Maui Restaurant Scene Continues to Change

October 23, 2013, 11:29 AM HST · Updated October 24, 1:57 PM

By Vanessa Wolf

The view from the former Ma'alaea Waterfront Restaurant. File photo.

The view from the former Ma’alaea Waterfront Restaurant, soon to be an Italian joint. File photo.

Waterfront Ma’alaea Location Occupied; Serino’s Kihei Closes

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

The real estate agent responsible for the deal reports that a new tenant has been approved for the lease at the former Waterfront location in Ma’alaea.


The upcoming venture will offer authentic Italian cuisine and they are currently working on the name, menu and liquor license.

In contrast, Serino’s Kihei in the Azeka Mall has closed its doors after little more than three months in business.

The restaurant closed with nary an announcement, but late last month the sign disappeared and the establishment continually – and seemingly permanently – locked.

The space previously occupied by the International House of Pancakes and later the Backstreet Café is once again available for rent.

For those who missed a chance to sample their fare, Serino’s Pizza Waikiki on Oahu still appears to be open.

Sheraton Welcomes New Chef

Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa. Courtesy photo

Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa. Courtesy photo.

Meanwhile on the west side, Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa welcomes chef Raymond Nicasio as their executive sous chef.

Born and raised in the Philippines, Nicasio’s cooking and education has led him to Toronto where he worked in private catering to Houston, Texas working in the main kitchen for the Houston Rockets NBA basketball team.

In 2010 Nicasio and his wife moved to Maui to take the position of sous chef with Westin Ka‘anapali Ocean Resort Villas.

Nicasio blended his classical French training with a fusion of international styles of Filipino, Chinese, Mexican, and Portuguese to develop his own unique island style.

Island Grill and Bar Comes to Front Street

In addition, the real estate agent overseeing the new lease reports that west side diners can look forward to a new Island Grill and Bar on Front Street in Lahaina.

The concept is casual food and drinks with a island theme and a focus on fresh local fish.

Travaasa Hana Appoints Executive Chef

Travaasa Hana's Ka'uiki Restaurant. Courtesy photo

Travaasa Hana’s Ka’uiki Restaurant. Courtesy photo.

Lastly, Travaasa Hana recently appointed Derek Watanabe to executive chef.

Watanabe will oversee the culinary team and all banquet and catering services for the AAA Four Diamond resort located at the end of Maui’s iconic Road to Hana

Born and raised in Honolulu and specializing in regional cuisine, Watanabe comes to Hana with an extensive culinary and catering background.

Most recently he was chef/partner of Café Julia and Laniakea Catering and chef de cuisine of Watanabe Weddings by Alan Wong in Honolulu.

Prior to that, he was chef de cuisine for Alan Wong’s Restaurant, regarded as one of the finest Hawaii Regional Cuisine restaurants in the Hawaiian islands.

Travaasa Hana (formerly Hotel Hana-Maui) is made up of 70 cottages and suites, surrounded by natural beauty and known for its Hawaiian cultural heritage and small town charm.

The AAA Four Diamond Hotel was rated the No. 1 resort in Hawaii in the Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards Poll in 2011 and voted No. 1 boutique hotel in Hawaii by readers of Hawaii Magazine.



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