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Chef Mark Noguchi to open new restaurant in Kakaako

    Chef Mark "Gooch" Noguchi at Snackbox in May.

The Kakaako area missed the presence of chef Mark “Gooch” Noguchi when the restaurant incubator Taste closed its doors in January. Then just five months later, the chef returned with Snackbox, a salad and sandwich takeout space inside Pad, a home furnishing store on Auahi Street.

Now Noguchi is expanding his brand in Kakaako in a bigger way with Mission, a lunch eatery to open at the Hawaiian Mission Houses Historic Site and Archives on Sept. 15. Noguchi and his wife, Amanda Corby, owners of the Pili Group, signed a contract Friday with Mission Houses Executive Director Tom Woods.

They are taking the space formerly occupied by Good Eats.

Mission will serve “contemporary Hawaii foods” that reflect local flavors, made with as many locally sourced ingredients as possible.

“I’m not reinventing anything. I’m not taking a laulau and deconstructing it,” Noguchi said. “I’m using flavors we grew up with and thoughtfully reworking dishes.”

Plans for the menu include such items as local venison and luau stew as well as soups and sandwiches. Mission will also offer poi and paiai daily.

Noguchi and his Pili team are aiming for contemporary dishes based on the food that was served during the era of the mission houses. They’re looking at archives and ship manifests, even missionary wives’ diaries, to figure out what the dishes of the time were like.

Mission will have indoor and outdoor seating, as well as takeout.

Along with the new restaurant, the Mission Houses will offer cultural food education, such as paiai and poi pounding.

Noguchi will continue to run Lunchbox, the cafe for Hawaiian Airlines employees, where he moved when Taste closed.

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