole place has been upgraded with new furniture and air conditioning.
"I am just giving it a lot of love," says owner Yulie Law, who bought the restaurant in May with her husband, David Law. The couple moved here from Palo Alto, Calif, recently and brought in some hot chefs.
"We have one chef who worked at the Cliff House and the Ritz-Carlton in San Francisco; and another from upscale restaurants in Seattle," says Yulie. "We do breakfast, lunch and dinner and our dinner service is completely different from what it used to be."
Tapas are the dinner focus and dishes include ahi poke tostadas, puffed rice nori, Hamakua mushrooms, and pork ribs that fall off the bone. Yulie is of Korean descent, so she makes a mean kim chee, too.
Sir Wilfred's coffee and tobacco shop on Front Street in Lahaina has a new espresso bar and it will offer two-for-one specials on its Summer Buzz drinks during the 4th of July festivities in town.
BITS AND PIECES . . . . Chambers & Chambers Wine Merchants is working with Dalla Terra, an importer of Italian wines, which brings some of the best varietals from around that country to Hawaii.
"To kick off our partnership, we will be hosting a dinner at Longhi's Wailea on Friday, June 29th that is not to be missed," says wine educator Jim Powlan. "Special guest will be Dave Holt, the president of Dalla Terra. It is also a fantastic deal at only $65."
You get four courses including bay scallops in Meyer lemon and extra-virgin olive oil, and veal-loin pinwheels all served with five fabulous wines from Vietti, Inama, and Poliziano.
"On top of that, Dave and I are going to bring some really special 'secret' high-end wines that would cost more than the dinner itself," says Powlan.
Rumor has it that Makawao Steak House has been sold to a couple of super solid Maui restaurateurs. We hear Michael and Dana Pastula will take over the landmark eatery in August and that current owners, Ray and Donna Eneim, will keep it running until then.
Several 4th of July fireworks cruises will depart from Maalaea Harbor at 6:30, 6:45 and 7 p.m. aboard the Pacific Whale Foundation catamarans. The cruises all include a buffet of hot and cold appetizers, cold drinks and desserts such as chilled watermelon slices and freshly-baked triple chocolate brownies.