This trip was to celebrate my Dad's 70th, so I was not too adventurous food-wise, but wanted to share my thoughts. We stayed at the Ritz in Kapalua. I lived on Oahu years ago and my last trip to Maui was in 2002.
Merriman's, Mama's Fish House, Lahaina Grill, Sea House, Pacific'o, all others were at the hotel.
Standout was Mama's by far -- loved it so much we went back for lunch a few days later. We actually preferred lunch to dinner. On the advice of our server we had mostly appetizers both times, which let us try many things. The fish was just fantastic. Wonderful location. If we go back to Maui we plan to stay in their small hotel.
Lahaina Grill was our second favorite. We stuck to mostly "land" entrees here -- I had lamb, which was perfectly cooked. Nice atmosphere, great waiter (Richard). No view to speak of but we didn't mind. My Dad did have Opakapaka here and loved it.
Pacific'o has a gorgeous location, but we weren't wowed by the food. It was fresh, well-prepared, but the flavors were a bit bland. The fish special was just so-so. The "bling bling" (steak and spiny lobster) was the only entree standout, and there were five of us. Great chocolate dessert. View is truly special and we by no means had a bad evening, we were just expecting more.
Sea House is noteworthy for their happy hour, 3-5pm. Right on Napili beach, with a big deck. If we went back I'd camp out on the beach all afternoon, then head over for happy hour. Looked like fun. We got there for sunset. Food was nothing to write home about, but we liked the location and it's a bit less pricey than other places.
Merriman's felt the most..corporate and touristy. The meal was tasty and our server was attentive, but (like most things) it was so overpriced, and we felt a bit rushed. I would go back and sit at the bar, but would probably not eat here again. It was our first meal, so maybe the jet lag and "where am I?" feeling played into my impression.
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