Chowhound finds in Maui
I have read all the posts I could find on places to eat in Maui, including responses to my query about everyday places to lunch/dine and I am perplexed that have not seen anything that is not already listed in Frommers or Zagat, most of them around the $100 per diner mark. We have already done PacificOs, the Waterfront and Ruth's Chris (we were invited to the latter). We have Sensei, Saigon Cafe, Hallimaile GS, Plantation House and Mama's in our to do list.
Here is a "find" which exemplifies what I also look for from fellow chowhounds and have not found so far: Okazuya (thanks to a tip from the hotel handyman). This lunch/dinner counter is on a small strip mall past the Smart supermarket in Kaanapali, off the Honoapiilani rd. A mostly take out place with a ten seat counter inside and a couple of tables outside, it offers a flavourful and diverse selection of fish, beef,seafood and vegetarian dishes representing most Asian styles as well as a small pasta menu. Everything we tried was delicious: Black bean chowfun, Chicken Katsu, Spaghetti and italian sausage, Eggplant Schezhan (sic),Korean style chicken BBQ, and Ono Lemon Caper Sautee with sundried Tomatoes (the most expensive item in the menu at $13.95). The last three dishes are memorable and highly recommended.
I would like to hear about more such places.
Couldn't agree more on the Kihei Cafe recommendation. We were in the Wailea are back in Oct/Nov and we headed up the road to the Kihei Cafe for breakfast on more than one occassion. Their egg dishes are fantastic as is their muesli; coffee is okay but Jackass Coffee is right next door so you can pick up your 100% Kona to go right before you hit the Kihei for grub.
As for dinner, the most memorable meal was at Sorrentos on the Beach. We enjoyed it so much that we went back there during our visit-excellent wine list and a really good Hawaiian-Italian vibe.
Speaking of wine, go to the Longs Drugs in Kihei-they have an amazing wine selection (and this from someone who lives in Northern California).
I had a terrible experience at Sorrento's last yaer. Maybe they've upgraded? Everything was just drenched in too much truffle oil - even the kids plates! And my $24 of CA cabernet came out at 83 degrees. We even threw away the leftovers because we couldn't stand the truffle smell anymore. And I love truffles.
I'm pretty new here, however, my family is from the islands, and when I go "home", I tend to try to find local places to eat. So, my two cents, go to Kihei. We found a great saimen place, a great burger joint (and other foods, but I got the burger) that was more laid back and had an AWESOME view of the ocean (vs Cheeseburgers in Paradise). All the things I saw in the more touristy areas were either, well, touristy, overpriced, or "common". I'm thinking of a few places that I went to, and if I can recall the names/places I'll post again.
I'm back. I found a few places. The burger joint was called Lulu's. Honestly, if you go late, there's a band and it can get rowdy, however, we were there as the sun was setting and it was beautiful. The food is slightly "different", but good. I had a burger, I think it came on some type of bread, NOT bun. But it was good. I think the ambience of the place, for me, and the good food, made it great. http://www.lulusmaui.com/index.htm
Da Kitchen I hear, has the best plate lunch. I don't know as I couldn't find the place. Hey, some of those places are hard to find. lol http://www.da-kitchen.com/home.html
Lastly, there was Hanafuda Saimin. Granted, the best place is on Kauai, called Hamura's, but this was better than most.
All these places are on So. Kihei.
Da Kitchen was fabulous. Went with a long time local. The quantity of food was unbelievable. I had the fish tempura. It was Mahi mahi. The fish was so moist while the batter was high on crunch and flavor. They give me 3 huge pieces along with rice and salad. Could not finish the rice or salad.
My wife had the Kalua pig. I couldn't v=believe the amount of pork. It was really full of flavor and MOIST. We brought half of it back to the hotel.
The chicken katsu meal included 4 to 5 huge pieces of panko breaded breast meat. No one that ordered it in the restaurant ate all of it they took at least half the order with them.
They have great desserts. The pies come from a place called "Broke da mout" because they are sooo good.
Worth a special trip to Kahalui. Or go right after you leave the airport as its within 2 miles of the Kahalui airport.
You won't be disappointed by Saigon Cafe... it's exactly what you're looking for in terms of everyday fantastic eats. I returned several times in my most recent trip and those were my best meals on the island!