Liquor is quicker in Costa Rica, according to that famous song, “Nobody’s Business but My Own,” by Taj Mahal, but now the county Liquor Control Commission has unanimously approved the takeout and home delivery of closed containers of alcoholic beverages. It will be interesting to see how this flows.
I spoke to celeb chef Dean Fearing of Dallas last month regarding the Hawaii Food & Wine Festival in October, which he looks forward to appearing in. He said Texas was already allowing takeout of margaritas and other mixed cocktails.
There’s no doubt about it, Maui is heating up, from the outdoor temperatures to more lockdown rule changes. Now is as good a time as any to chill with an island favorite: shave ice. In Lahaina, Breakwall Shave Ice Co. is cranking the machines from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week in its ground-floor location at Wharf Cinema Center on Front Street. Choose local syrup flavors from lilikoi to mango. Spoon cool thrills until you get to the prized, sweetened azuki beans and vanilla ice cream layered at the bottom.
“In addition to a huge selection of shave ice flavors ($4.50 to $8), we have ice cream and nitro and cold-brew coffees,” says co-owner Javier Barberi. “To keep you healthy, we have smoothies, acai bowls and kombucha. And remember, take-away only, please.” Call 661-4900.
Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice reopened three of its five Maui locations Tuesday after being closed for two months. The Kihei, Kahului and Lahaina stores serve up cool treats from 10:30 a.m. to 6 pm. daily.
“These three shops are more open-air with walk-up windows, and I feel they are a little bit safer for staff,” said owner David Yamashiro. “There is a capacity for them to handle the local traffic that is there. Our Wailuku and Paia outlets are not ready to open yet.”
Ululani’s is an award- winning chain featuring fresh fruit purees, pure cane sugar and purified water. Its signature shave ice is the Haleakala.
“If you enjoy coconut, that is the ultimate,” continued Yamashiro. “We also have the Sunset Beach with guava, mango and passion orange. And the No Kai Oi has lilikoi, mango and coconut ($5 to $7). It doesn’t include ice cream or other add-ons. We use a Maui-made gourmet Roselani ice cream — its top-tier brand — and Sugar Beach Bake Shop’s coconut toppings.”
For more Ululani’s details, call 877-3700.
Did you know shave ice originated in Taiwan in the seventh century and was called “bao bing”? Japanese immigrants brought the idea to Hawaii during the plantation era.
MEALS ON WHEELS
Maui Tropical Plantation in Waikapu just wheeled out its The Rolling Mill food truck. Hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays to Saturdays. Menu highlights are teriyaki-beef manapua, okonomiyaki Japanese pancakes, pork katsu, chicharrones with dipping sauce, farm tomato salad, hurricane fries and sides of house-made pickles.
“The Rolling Mill is really an extension of the mission of our ‘pork box’ that we were selling online to support local farmers,” said Albert Boyce, managing partner of MTP’s The Mill House restaurant.
“Our skeleton staff is literally sourcing within a 10-mile radius right now. Sourcing local is arguably the most responsible choice on an environmental and economic level at this time. There is currently a lot of pork on the menu because we want to support the farmers that have supported us. It’s an attempt, in our own small way, to reinvigorate our local economy. The food truck menu will grow and expand in time.”
Prices range from $2 to $14. Cash is not accepted. To order ahead, call 344-6110.
Bistro Casanova in Kahului closed March 16 but reopened May 4 for to-go and delivery from Bite Squad and Door Dash. In-house drivers will deliver orders within a 2-mile radius. Lunch hours are 1 a.m. to 2 p.m., and dinner is 5 to 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays.
“We made a smaller menu,” said owner Giovanni “Steven” Cappelli. “We cut the prices 25 to 30%, rolling it back to when we opened 11 years ago. The menu is comfort food — flavors that can make you feel confident to remember the good times. We added small pan focaccia pizzas. Our cooks have more time to do that now. “
Crunch on Caesar salads ($8), savor linguine with wild mushrooms ($12) and sink your teeth into New York steak tagliata with cherry tomatoes, arugula, parmesan cheese and truffle oil ($25).
The Bistro Casanova catering menu offers quarter pans of focaccia ($8); half and full pans of lasagna, eggplant parmesan and pasta al forno ($30 to $60); fresh pastas, raviolis and sauces for you to cook at home ($8 to $18); and half and full pans of tiramisu ($40 to $70).
“We’re trying to do our best and make it competitive with the food to go that you get at Whole Foods or Safeway,” added Cappelli. “We are looking forward to opening again, even at limited capacity.” Visit bistrocasanova.com. To order, call Manager Patrick Brand at 873-3650.
NA HOKU FLASHBACKS
The Na Hoku Hanohano Awards ceremony, originally set for Saturday, has been postponed until Sept. 10. Yet multi-Na Hoku winner and current nominee Amy Hanaiali‘i is co-producing a retrospective of past Na Hoku performances that will air at 7 p.m. Saturday on K5, noon May 24 on KGMB and 3 p.m. May 31 on KHNL. Broadcast personality Billy V is hosting.
Hanaiali‘i is president of the Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts, which presents the Na Hoku awards. “I approached the board and asked to produce the most memorable moments of the past 40 years,” she shared via phone. “They loved the idea. … Basically, we created the two-hour TV special as a way to help unemployed musicians during the pandemic. We’ll air back shows from Bruddah Iz to C&K and the Makaha Sons all the way to the present.
“We understand the magnitude of loss that COVID-19 has caused musicians. We’ll take in donations that can be allocated to our almost 600 members to use for rent, car or medical payments, or whatever they might need.”
To make donations online, visit harahawaii.com or call 800-533-2544 during the broadcasts.
By the way, Hanaiali‘i received six nominations this year, including album of the year, female vocalist of the year and song of the year for her latest recording, “Kalawai‘anui.”