Dazoo Restaurant Opens in Moana Cafe Spot, Paia

October 30, 2013, 12:41 PM HST · Updated October 30, 5:24 PM
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By Vanessa Wolf

The Bibimbap. Photo by Vanessa Wolf

The Bulgogi Steak Bibimbap. Photo by Vanessa Wolf.

When Paia’s Moana Bakery and Cafe closed on Oct. 6, North Shore diners may have feared they would be down a restaurant for a while.

However, just a few weeks later, the space re-opened as Dazoo, with plans to open a walk-in bakery named Moana in the vacant space next door before the end of the year.

Owners David and Yulie Law bought Moana Cafe about a year ago and have run it as such since that time.

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Yulie explained that she didn’t want to make any fast changes, although she did realize early on she would probably switch it up around the one year mark.

The restaurant got its name from the Law’s architect. He nicknamed the project “The Zoo” because of the three-dimensional wood board animals that will soon flank the space.

Yulie liked the sound of it, swapped the “the” for pidgin and smooshed it into one word: Dazoo was born.

The Rameyeon. Photo by Vanessa Wolf

The Rameyeon. Photo by Vanessa Wolf.

The menu is different from Moana Cafe, but not entirely foreign and some items are still available.

Brunch is still offered from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. seven days a week and features offerings like a Veggie Omelet ($13), Hawaiian Bread French Toast ($8) and a variety of Benedicts ($12-$17).

Yulie is of Korean descent and her culture is reflected in much of the menu.

She joked about a possible tagline for the restaurant, “Farm to table with a little bit of Seoul.”

Among the Korean offerings, Bibimbap comes in an authentic and flaming hot stone bowl. Toppings range from tofu to fresh fish or bulgogi steak with prices ranging from $14 to $17.

The Char Siu Banh Mi and Homefries. Photo by Vanessa Wolf

The Char Siu Banh Mi and Homefries. Photo by Vanessa Wolf.

The Banh Mi ($10 to $14, depending upon filling) offers a lemongrass tofu, Kalua pork, or Charsiu filling. The restaurant makes both the bread and the char siu in house.

Ramyeon is a lighter Korean variation of saimin and is offered in both vegetarian Tomato Miso  ($12) and kalua pork ($14) versions. The soup is made with Iwamoto Natto Factory noodles and is full of local vegetables.

The restaurant sources 85% of their products locally and makes a tremendous number of items – including hamburger buns, pickles, kimchee, Portuguese sweet bread and even soda – in house.

The Roasted Pumpkin Salad. Photo by Vanessa Wolf

The Roasted Pumpkin Salad. Photo by Vanessa Wolf.

Speaking of which, the Bald Soda ($5) is made only with sparkling water and fresh fruit puree. The flavors change daily and the couple plans to start bottling the beverage soon.

Dinner is a shared plates style with three categories to choose from. The Herbivore listings contain Roasted Pumpkin Salad ($12) and Tomato Gnocchi Parisienne ($12).

Omnivore offerings include a Romaine Lettuce Wrap filled with steak ($19), fresh catch (MP) and Kalua Pork ($18), whereas the carnivore options include Maui Beef and Bacon Meatballs ($9) and Lemongrass Berkshire Pork Loin ($19).

The restaurant is open for dinner from 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and until 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Fans of the bakery needn’t fear.

Recognizing the demand – Moana currently sells out of all 300 loaves of bread in 2 1/2 hours at the weekly Kula Farmer’s Market – the Laws have a plan there too.

The updated interior features 3-D cardboard lampshades to help control noise. Photo by Vanessa Wolf

The updated interior features 3D cardboard lampshades to help control noise. Photo by Vanessa Wolf.

Dazoo has a full pastry case filled with treats and the Laws have obtained the adjacent space formerly occupied by Vanity Spa. Permitting is still underway, but they hope to open Moana Bakery – a walk-in, full service bakery – by late November.

More information can be found at www.dazoomaui.com.

Drop us a line – Vanessa(@mauinow.com)

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