Just back from a short (too short) stay in Paia. Oh, how I love Paia. My rental unit had a full kitchen, so most of my meals were either simple stuff I fixed at home or picnics out of the cooler in the back of the Jeep while on surfing or beach-going expeditions. Very happy that there's now a Whole Foods in Kahalui, and Mana Foods in Paia is great as well. But no trip to Maui is complete without a meal at The Flatbread Company in Paia, and this time I had the Pa’ia Bay Ohana – "Our wood-fired cauldron tomato sauce, caramelized organic onions, organic mushrooms, premium whole milk mozzarella and imported Parmesan cheese baked on organic bread dough with homemade organic garlic oil, sprinkled with our own blend of organic herbs." More places should put caramelized onions on their pizzas - yum.
My one splurge meal was at Mama's Fish House, notwithstanding that I don't eat fish. It was 2 minutes from my place, and I've really enjoyed prior visits there with friends. On a Monday night at 6:30 there was a 45-60 minute wait for tables for walk-ins, but as a solo dinner I was able to get a seat right away at the bar, where they serve the full dinner menu. Instead of an entree I ordered two appetizers: the Beef Polynesian – seared tenderloin in a grilled ripe Hana papaya, and the Mama’s Salad – Waipoli Farm’s mixed greens, heart of palm, sundried cranberries, smoked bacon, goat cheese and candied macadamia nuts with a papaya seed vinaigrette. Both excellent; the beef was a pretty small serving for the price, but grilled papaya may be something I need to try to recreate at home. Dessert was the Kuau Chocolate Pie baked in a caramel cookie crust - ridiculously rich and I at every bite of it. Surfing for 3 hours every day makes one feel entitled to indulge. Service from the bartenders was excellent, and I enjoyed chatting with my fellow bar dinners.
Looking forward already to my next, hopefully longer, trip to Maui!