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Dec 28, 2009 09:48 PM

Merriman's Kapalua Review

Just came back from Merriman's Kapalua. Can't make up my mind about this restaraunt.

Setting is spectacular and the wine list is excellent. Try as I may to like the place, it is afterall a five minute walk from our condo, I can't decide. Everytime we've been there have been disappointments and each time it is something different.

This evening ordered striped marlin sashimi appetizer and entrees of mahi mahi and ahi for my wife and I. Server informs that instead or marlin it is opakapaka tonight. Even better I think and say OK. Server brings appetizer and apologizes that is in fact ahi tonight. I reject it saying I need to reorder as I don't want two ahi courses. He says OK and then comes back with opakapaka. Great I think (but wonder why he didn't just serve that to me in first place) and the appetizer is wonderful.

Trouble is halfway through the appetizer our entrees arise. Clearly the kitchen hasn't slowed down our order after the mixup. We send them back asking that they arrive later and be fresh. They arrive later clearly having been heatlamped. What to do?

Well we cut our losses and decided not to complain again. At what point do you stop telling people how to do their jobs at a high end restaraunt and write the place off?

Did order desert though and the cocunut malasadas were fabuluous.

Merriman's Kapalua
, Lahaina, HI 96761

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  1. I've only been there once. But from that one experience, I was also disappointed. I was a bit surprised after reading all of the mostly positive reports about the place. It wasn't terrible, but when you're paying $60+ for an entree, one expects a little more.

    1. We tried 6 appetizers with assorted drinks during our happy hour visit in early November. We loved sitting outside on their gorgeous deck, but we were terribly disappointed with our food and glad we'd gone for happy hour rather than dinner. Our favorite place for a "splurge" meal remains Mama's, although to be fair, we haven't had an opportunity to eat at any of the Wailea restaurants.

      1. Some of the problem here may be the famed "Aloha Spirit" which in my experience translates into "service workers don't give a shit". Everybody is very relaxed. Noooo problems. But noooo exertion to get things done right either. I've seen almost identical problems at Spago in Wailea on several occasions.

        1 Reply
        1. re: gfweb1

          That "aloha spirit" might translate for some places, but in general, we've had very good to excellent experiences with it at most places. Still, as the economy tanks, and restaurants struggle, there may be more of what you describe - here is hoping that it is not a sign of the times.


        2. We dined there just before you did. This was our second experience, and I also felt that things were not up to par, but for very slightly different reasons.

          Now, our first experience was during some MAJOR storms, and the dining room was nearly empty. Everything was excellent - not one complaint.

          On the second visit, within one year, things just seemed to be lethargic, and nothing seemed so perfect - but the house was full. Maybe a reason, but not really a good excuse.

          Still, they were at the upper end of the restaurants in that trip. No one was perfect, though some did get closer, than many others did.

          Different trip, but still not as much to "write home about," as before.

          Mahalo for your report,