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Maui Trip Report

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My husband and I traveled to Hawaii in March, 2010 to spend time with in-laws who had invited us to share their almost two-week vacation timeshare on Maui. Before heading over there, we decided to spend a few days on Oahu so that I could visit with an internet friend I had met when planning our China trip, and DH could revisit scenes from his youth when he was a young Naval officer stationed at Pearl Harbor. Mostly, as is typical for all my trips, this was mostly a trip about eating, with a little sightseeing and a lot of relaxation (because it was Maui and I’ve been here before) scattered in between meals.

Saturday, March 6 - We had an easy drive from the airport to the condo at the Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas. The first evening our in-laws, who had eaten on the long flight from Florida, went straight to bed. Since we were coming from Oahu and ready for dinner, we went over to the next building to an on-site Italian restaurant called Puleo, which operates Thursday – Sunday evenings. We ordered a Caesar Salad (wonderful!), Spaghetti Alfredo with Chicken (very cheesy), and a small thin-crust pizza topped with olives, mushrooms, and sausage (for me, the sausage was too much and I wasn’t crazy about the pizza). Service was excellent and the restaurant enjoys a pretty setting looking out at a reflecting pond, a pool area, the ocean, and the beautifully landscaped and lit grounds of the resort.

Sunday, March 7 - Because we had two kitchens in our double unit and a nice dining room table, we agreed that we’d eat some food in and the rest out. There are barbecue grills on the property available for guest use, but we weren’t ambitious enough to use them although lots of other guests grilled regularly. On the morning of the first full day, my sister-in-law and I drove down to Safeway to pick up breakfast, lunch, and snack items for the condo. We had skipped a stop at Costco’s after the airport because my in-laws were too exhausted after their long flight. For starters we were happy to stock the kitchen with cereal, milk, juice, fruit, roast chicken, wine, cheese, bread, chips, and cold cuts.

Feeling lazy, we chose to eat lunch at the pool Ocean Bar and Grill at the resort, which turned out to be surprisingly good. We ordered a Pupu platter for the table with Kalua Pork Sliders, Coconut Shrimp, and Chicken Egg Rolls (all delicious), a Cobb Salad (excellent), Seafood Chowder for DH (ordinary), a Chicken Teryaki Plate Lunch (tasty) for me and a Club Sandwich for DH (also good). Our in-laws had a Fish Wrap and the Mahi Mahi and enjoyed their lunch. We all took back part of the meal to munch on later while watching the Academy Awards

Monday, March 8 - The next day we took the resort shuttle down to Whalers Village for an early dinner at Leilani’s. We frequently made use of the complimentary resort shuttle (which takes you in a loop from the Ocean Resort Villas to the Westin and Sheraton as well as Whalers Village on Ka’anapali Beach) and is both easy and efficient. The shuttle runs on a schedule, and we never had to wait for than a few minutes for one to come along. There is another shuttle to Lahaina, but we drove there and so never tried that one out.

The dinner at Leilani’s was good and the sunset was beautiful (there’s usually a gorgeous sunset from this beach). DH and I had sunset specials (early bird pricing) and shared a Spinach Salad (with bacon and macadamia dressing), Shrimp Scampi over Spaghetti, and a Hawaiian Swordfish with fruit, lime and cilantro dressing with French Fries and Mixed Vegetables, which we thought was quite good. Our companions ordered Seafood Chowder, Scallops and Shrimp Skewers, Goat Cheese Salad, and Mahi Mahi, all of which they enjoyed. With delicious Sourdough Bread, the dinners were too filling to leave room for dessert. Service was outstanding.

Tuesday, March 9 - There was more wind, but also more sunshine this morning. After breakfast, my sister in law and I went up to the old Star Market (now called Times Market) to buy some staples. We also stopped by the Okazuya Deli to sample some salads, which would supplement our supermarket barbecue chicken for the evening meal, and we got some rice and gravy to add some starch. What we ordered from Okazuya was good, but we never got around to really sampling their menu. They are conveniently located for the area, just a short distance past the Star/Times Market on the beach road.

Wednesday, March 10 - Today was so windy it seemed at times as though a hurricane was blowing through the resort. Later in the afternoon, our in-laws declined to accompany us, but DH and I braved the wind to take the shuttle down to the Whalers Village. Gale-force winds were not going to stop me from sampling the D. K. Kodama menu at Cane and Taro for half price (Tuesday and Wednesday evenings when seated between 5:00 and 6:00 o’ clock). I had been told we should get there before the 5 o’clock opening since the line would form 15 minutes to half an hour before. We arrived about 4:50 and were at least 30 people from the door. A receptionist came down the line and asked for our names and the number in our party, and after the doors opened, the line moved quickly. I figured we would be somewhere far from the view, but was pleased to notice that there was a table left by the windows because these were all for two people and most of the people in front of us in line were with friends or in family groups.

Our waiter, Aaron, quickly took our order and the food arrived with amazing speed (too efficient for relaxed dining; this was more of a race to get the food on the table.) Aaron noted at one point that we had our own little (not so little actually) buffet. Here is what the two of us sampled: Waipoli Island Green Mixed Salad (half order) with Papaya Vinaigrette, Rock Shrimp Dynamite tossed with Creamy Masago Aioli and drizzled with Unagi Glaze, Beachside Sliders with Carmelized Onions and Cheddar Cheese (there was a choice of cheeses), Pork and Shrimp Shumai with Spicy Mango Sauce, Crab Wonton Triangles, Spider Roll with Unagi Glaze and Sweet and Thai Chili Sauce, and last, but not least, Fried Chicken. It was a lot of food, but I figured at half price I could really get a good feel for the menu and take home enough food for a second meal. I managed to squeeze in one dessert, too. Torn between the Signature Apple Tart and the Molten Chocolate Cake with Caramel and Chocolate Sauce and White Macadamia Ice Cream, I went with the latter, but should have chosen the Tart. The Chocolate Cake was too sweet. Accustomed to a more bittersweet chocolate taste in this dessert, I had trouble with the overly sweet taste of the cake, another instance where the Hawaiian sweet tooth is way sweeter than my own. The good news is that we knew we could go back the second week for another 50 percent off night at C and T and another opportunity to try the tart.

As for the rest of my buffet, here’s the rundown: My favorite dish by far was the first one to arrive – the signature Dynamite Rock Shrimp… crisp, tangy, and delicious. Combined with the salad, which also arrived in the first round, the shrimp dish was very satisfying and got the meal off to a great start. My other favorite was the sliders, which were excellent. I liked, but didn’t love the Spider Roll, but I wanted to sample some sushi since many people like this section of the menu best. The shumai was also tasty, but not equal to the best shumai I have eaten. My least favorite item was the Crab Wontons. They were crispy on the outside, but the crabmeat inside was not first rate and for me, that spoiled the taste.

A couple of notes on the half price early bird menu: the most expensive steak and lobster items on the menu are not included and they automatically add an 18% gratuity before deducting the 50%. All in all, it’s still a terrific deal… all that tasty food and a great sunset, which I could photograph from my seat.

Thursday, March 11 - By the time we finished our vacation timeshare presentation, our foursome had gotten very hungry, so we headed down to Lahaina and found Da Kitchen, which had been highly recommended. This, like the dinner menu from last night, is the type of casual food I enjoy – lots of variety, Asian influenced cuisine, and reasonable pricing. We ordered a pupu platter (Fried Calemari, Ahi Poke, Fried Wontons, Shumai, and Green Pepper Poppers), Island Salad, and Korean-style Fried Chicken Teriyaki. Our in-laws had a Papaya Salad and Fried Mahi Mahi Plate Lunch with a humongous order or white rice and macaroni potato salad (our Teriyaki came with these too). It was a tasty, inexpensive lunch with plenty of leftovers (in fact so many leftovers, we never quite finished them… so much food and so little time, as usual!)

Friday, March 12 - For tonight’s dinner, we went down to the Hula Grill. The options at the HG, are a “Tasting Menu” with three courses for $24.94 or the regular menu. Our excellent waitress, Holly, explained that the three-course menu has half size portions. The four of us ended up ordering from the tasting menu. Although there was some concern that it might not be enough food, in reality, there was plenty and we were all full by the end of the meal. Here is what we ordered: DH and I shared two appetizers – the Crab Cake (which consists of one little, tasty crabcake) and the Pork Potstickers. The latter was served with a Ponzu dipping sauce and a delicious slaw. There were four of the Potstickers, so we each got two. For the entrees, DH and I shared the Mahi Mahi encrusted with Macadamia Nuts (served with rice and more slaw), and a “Petite” Filet Mignon served with Mushroom Risotto and Asparagus. While there was nothing special about any of this food, it was all quite good and nicely served. Our in-laws enjoyed their meal also. BIL had the Crabcake, SIL had the Beet Salad, and they both had the Macadamia Mahi Mahi. For dessert, we all had the best part of the dinner – dubbed an ice cream sandwich with raspberry and chocolate sauce, there was chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream in the center and the sauces on the top and bottom with a dollop of whipped cream on the side. Not too sweet, just simple and delicious!

Saturday, March 13 - As predicted, the day began with the least wind since we arrived. Determined to make this a pool/beach day, we left our plans open but decided we were in the mood for a Mexican dinner.

Dinner was at Tia Juana, near the entrance to the Kaanapali Resorts. This is a new place which opened in February (and as I finish writing this in May, I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s gone by now). This was our first (and fortunately as it turned out, our only) bad dining experience on Maui, and it wasn’t just partially bad, it was entirely bad from start to finish. If you’d like to know why you shouldn’t go near this restaurant, here are the details:

We asked the Concierge at the Westin to book us a table for four for 5:30. When we arrived, the hostess said table for two? My Sister in Law said we have a reservation for four people for 5:30, but the hostess didn’t ask her name and seemed oblivious to the reservation. While this presented no problem for us because there were plenty of tables, I wonder what would have happened if we had arrived after the place began to fill up. Also, I would think it would be important for the restaurant staff to know our party was from the Westin. As it happens, the Concierge asked me to report back and that information should be important to a new restaurant, but apparently they didn’t care.

Here is what the Tia Juana webside said: Announcing TJBC Upstairs Happy Hour!! Every Day! TJBC announces its new Happy Hour from 4-6PM upstairs everyday! Enjoy Chichuahua Wings, Jalapeno Poppers, 3 Paco's Tacos, Grilled Chicken Quesadilla or 4 Taquitos for only $5.50!! Also, TJ's Da Kine Margaritas $4.50 - Coors Light Drafts & Tecate Cans $3.00 - Dos Equis XX only $3.50!

When we received our menus, there was no mention of this nor did our waiter say a word about Happy Hour drinks or specials. We asked and he seemed surprised that we asked the question. “It’s just for the bar”, he explained, but he agreed to charge $4.50 for the House Margaritas and honor the beer prices. The website should indicate that this is only for bar patrons, because we most certainly were seated upstairs in the area in front of the bar. It was a bad way to start and it didn’t get much better. A dish of chips and two dishes of salsa were brought to the table before the drinks arrived.

We ordered two of the House Margaritas, a beer and a diet coke (for the driver). I also asked for a glass of water, which I needed because some salsa had landed on my white blouse. Despite dabbing at it in front of the waiter, he didn’t seem to notice that I needed the water posthaste. After a wait, the Margaritas and the Beer arrived while the stain continued to set. Eventually, after a second request, the water got to the table.

My brother in law is extremely hard of hearing. As a result, sometimes his wife asks a question and then he asks the same question. The waiter seemed to find this amusing, and made note more than once that he wanted the Mahi Mahi Burritos without the blackened part. Worse, when it was time to order a second round of drinks, my SIL asked the guy who brought the Guacamole to the table. He was not our waiter, but since four people serviced the table at one point or another, it was a little confusing. Instead of saying he’d get our waiter, he proceeded to take the drink order. My DH ordered a Coors and my SIL asked him to tell her the draft beer choices so she could order one for her husband. For some reason, there was no printed list of beers (just wine and cocktails). As a result, the waiter needed to recite the choices, which he did quickly and impatiently. My SIL asked him to run through the choices again, and he said, “I’ve already told you four times.” I don’t know if it was three or four by this time, but she had explained to the waiter that her husband could not hear, and it was obvious that she needed help with the beer. There was absolutely no excuse for his rudeness. (I don’t know his name, but the guy wears a pony tail.) To make it worse, after the Coors and the Draft Dos Equis Amber had been ordered, he never brought them. After a long wait, she asked the wait staff member who came to the table if he could remedy the situation. He said the guy had probably forgotten to put the order in and he quickly returned with the Coors and a bottle of something that was not the Draft Beer requested. We sent back the bottle and another 15 minutes went by. My SIL tried to get the attention of the guy who had blown the drink order, but he ignored her. Eventually Aaron, our main waiter, came by and we told him what happened. Within ten seconds the correct beer appeared on the table. Score one for Aaron. To round off the story, after we had finished our food and were waiting for our check, Aaron brought another Draft Dos Equiis Amber to the table. We looked at him with a “what are we supposed to do with this now?” look and he said he brought it to make up for the earlier problem. At that point in the meal, an offer of a free dessert or removal of the beer from the check would have been more appropriate. The beer remained on the table when we left, but at least he made a gesture.

Late in the meal the hostess, who was also doubling as a waitress, asked if we were finished and picked up a few plates. I asked her if the guy in the long pants was the Manager and he said yes and that his name was Robert. I thought that question might either elicit an “is there something wrong?” or an effort on her part to send Robert over to our table so I could tell him about the rude waiter, but Robert never came near us after he delivered a spoon I requested at the beginning of the meal. In short, this restaurant has serious service issues. My recommendation is that the entire group should go on a field trip to Hula Grill to learn how to provide excellent service.

As for the food, I am sorry to say it didn’t make up for the poor service. We ordered the House Tacos and Chili Relleno and DH also ordered the House Tacos and Mahi Mahi Burritos. The fillings were dry, the tacos were tasteless, and the entire meal, while filling, was eminently forgettable. On a seventeen day visit to Hawaii, this was our only bad meal.

Sunday, March 14 - A lazy Sunday with a walk on the beach, and then it was time to drive to Roy’s Kahana Bar and Grill for my brother-in-law’s birthday dinner. We had a 5:30 reservation and, after a short wait, were among the first people seated when they opened at 5:30 sharp. Our server was Gil, and the service he provided was exemplary. Birthday martinis were quickly followed by appetizers. DH ad I ordered the Dim Sum Canoe for Two, which included Shrimp Sticks, Potstickers, Szechuan Ribs, Spring Rolls, and Panko Crisped Ahi Sushi Roll. Our in laws ordered the Crab Cakes, and the Beet and Nalo Mixed Greens. I enjoyed everything on the platter, but especially liked the Shrimp Sticks and the Potstickers. In general, the appetizers were excellent and we were all happy with our orders. Hot dinner rolls were delivered to the table as soon as they were taken out of the oven, and then the entrees arrived. Everything we ordered was from the Ma Ke Kai (Sea) side of the menu – Hibachi Salmon with a Cucumber Namasu and Citrus Ponzu, Roy’s Classic Macadamia Nut Crusted Shutome (Swordfish), and Roy’s Misoyaki Butterfish with Sizzling Soy Vinaigrette (over potatoes, which I ordered mashed and my sister in law had broiled, with a Lobster Butter Sauce. This was some of the best fish we ate in Hawaii, fresh, moist, and flavorful.

Dessert needed to be ordered early and we all asked for the same dessert – Roy’s Signature Chocolate Souffle with Ice Cream. This is actually more of a Chocolate Lava Cake than a Souffle, but the dessert is wonderful, with the perfect degree of Chocolate Sweetness (not too much). People may say that Roy’s isn’t what it used to be, but this meal was every bit as good as previous meals I’ve eaten at this and other Roy’s branches. We all loved it and it turned out to be our second favorite meal of the trip (after our finale at Mama’s Fish House).

Monday, March 14 - After eating lunch at the pool and then walking along the beach to work up some sort of appetite for dinner, DH and I set off to find the new Star Noodle, a restaurant run by the group that also runs the Aloha Mixed Plate and Lahaina Luau. Our GPS and the Concierge’s directions to the Industrial Park (although she didn’t know exactly where the restaurant was located in the Industrial Park), got us there. Drive to the top and over a street and then you’ll see it.

The first thing we noticed is that the other diners were locals (with lots of trucks in the parking lot). The hostess was wonderful – we walked in and she greeted us with a lot of enthusiasm and warmth, and quickly seated us. Our waitress had her ups and downs. We started with a negative. Although we were sitting there studying the menu for several minutes before people were seated at the next table, she came over and took their drink orders first. At the same time, she recited the specials for them and explained several of them in response to their questions. Eventually she got to our table, but we were never given the specials (since she was rather loud and I’m naturally curious, I listened to some of what she told the other table, but of course she should have waited on us first and given us the information).

We over-ordered (how else could I taste a representative sample of the menu?), and here, too, there was a service lapse. For the two of us, I asked for Green Salad (big and quite good with a Lemon, Sesame Dressing), Yakitori Chicken (with Scallions and Sesame Seeds and absolutely delicious), Salmon with Miso Sauce (good, but could use more miso sauce!), Lahaina Fried Soup (actually a noodle dish fried with pork and quite tasty, but not a soup), Look Funn Rolls (which I thought would be filled, but which were actually rolled up noodles with a delicious Noodle and Scallion preparation next to the noodles. The service problem was that the “soup” was in a big bowl, and given all that we ordered, we couldn’t eat even a third of it. When I got the bill, I realized there were two sizes for this item and we had been given the “double” when the lower-priced single portion would have been plenty. Our waitress didn’t ask which size we wanted, but should have suggested the smaller portion.

The final problem came with the dessert. When the waitress cleared the table she asked if I wanted to take the “soup” home. I said no, and commented that I was saving room for the malasadas. (served with chocolate, and caramel Sauces, and peanuts). Much to our surprise, one minute later, out came malasadas. Not only had I not actually ordered them, I wasn’t given the opportunity to check the menu for other selections and wasn’t offered tea or coffee. I was surprised. Still more surprising was the taste of the malasadas. Anyone who has read the Oahu portion of my report, knows about the Oahu malasada quest and our wonderful experiences with Agnes’s Portuguese Bakery and Leonards. These Maui malasadas looked okay – round and covered with sugar – and they were warm, but they were also tasteless. I would recommend Star Noodle with some caveats and hope they will fix some of the problems delineated here.

Tuesday, March 26-This morning the sun was shining brightly as we set off for a drive North past Napili Bay, to Kapalua, where we had brunch at the Planatation House, one of the nicest meals of our trip. This is a restaurant set on a golf course, with gorgeous views of the greens and the Pacific. We loved every aspect of this meal, from the view to the gracious, well appointed dining room, to the excellent service of Librado, and finally to the delicious food. We all ordered breakfast, with two of us ordering eggs (one omelet and one rancher’s breakfast), and the other two ordering Benedicts (one classic and mine over crab cakes). For starters, we all ordered fruit – one half a papaya and the others with Maui Gold Pineapple with Sour Cream and Cinnamon. The pineapple was terrific and my SIL enjoyed the Papaya. We were all pleased with our eggs. My crab Benedict was terrific – delicious crab cakes and perfectly done eggs covered with Hollandaise and a Roasted Pepper Sauce. The first bite was heavenly and I enjoyed every bite that came after. On the way back we drove along the coast road, checking out various resorts, passing the Honalua General Store (sorry, we couldn’t eat another bite of anything so sampling the sandwiches here will have to wait for another visit).

After another relaxing afternoon at the Westin (what else would there be?), we took the shuttle down to the Whalers Village for our second round of half prices at Cane and Taro. We again ordered our favorites – the Rock Shrimp Dynamite, the Waipoli Island Greens with Papaya Vinaigrette, and the Crispy Chicken Wings, and added some new tastes – the Three Cheese Quesadilla, and the Pork, Shiitake, and Water Chestnut Spring Rolls. This time I was determined to try the House Special Apple Tart Dessert with Caramel Sauce, which was totally awesome and worth the one-week wait.

Wednesday, March 17- This was another gorgeous day. For lunch, DH and I walked up the beachwalk to Duke’s Beach Bar. Owned by the same group that owns Hula Grill and Leilani’s, Duke’s is new and we enjoyed a delicious grilled cheeseburger and a Turkey, Brie, and Bacon sandwich and some iced tea. Our service was perfect, and our check was the smallest of our entire trip. Duke’s is a good lunch choice, located right on the beach.

Thursday, March 18 - After breakfast in the condo and final packing, we are off to Mama’s Fish House for lunch, en route to the airport. The ride over was easy and with the exception of a brief delay where traffic merges as Highway 30 goes to two lanes, quick. We gave our car, laden with suitcases, to the valet and walked down the steps and over to the hostess station at the Fish House, noting that the place was packed for weekday lunch. We were half an hour early for our reservation and were happy to wait for a few minutes for the hostess to seat people there ahead of us. We were quickly shown to a table in the open air section, which is open to the ocean breezes. The other two areas of the restaurant have glass windows, so if you prefer to be seated there, I would suggest you mention it to the hostess, or even better, when you make your reservation. We were shown to a table closest to the lawn and the ocean, but in deference to my SIL, who didn’t want a breeze, we “swapped” with a couple seated back one row, who were eying the tables with the best views and after hearing her comment about the breeze, asked if we would mind. Happy all around, we were quickly supplied with water and food menus, noting the drinks menus on the table when we arrived.

I have read many reviews of this restaurant in which people were unhappy with the service and sometimes attributed their service problems to their drink (typically non-alcoholic) orders. We ordered one soda and one iced tea with two of our party drinking just water, and our service was exemplary throughout the meal… absolutely perfect in every way. Our server, Barbara, told us about the specials and took our order when we were ready. Three of us ordered soup. The Polynesian Lobster Soup with Coconut, Spinach and Breadfruit Crisp was extraordinary – subtle, but delicious, and laden with large lobster chunks. Someone wrote that they would like to eat the complimentary Tomato Ginger Soup every day, and while very good, the Polynesian Lobster Soup is what I would very happily eat every day for the rest of my life. Since that won’t be possible, I’d be very grateful to anyone who could supply a recipe for it (or something similar – I’ve searched and so far, haven’t found it.). My brother in law, who also ordered this Lobster Soup was ecstatic from the first sip, and exclaimed over and over how wonderful he thought the soup was, echoing my thoughts completely.

Barbara brought warm bread to the table and then when we finished the first loaf, offered us another, which was perfect timing because the second loaf arrived at the same warm temperature as the first loaf. We had barely finished the bread, when the entrees arrived. We ordered the Deep water Ahi Seared in Ginger and Panko Crust with Kalua Pig Rice Pilaf and a side of Kimchi, and the Mahimahi stuffed with Lobster, Crab, and Maui Onion Baked in a Macadamia Nut Crust served with Rice Pilaf and a small piece of Corn on the Cob. The regular rice pilaf was good, but not particularly interesting. The corn was sweet and delicious. Our in-laws shared the Ahi, Bacon, and Gruyere Sandwich, which came with crispy, tasty Molokai Sweet Potato Fries. They enjoyed their food, and all I can say about the Lobster-Stuffed Mahi Mahi is that hours later, I was still thinking about it. In fact, months later, I’m still thinking about it. It was the best fish entrée I have ever eaten… exceptionally expensive, but entirely worth it. The Ahi was delicious, but not in the same league as the Mahi Mahi. The Kalua Pig Rice Pilaf was also excellent with lots of strong pork flavor.

I didn’t leave room for dessert. Perhaps this was because the two lobster courses were so rich and filling. Or because even though I had read rave reviews of the Black Pearl, I just couldn’t work up the appetite from the description in the menu (chocolate mousse and passion fruit cream in a pastry sea shell. Perhaps it was because I knew I would return to this restaurant at some point in the future, and wanted to save dessert for the return visit. Whatever the reason, the two courses I ate were wonderful and I decided to quit while I was ahead. It was a wonderful finale to our trip.

Later, after a short hop over to Oahu, we had time on our hands at the Honolulu airport, waiting for board our flight back to Newark. There aren’t any good restaurants airport. Some decent pupu options, garlic shrimp, loco moco or Leonard’s malasadas would turn this airport into the perfect place from which to leave Hawaii. Someone should open a stand there - Burger King just doesn’t cut it, especially when you have eaten lunch at Mama’s Fish House (and notice that only three or four hours after that wonderful lunch, I was ready to eat again!)

This was an excellent vacation – frenetic at the beginning in Oahu, and extraordinarily relaxing in Maui. I definitely plan to return to both islands in the near future and perhaps add more island exploration while I’m there. Although it’s a long way from home, Hawaii is wonderful and worth the trip. It’s certainly a worthy foodie destination with lots of interesting eating and then there’s the scenery.

.

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Mama's Fish House
799 Poho Place, Paia, HI 96779

Da Kitchen
2439 S Kihei Rd Ste 107A, Kihei, HI 96753

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

Roy's Kahana Bar & Grill
4405 Honoapiilani Hwy, Lahaina, HI 96761

Hula Grill - Kaanapali
2435 Kaanapali Parkway, Lahaina, HI 96761

Leilani's on the Beach - Kaanapali
2435 Kaanapali Pkwy. Bldg J, Lahaina, HI 96761

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  1. hi,

    just wanted to say THANKS for such a detailed post. i'm heading to maui in august and will be looking up your recs for sure!

    1. Excellent report. I, too, loved the crabcake Benedicts at The Plantation House. And it has a view unlike any other. On your next visit, if you want to eat like and with locals, try the Kihei Caffe in Kihei, especially for breakfast. Their macadamia nut pancakes with coconut syrup or the Loco Moco are great. I always order what I can't get at home. This restaurant is all about outdoor seating, located across the busy Kihei highway from the beach. It has long been a surfers hangout and the owner, a wonderful woman in, I'd guess, her late 80s or 90s, always greets you with a warm smile and a *welcome back*. We get to Hawaii once or twice a year from Oregon and how she ever remembers us, I'll never know. And the prices are incredibly reasonable, especially for Maui, which hubby calls *the twenty-flippin' island. Every time you turn around, you're flippin' a twenty*....tee hee. Thanx again for the great report :=)

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

      Kihei Caffe
      1945 S Kihei Rd, Kihei, HI 96753

      3 Replies
      1. re: pilotgirl210

        Wow, what a great report ! I enjoyed reading about your time in Maui! We were there for 6 nights last month and also loved our meal at Mama's Fish House. Lahaina Grill was also another favorite meal of ours while in the island. Aloha! :)

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        Lahaina Grill
        127 Lahainaluna Rd., Lahaina Maui, HI 96761

        Mama's Fish House
        Paia HI, Paia, HI

        1. re: syrahgirl

          fantastic report!! WE love cheap and cheerfull ie better quality food but going at a early time to save a bit more in the pocket book and happy hours..

          The Leilana's fixed menu looks very good for $16 per person.. It lists the entree but did it come with salad or veggies or something with it? as it just lists the meat lol and no sides.

          I hear the Hula Pie is really good here ..
          I have Mama';s Ribs and Rotissiere on my list as well as mama's fish house lots of mama;s cooking some good chow food :O)

          1. re: palmtree38

            Palmtree - This was a multi-course dinner so no worries. Yes, there were sides with the entree. The Swordfish came with French Fries and vegetables and the Scampi came with Spaghetti plus we had salad.

      2. i wish I'd seen this before we went (although it was three years ago). We'd never been there, didn't know anybody, and spent a LOT of time dodging the ever-present goddamn time-share hustlers, and couldn't find any nice restaurants. We ended up going to little dives and getting mahi mahi sandwiches & mahi mahi tacos, and while i have NO complaint about those yummy little places, I would have liked to go some place nice for once.

        2 Replies
        1. re: EWSflash

          EWSflash - I always research the restaurants for my trips... sometimes days and days on the boards, studying other trip reports to find the places I want. Right now I'm re-doing a trip I took last year to Prague, Budapest and the Danube since I'm taking a group there next week. It's funny to stop reading about restaurants in Eastern Europe and go back to Hawaii for a moment! I thought I had posted the food report for last year's trip, came over here, and just realized I never did. All the restaurants are included so now I have to go back and pull them out for Chowhound. I always try to give back.....

          1. re: wiselindag

            Thanks Wiselindag..... We all appreciate the time you took to post as it helps other travellers out.. Im surprised at families that i know from where I live that go on vacations and are eating out at Dennys .mcdonalds. red lobster and why so the kids can have grilled cheese and fries.. Like Seriously????????? To each is own..

            We decided to take mama's fish house off our list too steep $$$$ for our pocketbook.. Since are are travelling over 2 weeks cant have $150 plus dinners out. .. I will have PAPA'S Fish house instead =my husband cooking up a nice seafood dinner on the grill at our condo with some champagne !! :O)

        2. I logged on to Cane and Taro and I noticed they do not list their pricing on their websites?? yes 50% off on tues and wed if your seated between 5-5:30pm order in by 6pm .. you sampled alot of food items and they all sounded divine.. But were the price points prior to discount?? ie were they $20 appys on for $10 ?

          I like their kids menu dinner served on their logo frisbee's with a drink. my kiddos would love this idea!!