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Maui Maui in santa cruz

tom | Mar 3, 200601:39 PM

The new hawaiian place on the corner of ocean and soquel has been open for a few weeks now.

Its named maui maui but its pretty much an imposter of L&L(hawaiian food chain that originated in hawaii and has recently been springing up all over the mainland). One of the cooks was even wearing an L&L tshirt the first time i went.

I think they opened kinda immaturely based on their paper printed menu taped onto the boards hanging from the cieling at the register and the emptiness feeling of the dining area. The overall atmosphere swings towards a casual hawaiian dinner joint where they just serve you food in togo containers and you sit wherever you'd like.

As for the food, its pretty much like L&L which has things like saimin, fried mahi mahi, a variety of spam musubi, curry, loco moco, bbq chicken, bbq spare ribs (korean supermarket style), bbq beef slices, ect. Ive had the bbq mix plate which comes with a few pieces of bbq chicken, beef slices, and spare ribs along with 2 scoops of rice and some macaroni salad. They pretty much use the same marinade (sugar, hint of ginger, shoyu) for their bbq meat but that works fine for me since i grew up eating this stuff. The katsu there is mediocre, and it comes with a sweet and sour sauce which was more sweet that anything so i just threw that away and used my own tonkatsu sauce at home.
I saw some saimin as I was waiting for my food, I dont think they perfected that yet. But, their macroni salad is quite good just like L&L, macaronis with globs of mayo and some carrot slivers?
My only complaints were that they over marinated the beef spareribs and beef slices a bit and they use long grain rice which cooks too dry for me sometimes.

The prices are pretty cheap considering the portions, most of the food comes in plate form with the rice and macaroni included small plates are like 5 dollars and large plates run for 7-8 dollars. Also, i think its still CASH ONLY, but they have one of those ATM machines that charges you inside. Spam musubi is like 2 dollars and they have a variety of different spam musubis i think. I forget the other prices.

So if you want some hawaiian comfort food, you should give maui maui a try and tell me what you guys think.

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