Side Orders • Apr. 25, 2013

WAILUKU TALK. . . After a recent cut at Lori’s Hair Shack, I strolled over to Amigo’s Mexican food truck in Wailuku to order my every-six-week fix of chile rellenos, when I thought I’d wait for the order across the street at Maui Sporting Goods, as it’s cool, and the items are fun to peruse.

That’s when owner Brian Yoshikawa told me about how a former manager took over the old Kaohu Store, now also known as Wailuku Market.

“We took over in February,” says Brad Yokouchi, whose grandfather ran the famous Yokouchi Bakery back in the old days. “We make poke and pickled onions, stuff I learned from my fisherman dad, Ken Yokouchi, who helped me to open this store.”

You’ll also find furikake-salmon poke, dynamite of clams and crab, and sakurabashi (teriyaki dried fish), “which is what people come here for,” says Brad. “We also do spicy scallops, kim-chee shrimp and sell hot dogs. Home Maid Bakery makes our fresh buns.”

Bamboo Grill is targeted to open sometime soon in the old Nazo’s Restaurant location, a place where only locals can find. I fondly remember Nazo’s as serving Caesar salads with a gazillion croutons. My friend and I bet how many croutons would ping off our plates, when we forked into our salads. The average was 14 (each).

Happy hour is happening at Old Wailuku Grill from 4 to 6 p.m. with $7 specialty martinis and bar menu of Molly’s hot-artichoke dip, kalua-pork sliders, and calamari steak sliced pupu style. Wednesdays, Phil and Angela Benoit play jazz from 5 to 7:30 p.m.

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BITS AND PIECES . . . Do you love warm, freshly baked delights? Then come sink your teeth into the new No Ka Oi Cinnamon Rolls at Whalers Village in Kaanapali from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily.

“We feature the perfect balance of gourmet specialty item and ooey-gooey deliciousness,” says self-named “Baking Goddess” and owner Victoria Briggs. “Choose from plain rolls with iced topping or with a filling of macadamia nuts, pecans and raisins.”

Liquor is quicker down in Costa Rica, according to Taj Mahal, but I say nothing is finer if you’re not a minor than Tamura’s Fine Wine & Liquors, scheduled to open soon on Dairy Road in Kahului. There are six other epic Oahu stores, and this first neighbor island outlet will offer fun take-out fare, too.

Speaking of vino, the Wines of Santa Barbara will be the event on tap from 6 to 7 tonight at Molokini Bar & Grille at Makena Beach & Golf Resort.

Chef Marc McDowell will prepare cheese fonduta, beef with demi sauce and shredded duck as Master Sommelier Patrick Okubo walks about pouring Lincourt, Byron and Star Lane wines. Cost is $40, plus tax and tip. For a seat, call the resort at 874-1111.

Looking for a great, everyday sipper? Marquis Philips Merlot is flying off the shelves at Wailea Wine. It’s rated at 90 points by Wine Advocate.

Today at Mulligan’s on the Blue in Wailea, the sit-down meal starts at 5:30 p.m. and music kicks off at 7 p.m. at the Willie K dinner show. Begin with red-and-yellow pepper bisque, followed by spinach salad, and choice of New York strip loin in green-peppercorn sauce; mahimahi with tropical salsa; or braised New Zealand lamb stew. Dessert is passion fruit cake. Call 874-1131.

Japengo at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa in Kaanapali will celebrate Japanese izakaya bar food from 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday with small plates of six courses paired with sake, Asian beer and shochu. Tickets are $59 per person. For more details, call 667-4727.

May Day is Lei Day in Hawaii, and Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui in Wailea will celebrate Wednesday afternoon with hula and a lei display in the hotel lobby. While there, do check out Ko, Fairmont’s signature restaurant, that offers 50 percent off all food and 25 percent off drinks to kamaaina in the bar area. Wagner Family Wines, including Caymus are featured in May.

By the way, Ko was named “2013 Restaurant of the Year” at last week’s ‘Aipono Awards.

Did you know? There’s a new culinary term out there and it’s “gastrosexual.” According to celebrity chef Ted Reader, gastrosexuals are males aged 25 to 44, upwardly mobile, aware and passionate about global cuisines, and cook to show their culinary skills.

“Gastrosexuals are guys who love food and cook as more of a hobby than a chore,” says Reader.