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Heading to Maui - Reports to Follow

After a brief trip to Chicago, we're back to Maui (Kapalua and Paia), even though we were just on Maui last Dec. The Ritz graced me with most of a free week, and I just could not turn my back on that.

We're in Kapalua for about 5 days, and then over to Paia to stay at Mama's Inn.

We'll be doing some of the same spots as last year:

Merriman's
Lahaina Grill
Mala (want to see those smaller apps.)
Mama's Fishouse*

But, we'll be adding Chef David Paul's Lahaina Grill
Bev Gannon's (missed last trip)
*Mama's for dinner, and not just for lunch

Unfotunately, The Banyan Tree is closed for refurbishment, while we're there.

Hope to do full reports on all, since we only have two trips following this one, this year.

Aloha,

Hunt

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  1. Bill, greatly looking forward to reading your reviews. We're in Maui 11/1-11/9. Not sure we'll actually do a formal meal at Merriman's (may just do happy hour there), but we'll definitely have at least one meal at Mala's and a couple of meals at Mama's.

    After reading about some disappointing meals at HGS from bloggers who share similar tastes, I crossed HGS from our list, so I'll be interested to hear your thoughts on HGS. We had a disappointing meal at Lahaina Grill during our last visit to Maui 10/07, so we'll probably pass on LG this visit. Also looking forward to hearing your thoughts on I'O. We had a couple of meals at Pacific O's last visit, more for its proximity to our condo than anything else. Nice view, but food was nothing different than what we get here in the Bay Area.

    Hope you have a fabulous trip!

    5 Replies
    1. re: cvhound

      Unfortunately, we just got back, and had two events immediately afterwards, so I might be too late to help.

      Report in two days!

      Hunt

      1. re: Bill Hunt

        Hi Bill. We're on the red-eye back to SFO tonight. Will be interested to compare notes later this week.

        We made it to happy hours at Merriman's and Hula Beach Bar (2x), dessert at Kimo's and Ono Gelato, and had lunches/dinner at Gazebo, Plantation House (2x), Cane & Taro, David Paul's Island Grill (tasting menu with wine pairings), Mala's Ocean Tavern, Ruth Chris in Lahaina (hubby's request), La Provence in Kula and of course Mama's!

        1. re: cvhound

          I see that you beat me to the post, but there were some heavy parallels, especially David Paul's.

          We missed The Gazebo, but did do the Sea House. Different venue, but not bad.

          Missed Plantation House this trip, but did play Kapalua Plantation 2x - does that count????

          I'm not a Ruth's fan, even back in the pre-Paul Flemming days in New Orleans. We end up there, but only at the behest of our hosts. I'll be interested to see if the Maui version is any better.

          Hope to have my posts up by weekend. You are just so quick!

          Aloha,

          Hunt

          -----
          Plantation House Restaurant
          2000 Plantation Club Dr., Kapalua, HI 96761

          Sea House Restaurant
          5900 Lower Honoapiilani Rd, Lahaina, HI 96761

          1. re: Bill Hunt

            Bill, both hubby and my dad are big fans of RC, so I've eaten at various Ruth Chris outposts in Anaheim, Walnut Creek, Houston and Dallas numerous times. Our Maui experience was probably one of our best experiences to date. The food was excellent and a downright steal!

            Hubby reserved a window table, so we could enjoy a prime sunset view. Our seating time happened to coincide with their early bird special that runs until 7pm --- 3 courses for $39/$49 with various optional upcharges. My meal was $39 with a small upcharge for the broccoli au gratin, hubby's was $49 for the ribeye.

            Hubby mentioned in our Open Table reservation that we were in Maui celebrating our third wedding anniversary and the staff went out of their way to make us feel "special" that night. They decorated our table with flower petals and at the end of our meal, brought us four huge chocolate-covered strawberries.

            Before presenting our check, the waiter brought us a lovely thank you card for choosing to celebrate our anniversary with them. The card included a $25 g/c for a future visit. Not sure it's good on the mainland, but we appreciated the thoughtful gesture.

            I ordered the gumbo with rice, petite filet with broccoli au gratin and rasberry sorbet for dessert. I finished my gumbo, had two to three bites of my steak and a couple of bites of broccoli. The steak was a beautiful piece of meat cooked medium rare as requested. My sorbet went completely untouched. As usual, I filled up on bread (we polished off half a loaf) and appetizer, then struggled to finish my entree.

            Normally hubby and I share a couple of appetizers, a salad, one entree and maybe a dessert, but hubby wanted his own steak that night. I did, however, manage to eat my share of our chocolate covered strawberries. ;-)

            Hubby ordered Cesar salad, medium rare ribeye with sauteed mushrooms and rasberry sorbet. He left half his sorbet, but finished everything else and had generous tastings of my meal as well. Our meal at Ruth Chris was second only to our meal at Mama's during our 8-night visit to Maui.

            I can't recall the wine that we had that night (I know it wasn't a pinot, merlot, cab or zin), but it went really well with our meal. We had a terrific waiter who appeared to be quite the wine afficianado. We told him we were fans of old-vine gnarly zins and he recommended a $60 bottle from Paso Robles that he said was a great value.

            BTW, the coffee we were served that night was great! Probably our favorite one of the whole trip and we had coffee at almost every restaurant that we visited.

            I can't say enough about the great service we received from everyone at the restaurant that night (we visited on a Friday night). I know people on this board poo-poo chain restaurants, but hubby who isn't a foodie but indulges his food-obsessed wife was in "carnivore heaven" that night. I was happy to to defer to his choice of restaurant for a change and his genuine enjoyment of his meal kept me smiling all night.

            1. re: cvhound

              CVhound,

              Sounds like you had a great evening, and that is what it is about. Maybe I have become jaded, as the Mainland operations have been, well mediocre, at best. We have come to view them, as we do Morton's and other, similar steak houses. Probably not a good thing on our parts. Heck, we've had really good meal at Capital Gril, in several locations, so what do we know?

              Anyway, your having a wonderful meal is what it should be about - nothing more, and nothing less.

              BTW - happy anniversary!

              Thanks for the review.

              Hunt

    2. Aloha Bill..
      Wishing you a great trip of eating and drinking and look forward to your report!
      I like the Plantation House at Kapalua for breakfast for the wonderful ahi benedict with the wasabi hollandaise..probably one of the best deals in town with no wait and killer ocean views..
      Mahalo

      8 Replies
      1. re: Beach Chick

        The trip was great, and the food was good to great, though there were too many low points. At least the dining beat my scores on the Kapalua Plantation course!

        Report to follow,

        Hunt

        1. re: Bill Hunt

          Aloha Bill..
          Glad you had a great time!
          Did you stay at the Ritz in Kapalua?
          Hopefully, you went to Plantation House for breakfast which imho, is where they shine but its been a year or two and guess things could change..Beach House in Kauai is owned by them as well..
          Look forward to hearing where you dined..
          Mahalo

          -----
          Plantation House Restaurant
          2000 Plantation Club Dr., Kapalua, HI 96761

          1. re: Beach Chick

            We were at the Ritz Residences and it could not have been better. Had I known that we'd have 4800 sq. ft. of accommodations, we'd have had another couple with us. There were rooms that we never say. How can I say this? It was the polar opposite of our experiences at the Westin Ka`anapali. What a difference!

            Missed the Plantation House this trip, but did play the Plantation course - brought me to my knees both times, though I nearly broke 80 on the Bay and on the Wailia Old Blue Course. My lovely young wife beat me on our first play of the Plantation course.

            I do agree that breakfast at the Plantation House is very, very good and a bargain too. We missed The Gazebo, but did hit the Sea House and it was good.

            Tried for the Pineapple Grill at the Bay Course, but could not coordinate. Maybe next time.

            Reviews up in a few days. Unfortunately, we had another trip right after Maui, so I am way behind.

            Aloha,

            Hunt

            -----
            Plantation House Restaurant
            2000 Plantation Club Dr., Kapalua, HI 96761

            Sea House Restaurant
            5900 Lower Honoapiilani Rd, Lahaina, HI 96761

            1. re: Bill Hunt

              Aloha Bill..
              Plantation course brings pro's to their knees..it's a super long course.
              Maybe a ahi benedict with a bloody mary is what you needed to outscore the lovely wife!
              Aloha

              1. re: Beach Chick

                "Maybe a ahi benedict with a bloody mary is what you needed to outscore the lovely wife!"

                At this point, we'll never know! Still, with my other rounds, these two got my attention. I cannot blame it on wine the nights before, and must bear the full responsibilities myself.

                OK, early tee-times and a ton of travel just to start this trip, but no excuse - my wife was on each of those other flights with me. It was just a lack of concentration, when things counted. If one drives two par 4 greens and walks off with par, something is wrong.

                Still, the food was really good, but surprisingly nothing was great. Tomorrow, I should start getting the review up on CH. Maybe we could do a CH tournament at Kapalua, but I would need 4 shots per side...

                Hunt

        2. re: Beach Chick

          Beach Chick, thanks so much for the tip about the ahi benedict with wasabi hollandaise! They were indeed fantastic! We had brunch at Plantation House twice last week and ordered benedicts both times (cajun one visit, crab second visit). We also loved their extra spicy bloody mary's served with pickled asparagus spears and their coffee was pretty good as well. Thanks again.

          -----
          Plantation House Restaurant
          2000 Plantation Club Dr., Kapalua, HI 96761

          1. re: cvhound

            Aloha cv!
            So glad you enjoyed the ahi benedict with the wasabi hollandaise...it's so frigging good..
            What I love is every breakfast place is packed with an hour+ wait but the Plantation House is pretty much empty with stunning golf course and ocean views and the food at least for breakfast is really good and cheap too for Maui..love the spicy bloody too.
            Mahalo

            1. re: cvhound

              Year ago, we did similar: one breakfast and one lunch. I think that one of us had the Benedict (both versions) on each visit. All else was good too. Missed them this trip.

              Maybe I would have played better, if I had indulged in the Bloody Marys!

              Hunt

              PS - nice reviews!

          2. Hurray!

            I'm looking forward to your reports Bill, I hope you're enjoying the other two trips as well!

            Mr CF and I will be on Maui in February 2010 with a short trip to the Big Island - I haven't been there in 10 years.

            Thanks for your time!

            1 Reply
            1. re: Cookiefiend

              I'm working hard on the current reviews. Cvhound has thrown down the gauntlet with the timely reports. I am not so organized, and refuse to travel with my laptop. Besides, it weighs a ton and is but a foldup desktop! Too little luggage space, what with the golf clubs and all.

              Hunt