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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

First look: Kaana Kitchen at Andaz Maui at Wailea

Left: Kaana Kitchen dining room; right: chef de cuisine Isaac Bancaco
Photos courtesy of Andaz Maui

Last month, Andaz Maui at Wailea opened. Andaz is the Hyatt's newer brand of hotels that markets a more intimate experience and properties designed to be in tune with their locale, both in the cultural and physical senses.

What that means for dining at Kaana Kitchen at Andaz: a completely open kitchen, a juice mixologist for breakfast—bet you've never had a pineapple, honeydew, avocado, chard, basil and sage juice before—and a dinner menu categorized by its local food producers, such as Surfing Goat Dairy, Ono Organic Farms and Maui's upcountry ranchers. At Kaana Kitchen, the growers literally come first on the menu.

Menu items are creative, like in the Surfing Goat Dairy section, the grilled octopus with artichoke and the dairy's Secret Sicily cheese; under Big Island Kona Cold, a kampachi bacon with abalone risotto; in "ahi caught by Chad Miyake," a grilled belly with pohole and dried shrimp.

Maui-born Isaac Bancaco is the chef de cuisine at Kaana Kitchen, partnering with Maui farms to source products exclusively for Andaz. Previously, he was the executive chef of Pineapple Grill in Kapalua, and, before that, the chef de cuisine at the Grand Wailea's Humuhumunukunukuapuaa. After culinary school in Portland, Oregon, he worked around the Mainland, including a stint as sous chef at Ming Tsai's Blue Ginger.

On a recent brief trip to Maui, I could only experience Kaana Kitchen very cursorily, but I can't wait to return for what friends are already calling some of the state's most exciting dining.

Also, coming soon to Andaz Maui: Morimoto Maui, slated to open early November.

Posted on Wednesday, October 23, 2013 in Permalink

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About This Column

From five-star restaurants to hidden holes-in-the-wall, Biting Commentary will let you know what’s hot and what’s not. Find out the latest restaurant news—who’s opening, who’s closing, which chef is moving on, where the great special dinners are. Discover the best menu items, fabulous wines, stunning cocktails, hand-crafted beers. Be the first to hear about upcoming food events and festivals.

Food editor Martha Cheng graduated from Wellesley College with degrees in Computer Science and English. She's a former line cook, food truck owner, Peace Corps volunteer and Google techie. Follow her on Twitter @marthacheng.


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