Highlights from Oahu and Maui eating at many Chowhound recommendations!
We had very little time to prepare from our Hawaii trip so I turned to Chowhound for recommendations. Thank you, thank you! Listed below are the highlights.
- Little Village Noodle Shop - flew in late and they were opened late with on-site parking, so we had nice comforting meal of fried rice, veggies in black bean and fried squid
- Nico's at Pier 38 - excellent fresh fish lunch and the lines were not long at all
- Sushi Sasabune - the second best sushi experience of our lives (#1 was in Japan). Trust them! My husband and I did all 13 course of the omakase and our daughter stopped after 11. The varirty of choice cuts, the size of the portions, the temperature of the rice, the sushi "dressed" ready to eat, were all above any description I can render. I envy anyone who can go there without flying for 11 hours, because I would be back in a heartbeat
- Forty Niner Restaurant - local, delicious, lots of regulars, cheap and very close to the Swap meet. Don't be put off by the decor, since there isn't any! We had the mixed plate, breakfast plate and saimen. The pork was a winner here.
- Shimazu - Shaved Ice topped with delicious homemade dressings. They were all delicious especially the creme brulee
Sweet Home Cafe - Go early or wait, it's worth it for the steamy hot pots where you get to choose the broth (we had the herbal), what to add in and the dips. Afterwards, there is a bowl of shaved ice, tapioca and almond tofu to satisfy your sweet tooth. Tell them its your first time and they will explain it all to you and you'll be hooked
Leonards' Bakery - Malasadas, Portuguese sweet breads - made to order hot and sugary, but not greasy. Get the flavor of the month and Li Hing. Buy more than one, or else you will be back in line again
BTW - In Oahu, we stayed at the Hyatt Place and service, location and included hot breakfast were great
- Coconuts Fish Cafe - Grilled mix of fish in the fish taco's that were perfectly seasoned and satisfying. Lots of locals knew the owner
-Coconut Glen's - On the road to Hana, we stopped for smooth, rich Vegan ice cream and coconut candy
- Bistro 808 - nice breakfast choices, excellent attentive staff and laid back relaxing everyday is Sunday breakfast ambiance
- Aloha Mixed Plate - solid Hawaiian mixed plates while eating on a veranda overlooking the water under the shade
- Monkeypod Cafe - delicious butternut squash pizza, superb roasted beet and goat cheese salad and tasty not really sweet coconut cream pie
- Merriman's - Goat cheese salad, lamb two ways, diver scallops, wok grilled ahi, chocolate purse in filo, pineapple upside down cake and Big Island Ka'u coffee. Elegant but not starchy service. Vista at sunset was beautiful matching the fresh vibrancy of the food
- Cafe des Amis - Curries many different ways, with the hottest condiment I've ever had!
- Old Lahaina Luau - the most authentic of the luaus from everyone I asked before booking it. It was sold out for weeks, but I got a spot after being placed on their waiting list. Highlight was watching the pig being uncovered and taken out! Lot of drink choices and lots of food choices, just don't attend expecting a great memorable meal. The take home gift of banana bread was the tastiest item we remembered
- Warning - no matter how hungry you are, skip Maui Taco. Don't waste your money, time. or calories. They won for most awful meal of the trip
In Maui we stayed at the Marriott Wailea with its fours pools and scenic 1.3 mile beach walk.
- Warning - don't fly Go! Mokulele Airlines between islands. The first flight was 40 minutes late, the return flight was cancelled and then the rescheduled flight was 30 minutes late. We barely made our connecting flight home
If you are in Oahu and want an Hawaiian shirt, go to Baily's. He has about 1,500 from vintage collectables to one's the local bus driver's have worn
You did a great job hitting several good Maui restaurants in different price ranges during your visit. For inexpensive, I agree that two of the best are Cafe des Amis in Paia and Coconuts Fish Cafe in Kihei. For fine dining, Merriman's is OK, though in that same Wailea area I prefer Joe's Bar & Grill or Gannon's.
re: Maui Jon
Thank you both! We like eating as varied as we can when we travel. My daughter wanted the "farm to table" experience so she picked Merriman's. The quality and variety of restaurants has vastly improved since my last trip 20+ years ago. We will definitely make plans to come visit again and try more of your recommendations!