HOME > Chowhound > Hawaii >

Discussion

Restaurant recs on Maui and Big Island???

I'm going to the Big Island for 4 days and Maui for 4 days the week of Thanksgiving. We are staying at Waikoloa Beach Marriot Resort & Spa on the Big Island and Sheraton Maui Resort in Maui. I've scoured the boards for restaurants but am still VERY confused as to how far the drive is to the places i've found. So - can anyone please recommend good lunch and dinner places within 30 min drive of my hotels? I don't have any dietary restrictions and no budget either. We like all types of food (except heavily fried). Also need some recs for good places to get a cocktail (the artisian kind- not those sugary appletini messes, lol) Any recs would help me so much!!!!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. Big Island: Holuakoa Cafe is excellent, Merriman's is excellent, Beach Tree at the Four Seasons, Hualalai is very good, Jackie Rey's is very nice, Kenichi is very good, Bangkok House is excellent,

    -----
    Holuakoa Cafe
    76-5901 Mamalahoa Hwy, Holualoa, HI 96725

    Bangkok Houses
    75-5626 Kuakini Hwy Ste 5, Kailua Kona, HI 96740

    Kenichi
    68-1330 Mauna Lani Dr Ste 111, Kamuela, HI 96743

    4 Replies
    1. re: holualoa farmer

      Did Beach Tree replace the Alan Wong restaurant there?

      We did greatly enjoy Pahu i`a, and I'd go back, just to dine there. http://www.fourseasons.com/hualalai/d...

      Hunt

      -----
      Alan Wong's Restaurant
      1857 S King St Fl 3, Honolulu, HI 96826

      1. re: Bill Hunt

        Hunt; my understanding is that the Alan Wong restaurant (The Grill at Hualalai) is closed for remodeling. The Beach Tree is the casual place on the beach, I believe.

        I also have enjoyed Pahu'i;a in the past; very much a special occasion place. Ate there the first night of my marriage (ten years ago). :-)

      2. re: holualoa farmer

        I have to say, I was really looking forward to dinner at Huluakoa Cafe, but my dinner there last night was very disappointing, certainly at least by mainland standards (I happen to think that Big Island dining in general does not live up to the potential of the ingredients,so will cut them a bit of slack for that. However, it was quite pricey for a place that overcooked my mahi mahi ($32) to medium or medium-well, even after I asked for it rare. Grrr.). Will give a more complete report when I get around to Part III of my Hawaii report...

        HF: I am curious as to how long ago you last ate at Kenichi? I have eaten there twice on past visits, and really liked it a lot both times, but I've read a lot of downhill reports since then that have made me wonder if it is worth going back....or are you referring to the one in Waimea, not the one in Keahou?

        For the OP: All of the restaurants in the following report are within thirty minutes of the Sheraton Maui, except for Mike's Chinese Bistro in Kahului, which wasn't a highlight anyway. Don't miss Star Noodle:

        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7448...

        By the way, it would be pushing it to get to Holuakoa Cafe, Jackie Rey's or Kenichi (Keahou) in 30 minutes from the Waikoloa Beach Marriott. More like 45 minutes if you aren't familiar with the road, and you could hit traffic.

        -----
        Holuakoa Cafe
        76-5901 Mamalahoa Hwy, Holualoa, HI 96725

        Star Noodle
        286 Kupuohi St, Lahaina, HI 96761

        1. re: susancinsf

          To clarify my last post: Tasty Crust is also more than 30 minutes from the Sheraton Maui, though I didn't try it. I'd try it on the way to or from the airport, though.

          -----
          Tasty Crust Restaurant
          1770 Mill St, Wailuku, HI 96793

      3. Well within that time frame, I would recommend the following on Maui:

        Peter Merriman's Kapalua: http://www.merrimanshawaii.com/merrim...
        Lahaina Grill: http://www.lahainagrill.com/
        I`O, in Lahaina: http://www.iomaui.com/
        Gerrard's in Lahaina: http://www.gerardsmaui.com/cms/index.php

        All are upscale, with perhaps Gerrard's being the more formal of the group, and Peter Merriman's just below. All were great on our last two trips, and I found very, very little to complain about. For us, I`O was the "new kid on the block," but we happened to meet the exec. chef of I`O, while he and his lovely wife were celebrating her birthday at Gerrard's. He said all the correct things, and on our next trip, I put him to the test. Though his sommelier did not have a particular Montrachet on the wine list, he, and his staff, made up for that one little faux pas. We have dined at several over the years, and all my recent experiences indicate that they are still "on their game."

        For the Big Island, it has just been too long, since we were last there. Chefs change, restaurants go through bad times. The only rec. that I can offer is Peter Merriman's, well within the 30 min. of Waikoloa. Maybe do a comparison?

        While we are fans of Chef Roy Yamaguchi, his Roy's at Waikoloa has almost become a "sports bar," and the ambient noise level finally drove us away. Maybe it's changed?

        I do not have many middle, or lower-end recs., as we normally do breakfast, and then a really big meal with tons of wines in the evening. Others can help at other levels.

        Aloha,

        Hunt

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

        Merriman's Kapalua
        , Lahaina, HI 96761

        1. We're also going to Big Island and Maui, spending a week in each. We leave tomorrow, actually!

          First time to the Big Island, so I don't have much to say (yet) but we've been recommended Brown's Beach House, Pahu i a, also Merrimans on the Kona side. We're keeping it more low key on the big-island, and saving all the splurge meals mostly for Maui. I should be able to report back during the week as I hopefully will have free internet access. We're staying in Waikoloa too.

          Although we've been to Maui before, and I second everyone's recs of Merrimans. Also in Lahaina/Kaanapali area, we liked Lahaina Grill. If you could drive, you could check out Mama's Fish House. All those recs are high end places. We also really liked Haliimaile General Store, but that is upcountry, requiring a drive.
          This time, we're going to go back to Mama's, and we're trying Class Act, which is the fine dining establishment of the Maui Culinary Academy. A 4-course lunch for 30 bucks, BYOB too. Can't beat that, plus I heard it's fabulous.
          http://mauidish.com/maui-restaurants/...
          We're also hoping to try Star Noodle in Lahaina as it's been generating some great buzz. I hope I won't be sick of Pacific Rim cuisine before the 2 weeks is up!!

          Hope you have fun and I'll try to report back on a few places that stood out.

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

          Haliimaile General Store
          900 Haliimaile Rd, Makawao, HI 96768

          Mama's Fish House
          Paia HI, Paia, HI

          Beach House Restaurant
          5022 Lawai Rd, Koloa, HI 96756

          Star Noodle
          286 Kupuohi St, Lahaina, HI 96761

          2 Replies
          1. re: Tifa2276

            Now, I second Mama's Fish House. We were so impressed by several lunches there, that we turned down free nights at the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, just to stay at the Inn at Mama's Fish House, to dine there for three nights and three lunches.

            As we are normally in Ka`anapali, or Kapalua, Mama's is too much of a drive (considering their wine list), for us. That is why we booked - just a few steps from the restaurant, though I almost got lost one night.

            Mama's is great in our book, and worth all efforts,

            Hunt

            -----
            Mama's Fish House
            Paia HI, Paia, HI

            1. re: Tifa2276

              I would definitely second the idea of eating on Maui and keeping it lower key on the Big Island (and of going to Star Noodle), even though I do not fall into the pro-Mama's Fish House Camp.

              -----
              Star Noodle
              286 Kupuohi St, Lahaina, HI 96761

            2. Here's a link to a map of the places we've been. While it isn't all inclusive of everything we've done there is is definitely a post of places we really enjoyed. I much prefer using Google maps to figure this stuff out because I do enjoy my booze at dinner. Driving in the pitch black night from Hali' imaile General Store is hard enough stone sober.

              http://dineomite.blogspot.com/p/hawai...

              1. Also, if there's anything of note, upscale or otherwise, that has opened in the last two years do tell. We'll be going back at the end of January!