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Maui restaurant recommendations please

We will be arriving in Maui next week. Can't wait! We are staying at the Grand Wailei. I don't know what part of the island that is, but would very much like to hear of any restaurants you recommend. We LOVE seafood, and are not interested in any chains. Please, recommend to your heart's content Chowhournders.

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  1. Begin your quest by reviewing the many posts on this board.

    2 Replies
    1. re: DriverPhil

      While I can certainly do a search I'm not sure what area in Maui the Grand Wailei is in and thought others that have been there would make it easier. Any suggestions Chowhounders? Thanks.

      1. re: synergy

        BTW it's Wailea, a resort area of it's own past Kihei.

    2. You might want to check out: http://www.gohawaii.com/maui/

      This will give you an idea of the shape of the island and the location of Kihei. There are basically three general areas on Maui to dine: Kihei Area, Lahiana Area and Kahului, the main town. One can also dine in Hana, though it's a bit less populated, and hence limited (great drive, but not the dining of the other areas).

      Any search for Maui should yield tons of results, from high-end spots to hole-in-the-wall, but with great food.

      Recent posts have hashed over Mama's Fish House, which is near your side of the island, through Kahului, is high-end, and divided on the reports.

      We usually have spent most of our time in the Lahaina Area (Ka`anapali, Kapalua and Upcountry - Bev Gannon's Hali`imaili General Store is worth the drive, IMO), so I do not have current recs. for the Kihei Area, but, as stated, many recent posts do.

      Bev Gannon's: http://www.bevgannonrestaurants.com/h...

      As we're going to Mau`i early next year, I hope to have some reviews and to cover as much of the island, as I can - last trip was 10 years ago, so I will be looking for recs. too, since many of my favs. are probably not in existance, or have changed ownership.

      When you do your seach of CH, initiate it from this board.


      8 Replies
      1. re: Bill Hunt

        Bill Hunt, thank you so much for all your help and suggestions! You've helped to point me in the right direction.

        1. re: synergy

          You are most welcome. Now, you are obligated to post reviews, when you return, as I will be heading back to Mau`i, for the first time in many years. Though we are staying on the West side of the island, we travel miles for good food!

          I just wish that I had some current, specific recs., but it's been too long.


          1. re: Bill Hunt

            Bill, I've had some great dining in the last year on Maui, recently at the Kapalua Wine and Food Festival. While at the festival I had some great food from Mark Tarbell who's from your neck of the woods.

            I don't think you can ever go wrong with Hailiimaile General Stoer or Joe's by Bev Gannon, or Waterfront in Maalea. We ate at the Plantation House for lunch and really enjoyed it, as everyone knows the view is fabulous and it was really a great lunch! I like their wine of the day selection, reasonable prices for a great afternoon of drinking and eating!

            1. re: manomin

              Yes, Mark is an acquaintance of mine and a great chef. We dine with him about 4x/year and enjoy another 2+ events, where he's cooking.

              I've heard of the Plantation House, but have never dined there. There is also the space that was the A`nui`nui Room at the Ritz in Kapalua, that has gotten high marks recently. We were horribly disappointed with the AR, when we were last on Mau`i. We were planning on another Hawai`i trip, when my wife informed me that we had a great deal at the Westin, and had to include it. We're doing the planning now, and I'll be wearing out Seach on CH, to try and refresh my feeble memory. We usually do fine-dining every night, but love all good food, so we're always looking for great spots - high-end, or not.

              This next trip WILL include Mama's, since there has been so much traffic about it on this board. I have got to try it for myself, and hope that we have one of the great experiences, unlike so many others.

              Thanks for mentioning PH. We will also be doing at least one of Bev Gannon's spots. She also spends a fair amount of time in AZ, as she has several great friends here. We've done several events with her, and enjoy her, as much as we do her food.


              1. re: Bill Hunt

                Hi, we love Mama's Fish House; you have to go at least once. We also really liked Chez Paul.

                1. re: LANative

                  Chez Paul's has been on our list over the years and we have loved it. Only problem is pulling onto the hwy. from the parking lot, can be a bit dicey. Do not know why we have never done Mama's, but fairly recently there was a thread with severe polarization - some loved it, some hated it. I made a promise then, to try it for myself. Fingers are crossed. I have not seen such a divergence of experiences at one restaurant, as I have with Mama's. Usually, on CH, there is much middle-ground and some, who love, some, who hate, but more middle-ground. Mama's seems to have only detractors, or fans.

                  Thanks for the suggestion,

                2. re: Bill Hunt

                  Whatever was at the Anuenue Room like the hotel is gone. The Ritz closed (and did a great job of rudely throwing everyone out by noon on 7/2) to allow construction to begin the day after the W&F festival ended. They plan to reopen in December. Check out wwwhawaiidiner.com later in August for a profile of chef Tarbell. I've no interest in going to Mama's despite the constant back and forth by everyone on the boards. The Waterfront is my choice. I really really enjoy Spago at the Four Seasons and Sarento's too. I've not tried Penne Pasta but I hear good things and Mark Ellman is never wrong! I am sure you are looking forward to your trip!

                3. re: manomin

                  Bill, the Hailiimaile General Store menu looks great. I've ear-marked that one. And yes, it's a fair trade to get recommendations and then write a trip report--done deal!

          2. Definitely make a res. well in advance at Mama's and be sure to ask for a table by the sliding glass doors/beach side so you can enjoy the view, sunset etc...I would also recommend the Italian restaurant at the Four Seasons ( not Spago, the other one) . The fish was great, and the risotto was to die for-plus a great view of sunset!

            2 Replies
            1. re: MRS

              Ferraro's... I love it, too! My last trip to Maui (May 2007), I had four dinners at Ferraro's and four dinners at HGS!

              1. re: hollyeve

                Yes, that's the place! I loved it. We were told to go to Sansei for the "best" sushi. I didn't think it was that good at all.

            2. I will see you there..we arrive on the 10th and i am searching my restaurants as well.

              1. Aloha..
                We always stay in the Kapalua area so I know all thats going on there..
                We really enjoy Sansei for sushi, Hula Grill for lunch or dinner, Kimo's in Lahiana for dinner and for breakfast or cocktails after a round of golf the best breakfast is the Plantation House..second to the Gazebo in Napili..
                We like Roy's too in Napili.


                1. Just made my reservation for Mama's for next Monday 6:30pm. I HAVE to see what the fuss is all about. Will report back after the 17th.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Ela0427

                    We had a very nice experience there and enjoyed ourselves. The fish was quite good. It is certainly not the kind of place we'd not get a chance to to experience in New York where we are from. I found them very attentive. Additionally, there was a very small piece of glass on our tablecloth, which I didn't see until it made a small cut on my elbow. ( Mom always said to keep your elbows OFF the table!:) ) Anyway, it was no big thing, but the manager came over right away, with a flashlight, and first aid kit ( I was mortified!) and explained that he would speak to the staff about being more thorough. Apparently, another diner had broken a glass in the vicinity before we were seated and it flew onto the table. They refused to let us pay our bill and apologized profusely.

                  2. Search the supermarkets in Kihei for some good local poke. You will appreciate it being a seafood lover, and the stuff in the deli or seafood section is very good.

                    1. We thought Mama's was way too pricey ($90 for lunch for 2--NO drinks or appetizers/desserts)...The food was just OK.

                      Last time we had breakfast at the Plantation House and it was yummy! We also like Roy's (yes, its a chain, but we still like it)...Kimo's is good as well (and a great view!)

                      In March, we did the Feast at lele--different from a luau, but excellent food!


                      1. Hailemaile General Store. Fresh, clean food. Think French Laundry turned cafe Style. A nice drive on your way to uptown, or on your way back down from a Haleakala sunrise. Also "upcountry" you'll find the legendary Makawao Steakhouse -- an instiution/ small nook restaurant where Presidents dine. Its the restaurant featured in the American Express commercials with that large sumo wrestler, Konishki. Perfectly aged steaks, magnificent rib eye served with the best sweet maui onion rings.

                        For breakfast you have to try the Cash Cow in Pukalani and experience the local breakfast favorite "Loco Moco" with fresh, organic local ingredients. Its a mush of an experience -- grilled burger topped with a sunny egg and smothered with delicious brown gravy. To die for!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: RawTunaFan

                          Makawao Steakhouse, eh? I have not heard of it, but it HAS been years, since we were on Mau`i, and always staying on the Western side of the Island. I'll have to put them on the list for next trip and also do a Google to find their site and location. Sounds great, and we WILL drive for good food.

                          Also, I used to not think "steaks," when in Hawai`i, but on my last trip, it seemed that I had better Big Island Beef, than I did seafood. Matter of fact, my #2 all-time great filet was on Kaua`i, and I would have never expected that. I think that I am becoming a convert.


                        2. Oh yeah, if you can get your hands on the ribs at Azekas in Kihei, almost Korean style, yet sweeter...ahhhh delish! Better yet, get yourself invited to a local barbeque that has Azeka ribs and some fresh ahi poke from the local supermarket and this wonderful sauce for it made from kukui nut paste. You will die and go to heaven!

                          1. Although we didn't make it there, our very good friends who we met in Maui ate in the Fairmont and said it was wonderful. A definite see-and-be seen crowd as Kevin Bacon w/ family and Vince Carter and friends were there separately that evening. Not that that's a reason to go...I'm a little jaded.

                            1. Mala in Lahaina. Mark Ellman's return to "real" restaurants (he was behind Avalon, closed it to create Maui Tacos). Get the fresh catch with green mojo sauce. Many of the dishes have Med/Middle Eastern inflections, like the Persianesque sweet and spicy chicken wings made with pomegranat molasses (like fesanjan) and the dainty lamb meatballs on triangles of pita. Sit on the deck jutting out over the water.