For the last six years, Lanakila Pacific’s Meals on Wheels program has put on a different kind of fundraiser: Restaurants around town create a menu for this one event and donate at least one table for four to the cause. Lanakila then puts the table up for sale. On one specific night — this year it’s Oct. 2 at 6 p.m. — everyone who has purchased their tables go to their respective restaurants and have dinner at the same time. You can see what everyone else is eating at the other restaurants by following the hashtag #TheGoodTable.
You can buy a table at various price points, from Zippy’s and Big City Diner all the way up to Alan Wong’s; you can even get a truck from Street Grindz or a build-your-own poke bar from Ruger Market. There are crazy fans who wait for the site to go live every year, so they can get the restaurant they want (Hank’s Haute Dogs always sells out immediately). All proceeds benefit Lanakila’s Meals on Wheels program, which feeds needy senior citizens year round. To see the whole list, click here.
I hope I never have to use this charitable program. I hope you never have to, either. But for those who are not able to afford or access a hot meal daily, this is a source of nutrition, comfort, and in many cases, company. Ed Morita and I have supported the program since the beginning, and he was even a featured chef at Hank’s Haute Dogs in 2012. Here’s a quick preview of two of the restaurants, JJ’s Bistro and French Pastry, and Haili’s Hawaiian Food.
Haili's Hawaiian Food
The feast includes laulau, squid luau, kalua pig, chicken long rice, lomi lomi salmon, ahi poke, sweet potatoes, two kinds of haupia, poi and rice, plus your choice of non-alcoholic beverages. You are allowed to BYOB, too. We sampled a plate of everything, including dessert, and it's fantastic!
This year, anyone who buys a table is entered to win a Maui vacation for two. Lanakila is also partnering with Uber for the event to make it convenient for those who want to enjoy wine with dinner or just don’t want to fight for parking anywhere.