HOME > Chowhound > Hawaii >

Discussion

Narrowing the restaurant choices down for family vacation in Maui

Wanted some feedback about my restaurant choices for holiday vacation with the family, Looking for a variety of places for lunch and dinner. Some with beautiful views. some not tourisy, some low key and some not but ALL with good food since I am the one in charge of all of the meals. We will be staying in Wailea area of the island. Most important is that the food is great!!! In addition, I don't have any breakfast choices picked out.

Lunch -

Mala at the Marriott
Monkey Pod Kitchen
Geste Shrimp food truck
Eskimo Candy
Maui Tacos

Dinner -

Star Noodles
Matteos
Five Palms
Mamas Fish House
Paia Fish Market
Aloha Mixed Plate

Any comments or other recommendations would be greatly appreciated!

-----
Aloha Mixed Plate
1285 Front St, Lahaina, HI 96761

Eskimo Candy
2665 Waiwai Pl, Kihei, HI 96753

Paia Fish Market
2A Baldwin Ave, Paia, HI 96779

Five Palms Restaurant
2960 S Kihei Rd Ste A, Kihei, HI 96753

Star Noodle
286 Kupuohi St, Lahaina, HI 96761

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. hi there,

    not sure when you're going ... i'm heading to maui next week and plan to hit star noodle, aloha mixed plate, paia fish market, and the geste shrimp truck. i'll write up a post when i get back (towards the end of august).

    3 Replies
    1. re: lilaki

      We are not going until December but I like to plan way ahead because the pressure is on me to plan out this trip. If you find any other worthy places please let me know. Also can you let me know how the places you mentioned are as well. Thanks

      1. re: mboxermd

        yes, i'll definitely let you know what where we end up eating!

    2. Matteo's is a good option for lunch too. And I would throw Tommy Bahama into the mix for either lunch or dinner. The crab bisque and curry scallop and shrimp dish are very tasty. The food isn't superb or anything but pretty solid at Bistro Molokini at the Grand Wailea and the pool-side setting is nice for lunch.

      -----
      Bistro Molokini
      3850 Wailea Alanui Dr, Kihei, HI 96753

      1. Skip Mama's Fish House and go to DUO at the Four Seasons. (or Spago or Joe's Bar & Grill or Nick's Fishmarket)

        I would also be inclined to do Nick's over Five Palms.

        Aloha Mixed Plate and Star Noodle are from the same company, drop Aloha MP and go to Da Kitchen in Kahului (not Kihei except for lunch).

        Also look at Tommy Bahamas for lunch.

        -----
        Aloha Mixed Plate
        1285 Front St, Lahaina, HI 96761

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

        Joe's Bar & Grill
        131 Wailea Ike Pl, Kihei, HI 96753

        Spago
        3900 Wailea Alanui Dr, Kihei, HI 96753

        Nick's Fishmarket
        2070 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815

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

        Five Palms Restaurant
        2960 S Kihei Rd Ste A, Kihei, HI 96753

        Star Noodle
        286 Kupuohi St, Lahaina, HI 96761

        16 Replies
        1. re: scottca075

          Though not near most resort areas, why would you suggest skipping Mama's Fish House?

          Just curious,

          Mahalo,

          Hunt

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

          1. re: Bill Hunt

            We don't find value at Mama's. It is good, but not at the Michelin two star prices they charge. Lunch is a better value, but not much. As I have stated in other forums, their marketing staff deserves a raise, they have done a great job selling Mama's concept as much as the food.

            I wish they would put their prices on their menu so people can see what it is going to cost them. Once you get there you are kind of stuck.

            1. re: scottca075

              I will gladly disagree with you on this one.

              Going back in time, there was a strict dichotomy with Mama's, so we tried it for the first time. It was all that we could have asked for, with no equivocations. Due to where we were staying on Maui, we only did lunch. This continued for about three more trips. Finally, we just had to have dinner, and passed on free nights at the Ritz-Carlton, just to stay at the Inn at Mama's Fish House. Great decision, though the Ritz was wonderful. We were most happy, and in all aspects.

              Still, that is ONLY my impressions, and as stated, about half here hated Mama's, for various reasons. I cannot address any of their reviews, but can only say that Mama's came through for us, and on every "cylinder." You are not alone, nor am I. It just depends on the person, and maybe the day/night and the dishes ordered.

              It is not inexpensive, but compared to many of my meals, is rather cheap. We dine at many "starred" restaurants around the world, an Mama's falls way down that list. Still, expense is relative. For me, "value" is the key, and they have always given me the value. Apparently, for you, they did not. That is certainly fair, as value is a very personal thing. It is either there, or it is not. For me, it's there, but for others, it is not.

              I believe that I have included my total bill, in all of my reviews, including our wine choices, or at least I intended to do so.

              As the menus do change daily (often a few times, during the day), putting prices on dishes, that might not be available, is not easy, and could be very mis-leading, should things change drastically. Would one rather have some number, that might not relate, vs a dish, that reflects what was fresh at that moment?

              Hunt

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

              1. re: Bill Hunt

                All a very reasonable and well thought out post. You are right that we are going to disagree on Mama's on the value proposition :)

                I will say that McCormick & Schmick's puts up a new menu every day on their website that includes the daily fresh fish, oysters, specials, etc. and includes the prices. They print that same menu out every day for the patrons of the restaurant. In this day and age, it is a very simple thing to do. Not every restaurant can afford to do that, but I know Mama's can afford it.

                http://www.mccormickandschmicks.com/m...

                1. re: scottca075

                  I am very sorry, but I have eaten at McCormick & Schmick's, and can find little comparison between Mama's and McCormick's. One is buying fish, fresh from the boat, and the menu might change 3x per day. The other is a corporate restaurant, and though the menu changes, nothing is coming off of the boat that day.

                  As for printing out the same menu daily, that is not how it works. They print several times per day, and things can change on the fly. Even with the printing, there are often changes inked in, or issued verbally.

                  One must also consider the IT aspect of things - even a modest corporation has more IT assets, than a small, locally owned operation. As for Mama's being able to afford things, I have never seen their books, so cannot comment. Apparently, you are their CPA, and know what their finances are like. Not sure that I would share that info on a public forum, however.

                  There are probably analogies, that are much closer out there. I do not find this one to work - at least not for me.

                  In each of my reviews, I have attempted to objectively detail my meals, as clearly, as I could. I believe that I have listed my total bill, and maybe have even broken out (or detailed) my wines, as saying that I spent US $ 650 on dinner, might not be helpful, unless I point out that I had 2 bottles of US $ 225 wine. Others might not even approach that, and should not just see the total, as it could be meaningless to them.

                  Sorry that you did not like Mama's, or at least felt that the meal was a value. You are not alone, and because of the polarization, I launched on my quest to see for myself. I did, and am glad that I did. For me, it was a true "win-win." Still, about half of the folk posting on this board, hate Mama's, and for several reasons.

                  Aloha,

                  Hunt

                  1. re: Bill Hunt

                    Let's look at some non-chain, higher-end restaurants in Hawai`i, and see how they do it:

                    http://www.alanwongs.com/honolulu-menu
                    http://www.halekulani.com/i/downloads...

                    Hunt

                    1. re: Bill Hunt

                      I wasn't comparing the restaurants, you misunderstand. I was merely pointing out that Mama's could print a daily menu with prices. Sure it might change, but it doesn't require a big IT staff, it requires two templates and someone to do the daily data entry. As most of the dishes and prices won't change daily, it is actually a matter of relatively few changes.

                      I find it bad guest service to not have prices online, especially when it is so easy to change them. I think they do so not because of difficulty, but do it deliberately to hide the cost so as to not scare any one off.

                      I don't hate Mama's, I don't even dislike it. We've had three nice meals there. I still find it overrated and overpriced. There are maybe ten places on Maui I'd recommend before it especially given the effort to get to it from either West or South Maui.

                      As to whether or not Mama's can afford to post a menu with prices online and or change those menus daily; given what they charge, if they can not afford to put a pdf online with prices, then they DO need to hire me.

                      1. re: scottca075

                        Then you have the same problems with Alan Wong and La Mer, right?

                        Can Alan Wong, or La Mer afford to post the prices?

                        To me, I want as much detail on the items, as is possible, and then will find a way to either pay for it, or go elsewhere.

                        Maybe you need to send in an application, or a proposal. Who knows, they might hire you?

                        I look at menus around the world, and about half of the fine-dining establishments list prices, though the items might change, before my visit.

                        Let's look at a personal favorite, Restaurant Daniel. Other than the caviar, and some supplements, I do not see prices: http://www.danielnyc.com/daniel.html

                        It seems to be 50-50, or close. I cannot, in good conscience, hold that against Mama's, and especially since they have always come through for us.

                        If it is a big deal for you, then you must wrestle with that. I do not have to do so.

                        When it comes to menu changes, I think that you might pick up some tips, should you dine there, two meals per day, for say four days, and watch what changes, during the day. I have done that, and have made the observations.

                        I enjoy Mama's, and feel that their meals are a good value. You do not. That is just a difference, between you and me. Nothing wrong with either observation, reflection, or feeling. They are just different.

                        Enjoy,

                        Hunt

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

                        La Mer
                        2199 Kalia Rd, Honolulu, HI 96815

                        1. re: Bill Hunt

                          Since La Mer does post their prices, your post yet again confuses me. You also need to pay more attention when looking at menus. Daniel Boulud very clearly says that it is $108 for a three-course prix fixe with a $60 wine pairing.

                          But those are distractions.

                          Mama's is nice, but it isn't close to Daniel, Per Se, The Fat Duck, Alinea or many, many other restaurants I can name, but they are charging prices as if they belong at that level. Are you really comparing Mama's to Alan Wong's, La Mer and Daniel?

                          You also continue to say I don't like Mama's. I haven't said that. I have said Mama's is over priced and overrated. It is both.

                          When someone asks about restaurants on Maui, I think there are restaurants that put out better food and I think there are restaurants that are as good, but a better value and I say so. I try to answer for them based on what they are asking for.

                          In the case of this poster, they are staying in Wailea and don't have one of Wailea's top five dinner spots in the list. I suggested DUO over Mama's. Do you not think DUO is as good or better than Mama's without the drive? What about Spago, Ferraro's, Nick's, Joe's, even Humuhumunukunukuapua’a? Are they not good enough to avoid the drive to Mama's and more importantly, the drive back?

                          That is why I advised skipping Mama's and going to DUO instead.

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

                          La Mer
                          2199 Kalia Rd, Honolulu, HI 96815

                          Spago
                          3900 Wailea Alanui Dr, Kihei, HI 96753

                      2. re: Bill Hunt

                        @ Hunt: CONCUR about MAMA'S. MC & S isn't in the same league and should be a moot point.

                        1. re: russkar

                          Ummmm, didn't say McCormick & Schmick's was as good as Mama's, or better or in fact did I even compare them as restaurants. I used them as an example of a restaurant that posts a new menu highlighting the days fresh catch, with prices, every day.

                          1. re: scottca075

                            Yet, you used them as an example. I am now confused.

                            Hunt

                            1. re: Bill Hunt

                              Not to compare food..... to show an example of a seafood restaurant that changes their menu daily, posts it online daily and shows prices on a daily basis.

                              Is this really that hard to comprehend?

                              1. re: scottca075

                                OK, that makes sense.

                                Since I have reviewed Mama's and have enjoyed it, can you cite your review, to counter all of mine?

                                Mahalo,

                                Hunt

                                1. re: Bill Hunt

                                  I haven't done a review yet, I might post one, but I don't seem to be explaining correctly that it would not be as counter as you think.

                                  I advised the OP in this forum to skip Mama's and pick up DUO instead since they were not doing any of the great restaurants in Wailea (Except Five Palms, and I wouldn't call Five Palms great).

                                  If they had listed DUO, Spago, Merriman's and Mama's as the restaurants they were doing for dinner I probably wouldn't have said "skip Mama's to go to xyz", but it made no sense to not hit the top restaurants within a five minute drive to do the drive to Mama's. I also think they have too many Lahaina places which was why I suggested dropping Aloha Mixed Plate for Da Kitchen.

                                  -----
                                  Aloha Mixed Plate
                                  1285 Front St, Lahaina, HI 96761

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

                                  Spago
                                  3900 Wailea Alanui Dr, Kihei, HI 96753

                                  Five Palms Restaurant
                                  2960 S Kihei Rd Ste A, Kihei, HI 96753

                                2. re: scottca075

                                  I agree .. menus should be listed with prices for a patron to decide whether the price tag matches the entree of their choice. You may not be interested in a $25 and up entree that evening and dont want the shock value at the end.

                                  Alan wong's not listing their prices

              2. We think the best food in Maui is at Lahaina Grill, with David Paul's Island Grill a close second. Both are in Lahaina, which is about a 30 minutes drive from Wailea.

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

                David Paul's Island Grill
                900 Front Street, Lahaina, HI 96761

                1 Reply
                1. re: huskergreg

                  If I were to say what are the best restaurants in Maui I'd say Merriman's and the Plantation House for the West and DUO and Ferraro's for the South. David Paul is good with short ribs and duck, but I find their fish entrees lacking.

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

                2. We loved, loved, loved Monkey Pod Kitchen. We drove all the way from Napili two days in a row to eat lunch there. Standouts were the Ho'opono Punch cocktail, the fries, and the PIES. We drove by Star Noodle on our last day there and will have to save it for next time. I wish we had been able try it on this visit.

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