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Oct 24, 2006 03:35 AM

First trip to Wailea area in Maui- Need Help, Please!

We'll be spending 4 nights at the Renaissance Hotel and would like moderately priced restaurant suggestions...also a splurge for our 25th anniversay!

We are NYC Chowhounds who eat all ethnic foods but prefer seafood/fish dishes. Thanks, in advance, for your help.

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  1. If you do a search for Wailea, you'll get lots of suggestions. Unfortunately, there's not a whole lot to get excited about - maybe Nick's for your splurge? Happy 25th & my best congratulations. It's my favorite area of Maui, but sadly lacking in great food. (Don't let anyone steer you to Spago at the 4 SSNS - overpriced & a sad sad shadow of the original or the second one in Beverly Hills).

    1. For reference in searching, the Renaissance is only a few minutes from South Kihei, and you can be in central Kihei (e.g., shopping center where the local Roy's is) in about 10 minutes.

      1. We ate at the Kihei Roy's last week, and had a nice meal of salads and appetizers. We've had nice meals there in the past too. Try the Big Wave cafe in the Azeka Mauka Plaza for breakfast.
        We had a nice lunch at Cafe O' Lei also in Kihei. Sansei in Kihei was a big disapointment.
        We tried the tasting menu, and were not happy to find that three of the dishes on that menu were served with a Thai style sweet chili sauce, a Crab salad and mango hand roll, the other Crab salad roll with nori and seasame, and the squid frito misto. The big surprise of the meal was the lobster ravioli in a shitake cream sauce. I haven't had a cream sauce that thick and cloying since '82! And to top it off, at the bottom of the plate, under the cream and raviolis was a long black hair. Our servers observation on being made aware of the hair; Oh Shit! Of course I had to respond, no, it's a hair HAH! We were comped a dish of Lappert's Coconut Ice Cream, it just showed up, and the offending strand was never mentioned again. I really hope the Kapalua branch is better.
        Had a good fish sandwich at the Cheeseburger in paradise at the Shops at Wailea.
        I'd give Joe's a try, Bev Gannon has a good reputation as one of the founders of new Hawaiian Cusine, and we've had good meals there in the past.
        Just remember, great food is different for everyone. Get off the beaten path and make some discoveries, it's Maui fer crying out loud! Happy anniversary!

        1. I have yet to agree with TB on many of her posts and this is no exception. By all means do
          try SPAGO. I am sorry for whatever happened when she was there but I have been many
          times and each time was better than the next. What you really should do is just say "Put me
          in Cameron's (Lewark, chef de cuisine) hands, mention any food allergies, likes/dislikes and
          I guarantee you will have the best meal of your trip. If possible see if you can be in Lacey's
          area, she's the best. I would also suggest you go to BOTH Joe's and Hailiimaile General
          Store both are fabulous, Hailiimaile has this ahi napoleon that is beyond description.

          1. Hopegoode, I too will be going to Wailea and be staying in the Renaissance Hotel... but not until Jan/Feb time frame. If it is not too much trouble could you either post or send me a note on what chowables you found worth going to and what the hotel was like. If that is too annoying I will FULLY understand. We are also (tentatively) going to Oahu staying at Marriott Ihilani and trying to decide b/w Kauai and Maui (at a Marriott or Renaissance Hotel) - I guess you have figured out we are going on points!! If you are going to either we would LOVE to hear your opinion.

            Wanda Fuca