Heeia Pier General Store and Deli Re-opens

Kevin Chong, Mark Noguchi and Andrew Le

“I’m so happy—and emotionally spent,” said a lei-laden chef Mark Noguchi yesterday at the end of Heeia Pier, as hundreds of people thronged around him for the grand re-opening of the Heeia General Store & Deli. Event promoters and budding restaurateurs Vertical Junkies (they launched the popular V Lounge Pizza), led by Russ Inouye, have taken over the modest shack’s lease and in the kitchen are Noguchi, who was most recently in the kitchen at Town and before that at Chef Mavro, and Ricky Goings, who turned out Japanese food at Aki No No.

Noguchi is one of the most charismatic cooking characters in town, and his culinary compadres showed up in force to help him with the pupu. In and around the kitchen were former Chef Mavro colleagues Kevin Chong and Andrew Le, Zaratez Mexicatessen honcho Paul Zarate, Soul Café’s Sean Priester, Town’s David Caldiero, 12th Avenue Grill’s Bob McGee, Kelii Heen of HFM (intently mixing up giant bowls of poke), V Lounge’s Alejandro Briceño, Melt’s Lindsey Ozawa, Town’s Chris Sy, among many others.

Pastor Toby of Windward Nazarene did a blessing, then it was community party time, with a steady stream of well wishers dropping by, as fishermen went about their fishing business and a canoe club partied in the parking lot.

People stood in line for Chinese steamed buns filled with braised, shredded pork and topped with watercress, hoio shoot salad, Spam musubi and poke.

The food shack is closed today, but come by starting tomorrow and you can order things like barbecued guava chicken, hamburger steak, luau stew, saimin (made with dashi that Goings prepares fresh daily, and topped with shoot salad and green onion), and the catch of the day—which just came off one of the many boats in the harbor. Good, simple, fresh food. Want to know what the specials are? Follow @heeiapier and @musubman on Twitter, or go to the Heeia Kea Pier General Store & Deli on Facebook.

For the full story on Heeia General Store & Deli and more on Mark Noguchi, see the article “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay” by Lavonne Leong in the June issue of HONOLULU.

Oh, and this is Lesa Griffith filling in for John Heckathorn while he is on vacation. You can check out my blog at www.eatizenjane.com.