Maui Food and Dining

Authentic Taste of Venezuela Comes to Honokōwai at Miss Arepa

October 21, 2021, 8:36 AM HST
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The authentic taste of Venezuela comes to Honokowai at Miss Arepa.

The eclectic mix of our island food scene has been enriched with the recent addition of the authentic taste of Venezuela at Miss Arepa in Honokōwai.

Partners Wilson Vera Contreras and Gabrielle Vasile opened the doors of their smart kitchen at 3600 Lower Honoapiʻilani Road two months ago at the 5A Retail Center.

“Reminiscent of our rich Spanish, Western African and Latin American heritage, the menu is a pleasurable recall of my mother’s traditional culinary expertise,” said Contreras, whose origins are in Venezuela.

“We want to share a variety of the culturally diverse tastes of Venezuela, featuring the arepa,” said Vasile. The arepa is one of the most popular pre-Hispanic foods still on the table for breakfast, lunch and dinner throughout the country and across all socio-economic groups.

The versatile cornmeal cake is made from ground corn dough or precooked corn flour. Resembling an English muffin or pita, the arepa is filled with surprising flavors, according to the owners.

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“The number of savory options is a testament to the Miss Arepa imagination, with selections made to pique the taste buds in every bite,” according to a restaurant announcement.

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Some of the arepa on the menu include the Reina Pepiada, shredded chicken mixed with avocado; Domino, black beans and shredded cheese; Rompe colchon (Break the Mattress), mixed seafood in garlic and tomato; Pescado, mahi mahi shredded, garlic, onion and tomato; and Carne Asada, juicy grilled steak and homemade chimichurri.

The Pabellon Bowls are popular choices referred to as “meal perfection.” The base is white rice, black bean queso fresco (or coconut cheese) and fried sweet plantains. “Build your own bowl” is the challenge when ordering this national dish with a variety of house proteins available.           

Other cultural plates not to be overlooked are the Cachapa, Venezuelan pancake filled with fresh mozzarella or plant-based cheese. The Patacon Sandwich is a lettuce, tomato, avocado, fresh mozzarella mouth-watering offering placed between two crispy fried plantains. Yuca Fries are a popular addition that are crunchy on the outside, creamy on the inside, and served with fresh homemade Venezuelan Salsa.

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Contreras and Vasile say they have embraced the street-casual, quick-serve concept of Venezuelan dining. It’s fresh, clean and tastefully tempting. The restaurant seats 21 total, inside and out.  It is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Prices range from $3 to $16.

For more information, visit www.missarepamaui.com, or call 808-793-0074.

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