Sheldon Simeon’s Lineage is open in Wailea.

It’s tough to believe it was eight years ago that a young Hilo-born chef named Sheldon Simeon was part of the opening team Star Noodle, an out-of-the-way business complex above the touristy town of Lahaina. At the time it was everything that most Island restaurants weren’t—it was cheap, the menu wasn’t hokey, they did takeout and the cooking was unbelievably pure. And so, notwithstanding its awkward location, word soon spread amongst both locals and visiting foodies and Simeon—thanks in part to a popular Top Chef appearance—became something of a celebrity chef.  After a few years Simeon moved on (Star Noodle is still hopping, though maybe not quite as focussed as it was in Sheldon’s day) and tried a few more concepts before opening the sublime lunch spot Tin Roof, again in unexpected location—a strip mall in busy Kahalui. But the back-to-basics move worked spectacularly. It was cheap, the food was great and the lines were long.But as great as Tin Roof is, its urban location and lunch-time only hours make it a tough order for most visitors to Maui. So when it was announced last year that Sheldon was working on a new concept, I think it’s fair to say hopes were very high. The result is the just-opened Lineage—which is thankfully located not in some far off industrial park but in the very tony Shops at Wailea. Here’s what we know so far:

  1. Unlike Tin Roof, it will be a full-service restaurant;
  2. It will feature Simeon family recipes as the foundation of the menu: think Filipino blended life growing up on the islands;
  3. Mobile carts built by Chef Sheldon’s father (a former welder) will move throughout the restaurant to offer guests dim-sum style appetizers, including pickled Hawaiian fruit, boiled peanuts, and Kim Chee Dip served with Hilo-based Maebo “one-ton” chips;
  4. Mains will include Pork n Peas, a Simeon family recipe with tomato gravy and green peas; Katsu Curry, fried cauliflower with golden curry; Adobo Turkey Tails with shoyu vinegar tare, shaved onions, and tomato; and Garden Poke with gobo kinpira, radish, brassica, inamona, and limu.
  5. It’s just dinner right now, but lunch will be added down the road.

As our fall turns from golden to sodden we don’t really need another reason to head to Hawaii, but it looks like we’ve found one.