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Feedback on plan for family returning to Maui but based on the West side for 1st time

smiles33 | Nov 11, 201810:35 AM

Aloha, Maui chowhounds! My family of 4 is returning to Maui in February, one of our favorite vacation sites, but staying on the west side this year instead of in Wailea. Our favorite condo in Wailea was already booked a year in advance. Thus, it was a great excuse to find a place close to Kapalua so we can explore the restaurants on the West side. Other than Merriman's (which we loved) and Sea House (which was okay), we haven't eaten much on the west coast and don't have a "tried-and-true" eating itinerary. I'd love to get feedback on the plan I put together so far and suggestions for identifying places for the few meals I haven't planned yet.

I only planned for lunches and dinners, as we love to eat breakfast at home (we tend to wake up early since we usually just stay on PST to hit the beaches early).

Saturday arrival: eat at either Poi by the Pound or Tin Roof, straight off the plane. I'm leaning toward Poi by the Pound, as we've eaten at both before and I wasn't impressed by Tin Roof. Yet I want to give them another chance. We can eat at the one we don't choose for this lunch on our departure day. We arrive too close to the end of the Swap Meet (plane's scheduled arrival is 11 am but we have to get our rental car), so we may drive directly to Donut Dynamite to see if they still have lilikoi malasadas.

Since we can't check in until after 3 and may be tired from the travel (we arrive in the condo nearly 11 hours after waking up), I figured I'd order take-out from Honokawai Okazuya & Deli. I've read that their lemon caper mahi mahi is delicious! Plus, my youngest, who has a fish allergy, can try their Korean BBQ chicken. We'll also stop at Foodland FARMS (thanks for the rec, Kathryn!) to stock up on breakfast fare and snaks for our condo (poke, spam, eggs, potatoes, POG, etc.).

Sunday: Tentatively considering lunch at Star Noodle (we love their ahi avo and make a trek there every trip). But maybe we should do a Sunday brunch somewhere instead? No dinner plans yet, but I'm thinking of dinner at Merriman's. We loved our visit there last trip and why not start our trip off on the right foot with a great dinner there! We can't make reservations until 60 days out, so I'll try to get it in December.

Monday: This would be our South Maui day, heading back to Kihei to eat lunch at Eskimo Candy (poke bowls!), stop by Ulalani's and Sugar Beach Bake Shop, and then dinner at Restaurant at Hotel Wailea. I made an early reservation as I know they aren't really family-friendly. My daughters are almost 10 and 13 and very well-behaved and sophisticated diners.

Tuesday: Lunch at Mill House (we have had great meals there on past trips!). Tentative plans are to have dinner at Honu, which we've never tried before.

Wednesday: No lunch plans yet--maybe worth trying Fish Market? Dinner reservation at Lahaina Grill is confirmed.

Thursday: No lunch plans yet. Dinner at Pacific'o (have to make the reservation still).

Friday: No lunch plans yet, but I had thought about having our last dinner be at Merriman's. Twice in one week might be overkill, but I'm not sure there's another restaurant we want for that last night (that's convenient).

We've been to Haili'imaile General Store twice and it was good, but it's a long trek and I'm not sure it is good enough to justify the time. Went to Mama's twice but disappointed both times so we deliberately avoid it now. Other restaurants I've heard about but am a little reluctant to add to our itinerary without someone's strong endorsement: Plantation House (I read brunch might be good but I don't see it mentioned much here), Hula Grill, and Duke's. For the latter two, I tend to be skittish about places that are right on the beach with great views. Those places tend to be popular with tourists so they usually don't try as hard when it comes to the food.

Any other places you can recommend that offer great seafood or Hawaiian influenced cuisine? I prefer to avoid standard places that just do Italian, burgers, Thai, or other fare we can easily get at home. I would also prefer to minimize driving all the way across the island, which is why we have only one day in Kihei/Wailea but otherwise plan to stay near Kapalua and Ka'anapali. Yet if there's a destination restaurant that you think is worthwhile, please do share!

There also need to be non-fish items on the menu for my daughter with the fish allergy (she's also allergic to peanuts and sesame). I would love to go to Koiso, but with my youngest daughter's fish allergy, there would be nothing for her to eat there. She can eat shellfish, but not any finned fish. Budget is wide open.

Thanks in advance!

Merriman's Maui,
Sea House Restaurant,
Poi By The Pound,
Tin Roof,
Honokowai Okazuya & Deli,
Donut Dynamite,
Star Noodle,
Eskimo Candy Inc,
Sugar Beach Bake Shop,
The Restaurant at Hotel Wailea,
The Mill House,
Honu,
Fish Market Maui,
Lahaina Grill,
Pacific'O,
Hali'imaile General Store,
The Plantation House,
Hula Grill,
Duke's Beach House Maui,
Koiso Sushi Bar
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