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Mini Trip Report: Maui mid-November

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Itslikeimsayin Dec 6, 2010 04:06 PM

We spent six nights in Napili in mid-November and ate most of our meals in our condo, but here's what we did when we ventured out to eat:

Upon arrival to Maui, we were all very hungry and spotted Las Pinatas in Kahului. We had a quesadilla, an enchilada combo, a taco-enchilada combo and a bean and cheese burrito. Everything was quite good, at least on par with typical independent Southern California Mexican food places, albeit at Maui prices. I'd go back on a future visit to Maui. I think we spent around $45 including three soft drinks and two beers.

One night for dinner we got a roasted chicken at Napili market that was quite good and a bargain for $6.99.

Another night we went to Honokowai Fish Market for fish sandwiches. We got two seared ahi burgers, a mahi mahi burger and a bowl of seafood chowder. The sandwiches were around $11 each and the soup was about $5. This was very good. The seared ahi sandwiches had a nice wasabi kick and my mahi mahi burger had lettuce and tartar sauce. The soup needed salt but was pretty good as well. There was also a taco truck in this parking lot that looked tempting, but we were too full from the fish burgers to try anything. Take note that despite being part "restaurant" and part fish market, Honokowai Fish Market closes pretty early. We were lucky to arrive at 6:50 only to see they closed at 7:00 the night we went.

We went to Mama's Fish House on Sunday for lunch. The bread and butter was good, but the amuse bouche was a disappointment. It was a small cup of pineapple coconut water that was very blah. My wife got the signature macadamia nut crusted mahi mahi stuffed with crab and lobster, I got uku that was cooked with tomatoes, capers and garlic, and our son got seared ahi that I believe was panko crusted as well. All the entrees were amazing, but it's clear why the stuffed mahi mahi is their signature dish. Each bite was unbelievable. We passed on dessert. With one alcoholic drink, two iced teas and the entrees, the bill was around $170. This was my third time at Mama's and really, it wouldn't be a trip to Maui without at least one meal there.

The last meal we ate out on our trip was at the McDonald's Express at Whalers Village. I wouldn't typically mention this here, but I will for two reasons. One, we had gone to Whalers Village in part for the outdoor dance show they have on Monday nights. The McDonald's is nearby in the food court and we turned a simple meal into a poor man's luau of sorts, eating our meal and watching the show. The second reason I mention this meal is because it's maybe the best McDonald's cheeseburger I've had in years. They actually cooked everything to order, despite being tucked in a small space at the end of the food court.

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Mama's Fish House
Paia HI, Paia, HI

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    Tifa2276 RE: Itslikeimsayin Dec 9, 2010 10:55 AM

    We were in Maui Mid-Nov too! We love Mama's Fish House and I agree their Mahi Mahi is amazing. Too bad we did not visit it on this trip. We will have to try Honokowai Fish Market on our next trip. It sounds great! We went to Honokowai Okazuya and got delicious take-out meals there.

    I have been to that McDonalds in Whalers Village before - I took a picture of the saimin I ordered and everyone back home in NYC thought it was the coolest thing ever that McDonalds in Hawaii serves ramen. :)

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    Mama's Fish House
    Paia HI, Paia, HI

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      girlwonder88 RE: Itslikeimsayin Dec 12, 2010 09:08 AM

      Thanks for this! We're heading to Maui in a couple of days and I'm looking for as many recs as I can find, especially for less-expensive places. I definitely am going to hit the fish market.

      1. Bill Hunt RE: Itslikeimsayin Dec 14, 2010 07:25 PM

        Interesting to read about Mama's. We finally got there, some years ago, due to the division on this board. We had to see for ourselves. We were so happy, that we passed on some free nights in an amazing condo at the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, just to stay at the Inn at Mama's, and do more than lunch. All we had to do was stagger about 30 feet to our cottage. We dined there 3x, and enjoyed each meal.

        While each dish might not have been the ultimate version of each, they were very, very good, to excellent, and with the wines, we were glad that we only had to walk a few steps to be safely in bed.

        Would I do that again? In a Maui-second! Would I repeat that set of choices, just to have dinner, and safely navigate to my bed? Yeah.

        Mahalo for the review,

        Hunt

        1 Reply
        1. re: Bill Hunt
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          Itslikeimsayin RE: Bill Hunt Dec 15, 2010 01:12 PM

          What's somewhat funny to me is that the sauteed vegetables that came with my uku entree were so good, they are almost more memorable than the fish itself. The whole thing was wonderful, but the vegetables were so richly flavored with herbs/spices I can't stop thinking about them.

          I've seen your posts in the past re: staying at the Inn at Mama's and even mentioned the restaurant discount to my wife, but we love the other side of the island too much to stay at the Inn. Tempting, though.

          Also, just thought I'd mention that the only reason I was a little bit harsh about the amuse is because, if I remember correctly, one time around eight years ago we had an amuse here of bleu cheese mousse that was served on a spoon, and I still think about it to this day. In comparison, this trip's pineapple coconut water tasted like, well, pineapple coconut water.

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          mattsedona RE: Itslikeimsayin Dec 15, 2010 02:11 PM

          If you are going to Maui, do not miss Eskimo Candy fishmarket/restraunt (closed weekends) and Star Noodle. THey are both too good to miss, and very resonably priced for Maui. I particuarly liked the Vietnamese crepe at Star Noodle, and the deep fried fresh fish and poke (5 kinds to choose from) at EK.

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          Eskimo Candy
          2665 Waiwai Pl, Kihei, HI 96753

          Star Noodle
          286 Kupuohi St, Lahaina, HI 96761

          2 Replies
          1. re: mattsedona
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            girlwonder88 RE: mattsedona Dec 16, 2010 04:03 PM

            My husband's at Eskimo Candy right this very second buying poke; we definitely agree! I'm hoping to try Star Noodle this trip, though we're definitely on a budget so might not make it this time.

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            Eskimo Candy
            2665 Waiwai Pl, Kihei, HI 96753

            Star Noodle
            286 Kupuohi St, Lahaina, HI 96761

            1. re: girlwonder88
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              mattsedona RE: girlwonder88 Dec 18, 2010 10:35 AM

              Star noodle was not that expensive, if I recall correctly, the vietnamese crepe was around $12 which as you know is not bad for the islands.

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