Triple Happiness at The Brasserie in Kīhei

July 7, 2016, 10:45 AM HST · Updated July 7, 11:13 AM
Kiaora Bohlool · 21 Comments
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What’s beyond happy?

Ecstatic. Jubilant. Blissful.

However you want to describe it, there’s a place in Kīhei that’s going beyond the typical “happy hour” you might be used to.

But since “blissful hour” might sound a little strange, let’s stick with “happy hour,” which is happening three times a day at The Brasserie, a recently-opened lounge at Maui Thai Bistro in Rainbow Mall.

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It’s offering a new lunchtime happy hour between noon and 2 p.m., in addition to specials from 4 to 6 p.m. and later from 8:30 to close (around 9:30 p.m.).

“We offer $5 Mai Tais, $5 Thai lemon ales, $1 off beers, 20% off wines by the glass, two for $14 pūpū,” explains bar manager Cory Wymer.

The Brasserie opened in March with a polished, modern style and unique signature drinks. Many cocktails are crafted to pair with Thai food, like the Tom Yum Martini, Thai Lemon Ale, Pepper Blossom, Strawberry Basil Mojito and a drink called Curry Me Home, which features Tanqueray, cream of coconut, lemon and green curry.

“Just a lot of Thai and Hawaiian-inspired beverages, bringing in cucumber and lemon and kaffir lime leaf,” explains Wymer. “We have a few beverages that have a little bit of a kick, just like the cuisine, that we use the Thai chili-infused simple sryup as well.”

For the drink infusions, Wymer keeps it fresh with a house-made sour mix and fruit purées like lychee and strawberry.

“We just try to do everything fresh and local,” he says. “I actually get fresh Kula strawberries from upcountry, slowly roast them with a little bit of raw brown sugar and lemon juice and make my own purée.”

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    Tom Yum Martini. a signature drink at The Brasserie and Maui Thai Bistro. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    Tom Yum Martini. a signature drink at The Brasserie and Maui Thai Bistro. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    Food and drinks at The Brasserie, Maui Thai Bistro. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    Food and drinks at The Brasserie, Maui Thai Bistro. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    Happy hour fun at The Brasserie. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    Happy hour fun at The Brasserie. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    Fresh summer rolls at Maui Thai Bistro in Kīhei, available on a two-for-$14 special during happy hour. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    Fresh summer rolls at Maui Thai Bistro in Kīhei, available on a two-for-$14 special during happy hour. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    The Brasserie bar manager Cory Wymer crafts cocktails. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    The Brasserie bar manager Cory Wymer crafts cocktails. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    Cocktails and happy hour board at The Brasserie. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    Cocktails and happy hour board at The Brasserie. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    Maui Thai Bistro manager Shannon Togher. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    Maui Thai Bistro manager Shannon Togher. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    Multiple types of curry at Maui Thai Bistro in Kīhei. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    Multiple types of curry at Maui Thai Bistro in Kīhei. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    Lights and decor at Maui Thai Bistro. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    Lights and decor at Maui Thai Bistro. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    Thai basil in the garden outside Maui Thai Bistro's kitchen. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    Thai basil in the garden outside Maui Thai Bistro’s kitchen. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    Thai Lemon Ale and beer at The Brasserie. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    Thai Lemon Ale and beer at The Brasserie. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    Pūpū menu at The Brasserie in Kīhei. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    Pūpū menu at The Brasserie in Kīhei. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    Pūpū and cocktails at The Brasserie during happy hour. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    Pūpū and cocktails at The Brasserie during happy hour. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    Food and drinks at The Brasserie. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    Food and drinks at The Brasserie. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    Fresh ingredients used at the bar at The Brasserie in Kīhei. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    Fresh ingredients used at the bar at The Brasserie in Kīhei. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    Chef Prakong, busy at work in the kitchen at Maui Thai Bistro. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    Chef Prakong, busy at work in the kitchen at Maui Thai Bistro. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    Food fires up on the stove at Maui Thai Bistro. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    Food fires up on the stove at Maui Thai Bistro. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    The Brasserie sign. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    The Brasserie sign. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    Ladies socialize at The Brasserie happy hour, Maui Thai Bistro. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    Ladies socialize at The Brasserie happy hour, Maui Thai Bistro. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    As for the culinary creations, described as “authentic and contemporary,” respected chef Prakong Tongsod and staff pick fresh basil and other herbs from a small garden outside the kitchen, and incorporate local flavors into many dishes.

    “She goes down to the farmers’ market many times a week; she only orders from local farms, and we use Eskimo Candy, so all local as much as we can,” explains Maui Thai Bistro manager Shannon Togher.

    The happy hour pūpū menu (remember, get two for $14) includes kalua pork spring rolls, summer rolls, coconut-marinated chicken satay, Somtum (green papaya salad), crispy chicken, pork laab cakes and shrimp flutes.

    Maui Thai Bistro and The Brasserie also offer a 20% kama’āina discount for local residents on food and drinks, any time of day.

    Between the triple happy hour, cocktails, food and ambience, managers say they aim for quality on the plate, in the glass and at the table.

    “We focus on great service and great Thai food,” says Togher, “so just the perfect balance of the two together.”

    You might even call it…blissful.

    Kiaora Bohlool
    Kiaora Bohlool has been a journalist since 1998. With chefs in her family, she has a lifelong appreciation for food...

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