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Feb 18, 2008 07:56 PM

A week + in Maui

I'm headed to Maui on Wed., Feb. 20 for a week plus. My wife and I will be going with my in-laws and celebrating my mother-in-law's 65th. We're staying at Napili Kai.

I've scoured parts of this board for recommendations and have the following list. I'd to find 2-3 upscale options, particularly for the b-day dinner, as well as some places that aren't as expensive. I'd love to find some great poke.

Lulus for burgers and music
Hanafuda Saimin
Da Kitchen – plate lunch
Kihei Cafe – breakfast
Alexandere’s – fresh fish sandwiches
Fish Market on Honoapiiliani near Honokowai for fresh fish to take home
Honokawai Okazuya – great takeout
Kapalua Sansei – raw fish (I realize this isn't viewed as sushi by some)
Mala – casual Oceanside diner (haven't seen negative comments about this one yet)
Gazebo at Napili – great breakfasts and lunches
Azekas – Korean ribs
Makawao Steakhouse
Bev Gannon’s Hali'imaile General Store
Mala in Lahaina ()

I also know about Mama's but didn't include it because I know the topic ignited debate. My MIL has indicated she'd like to try Chez Paul, any comments on this one or the list in general? I'm geographically challenge with Maui so I don't know if some of this places are so far from Napili Kai that it wouldn't make sense to go to them.


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  1. Azeka's closed in 2006.
    Makawao and Hali'imaile are pretty far from Napili
    Kihei is pretty far to go for breakfast

    But keep in mind that Hawaii "far" is different from mainland "far". Meaning driving 30 minutes is far for us.

    1 Reply
    1. re: KalihiSnob

      "Kehei is pretty far to go for breakfast"

      From where Lardo is going to be - it is! - the number one on that map is your hotel...
      Edit - that link doesn't take you to the map - click on the map and direction link - sorry!

      I'm leaving on Friday (hopefully the snow won't shut O'Hare down again) and I've been checking the boards also. We have some friends who just returned from Maui and I respect their opinions quite a bit - she's a chef!
      Anyway - they didn't care for Chez Paul - said it was just 'meh' and the wine list was boring. Said the ambience was lacking as well.

      They liked Mala and we're planning on going there for lunch and maybe dinner another day. We like Lahaina Grill and Spago (Spago though is all the way down in Wailea - the complete other end of the island from where you will be) and I've already set reservations for LG - Big Big Birthday for Mr CF - and we're looking forward to dinner there.

      Have fun!

    2. Please, please do a trip report when you get back! We are going in early April and I have complied much the same list that you have. I'd love reviews from both lardo and Cookiefiend.

      3 Replies
      1. re: frisbeesage

        Hi frisbeesage!

        We're back and I can give you a quick review on where we went...

        Pineapple Grill - a nice casual place for a good burger and fish. We went twice, once in the evening when I had a ceasar salad with chicken (fine but very garlicy) and for lunch after golf when I had 'da tuna melt' - very good. Mr CF had the Kobe burger with truffle fries and really enjoyed it. I enjoyed a few fries. :-)

        Ritz Carlton in Kapalua - We were there for the Member-Guest dinner - so it was kinda banquet food but way better than usual. We also had lunch at the pool one afternoon and it was okay. I would have liked to go back for a regular dinner to compare, but didn't.

        Sea House - right off the beach and what a beautiful view. The food was good, service was great. I have to give them kudos - one of our party wasn't familiar with sashimi-type fish... she ordered what should have been raw fish in a roll, well done. And you know what happened - it arrived well done and she didn't like it, didn't even recognize that it was fish. Mr CF had ordered an appetizer of poke, and gave her a bite - which she loved. She wasn't going to say anything about her dish, but someone else did, and our waitress apologized (even though it wasn't her fault) and asked her if she could replace it with something else - she replaced it with the poke. They brought it out quickly, she loved it AND they didn't charge her for the entree she ordered or the poke! I thought this was way above and beyond! But anyway - this place was packed, the food was good, service was great and I would go here again.

        The Gazebo - ohmigod - order the pancakes, order at least one pancake! I also had the Big Kahuna omelet's (portugese sausage, bacon, onion, avocado, mushrooms, all smothered in swiss cheese) and a tuna salad sandwich another time - so it was alllllll good! But the pancakes! Huge, fluffy and loaded with macadamia nuts. Mr CF had a banana/macadamia pancake covered in whipped cream - oh my!!

        Hula Grill - good for a lunch, very casual and right on the beach. I had the ceasar salad with tuna and it was fine, but not real exciting.

        Kimo - we were there late and it was still packed. The guys had played 36 holes on Lanai and were beat (go figure) and hungry. I had very fresh ahi, lightly seared and very good. But the highlight of the meal was the Hula Pie. One of our friends goes to Kimo specifically for the Hula Pie - this was my first and - well - it was damn good. A mountain of macadamia ice cream and chocolate. What can I say, but YUM!

        Lahaina Grill - Mr CF's 50th birthday (don't tell him I told ya!) and it was wonderful. We were staying with friends who have had a home in Maui for 20 years but had never been here - they loved it. Our waiter was Richard (who had been recommended by friends - he did a fabulous job especially since we were a party of 8) and I also think he is the sommelier . Great wine (Veuve Cliquot, Whetstone Viognier, Miner Chardonnay (the wild yeast one), Macphail and Littorai Pinot Noirs), all were wonderful. I had the ahi sashimi with beet and carrot ribbons, a pecan crusted goat cheese and arugula salad and the sesame crusted ahi with onion marmalade and jasmine rice.The Chef/Owner, Jurg Munch, came out to talk to us as well - a nice touch especially since two in our party live on Maui. They brought Mr CF 'The Road to Hana' dessert for his birthday with a candle, we also ordered the Triple Berry pie (a big hit), ice cream and something else which I've totally forgotten.

        We also cooked at home twice - I highly recommend Prime! It's in the industrial looking area across from the Lahaina Cannery Mall - east to the stop sign, turn right and follow till you see it on the right. He ordered Ono for us specifically and he had freshly caught Opakapaka - all of it was absolutely marvelous. The Opakapaka was the best fish I've ever had cooked at home. We told him what we were doing (mini wine tastings) and he gave us a huge hint on cooking the fish - cook it a 500 degrees for 5 minutes. We ended up cooking it 4 minutes longer and wow... incredible. They also have meats, cheese, condiments and wine - great place!

        Hope that helps frisbeesage and I hope Lardo chimes in!

        1. re: Cookiefiend

          Thanks! Great report and it sounds like you had a good time! I will definately print this out to take with us. I can see we are going to have to do breakfast at the Gazebo at least once!

          1. re: Cookiefiend

            Glad to hear you had a great trip and enjoyed the Lahaina Grill as mch as we did! :)

        2. Other than Bev Gannon's and Chez Paul's, I cannot comment. Also, it's been a long tiime, since I was on Maui, but both were very, very good on that last, and on previous trips. We enjoyed Chez Paul's, and I'd place it at #3 on that last trip, immediately behind David Paul's (he was still there then) and Pacific'O's. However, I've seen more recent posts that indicate that both of those might have seen better days.

          If you do dine at Chez Paul's (and I plan on doing so in the late Spring), be careful, when pulling out of the parking lot onto the highway. It is not the easiest of tasks and traffic comes up on you very quickly. Exercise caution, even if heading N out of there.


          4 Replies
          1. re: Bill Hunt

            I 2nd Pacific O'. I enjoyed them more than Roy's.

            And Da Kitchen was as good as it was affordable.

            1. re: OCAnn

              I've been hearing all sorts of good buzz, re: Da' Kitchen, and hope to add it on our next visit. Thanks for the reminder. IIRC, they cater the Old Lahaina lu`au. Is that correct?


              1. re: Bill Hunt

                We ate at Da Kitchen in Kihei last summer and it was good, cheap food. The OLL is catered by Aloha Plate Lunch, located right next to OLL in Lahaina.

                1. re: Mimi

                  Thanks for the clarification. Sometimes my mind gets spots (especially ones that I have NOT dined at) confused.

                  Appreciate the correction,

          2. Lots of driving if you want to hit many of these places. The breakfast at Sea House at NKBR is quite nice and makes sense since you are staying there. The Gazebo can be a zoo. I would stay Lahaina and north to cut down on driving unless you are on that part of the island. I would add Pineapple Grill at Kapaulua - just up the road. I would also add Paia Fish Market if you are in Paia (or the crepes place there too). Also the Kula Lodge is a good lunch place with a fantastic view if you are in that neck of the woods.