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Jul 5, 2010 11:51 AM

Maui & Kauai Report

Back from our annual trip to Maui, this year with Kauai Added on.

MauI - well covered on this board so I will just give our brief comments for most.

Mala Ocean Tavern, Lahaina. Not a fine dining place, but solid, well executed dishes in a very casual waterside setting. Had 1 lunch & 1 dinner here. The fish was fresh and the service excellent. One of our favorite spots.

The Gazebo at Napili Shores. Great, affordable breakfast. Like they say, get in line! We try to hit it about 20 minutes prior to opening. Highly recommended

Longhi's, Wailea. Nice looking spot. On a Saturday for lunch the place was empty. Maybe 12 diners in the whole place - very strange! The food and service were about average but nothing memorable.

Lahaina Grill, Lahaina. Very good food and service, pricey. No view, tables kind of close to my way of thinking. My wife really likes the place, I'm a bit lukewarm.

Star Noodle. Lahaina. This is a new, trendy spot, up the hill from Lahaina Farms market. We ate here three times, had some hits and misses but on the whole it is a keeper. Looking for something new to try?

Seahouse, Napili Kai Beach Resort. Beautiful location and the food is pretty good. Reservations for dinner are a must.

Saigon Cafe, Wailuku - Vietnamese food. Funky wait-staff and the place really could use some updating. Hard to find, but worth it.

Sam Sato's, Wailuku. Great Saimin, go for the Dry variety for best flavor I think.. Open for b'fast and lunch only. It's a locals place - tricky to find too.

Hali'imaile General Store, Hali'imaile. We go for late lunch to avoid the crowds. Excellent food and a must stop for all foodies. Closed weekends.


Josselin's Tapas Bar & Grill, Poipu. This was our major find this visit. New, open for dinner only and based on our two visits - Amazing! We'd go back in a heartbeat.

Hamura Saimin, Lihue - We love it! Nuff said.

Hanapepe Cafe, Hanapepe. Had a lunch and a dinner. Not fine dining but nicely prepared food in a funky little town of galleries and shops. Worth a stop.

Kauai Chocolate, Pt. Allen. A must stop for us!

Tomkats Grille, Koloa. Wow! We didn't expect much for this place and were pleasantly surprised.

Savage Shrimp Truck, Poipu. Yes!

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

Tomkats Grille
5402 Koloa Rd, Koloa, HI 96756

Sam Sato's
1750 Wili PA Loop, Wailuku, HI 96793

Mala Ocean Tavern
1307 Front St, Lahaina, HI 96761

888 Front St Ste H, Lahaina, HI 96761

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  1. DiverPhil,

    Mahalo for the Josselin's Tapas Bar comments. We have been eagerly awaiting his next restaurant. We were big fans of A Pacific Cafe, and were deeply saddened, when he closed. Last trip to Kaua`i, we searched about Ka`pa`a, as rumors abounded. We found one spot with a building permit, and locals said "dis is da place." Not sure, as many said that those plans fell though. Now, I see from your post, that it's a done deal. We will definitely have to give it a go.

    I was less turned on by Mala, but we only did two dinners about 10 mos. apart. Just never got into the menu.

    We have enjoyed Lahaina Grill for many years, a couple of owners, and chefs, but I do agree with you - it gets a bit stuffy inside, though the food and wine normally help me forget that there is no view.

    Thanks for the reviews,


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

    2 Replies
    1. re: Bill Hunt


      Here is a picture of Josselin we took, should whet your appetite!

      1. re: DriverPhil

        We'll definitely follow Jean-Marie, and hope to get out Kaua`i trip planned, as soon as we get back from O`ahu.


    2. Very good report. We had a bad experience at Mala a couple of years ago (actually only I did; spouse enjoyed her meal), but we're really looking forward to sampling Josselin's (more than once) after we arrive in Kauai next month. We also want to try Merriman's, the tasting menu at Dondero's (after Beach Chick's thumbs up from last year.... our only experience there 7 years ago was disappointing, but it sounds like things have changed), and the Kauai Grill at St. Regis. It's nice to see more choices becoming available for Kauai dining.

      1 Reply
      1. re: beantowntitletown

        We did try the Poipu Merriman's for lunch. My wife enjoyed it, I was underwhelmed.

        It's interesting about Mala. A mix of reports, but for us it has been fine. That's what makes each diner, and each dining experience, unique.

      2. I am here on Maui and hubby and I had dinner at Star Noodle tonight. Nothing we had was less than very good, and a few items were truly great. Indeed, the Vietnamese Crepe might have been the best version of that dish I've ever had. and the house made ice cream, especially the
        pomegranate/ pineapple/ginger: wow. Even hubby said wow, and hubby is not inclined to ever swoon over a restaurant offering.

        Will do a full report later, possibly with pics. I didn't take pics tonight, but we will be back, sometime in the next few days.

        1 Reply
        1. re: susancinsf

          I don't suppose pomegranate/pineapple/ginger ice cream would keep if you mailed it to Vegas, would it.? That sounds wonderful....Do send the complete report! I have a good friend who lives in Honolulu but travels to Maui fairly often on business...I would love to send HER some restaurant tips!

        2. Sound's great DriverPhil.

          My third time in Maui (as I write). I would avoid Three's Bar and Grill (at Kalama Village); besides the food being average, bringing the entree 2 minutes post appetizer delivery, they refused an advertised 20% off dinner coupon-an advertisement in which their name, logo, and photo was plastered all over!

          1. Took a trip to Costco, purchased a pack of opah (packed the same day), and sauteed it with white wine, papaya, salt, pepper. It was to die for. Had some whole grain bread with beans and boston lettuce (olive oil, salt, pepper). The opah metled in my mouth and was incredibly fresh