Restaurants & Bars

Maui Report

jchulley | May 17, 2009 05:04 PM

My wife and I just got back from a week in Maui. We did not really do any high end dining and had quite the mixed bag of experiences:

We stayed at a B&B in Kihei where we had truly excellent, fresh breakfast every day.

On our first evening we ate at Da Kitchen. Food was solid in quality and price. I had shoyu/ginger opaka and my wife had Korean chicken. The only downside was the awful mango cheese cake.

Tuesday after a visit to the Maui Ocean Center we had lunch at a bar and grill next door with a great harbor view. Food was good, I had grilled Mahi Mahi and my wife had an ahi tuna wrap.

We had dinner that night, 1$ tacos at Life's a beach. They were fine..nuff said.

Wednesday we went to Lahaina and had lunch at the Lahaina Fish company. We both had there basic salad. I was a bit irritated because the greens clearly came from a bag. There were added walnuts and a nice dressing but over all thumbs down on the salad. My wife had the sashimi lunch. It was really good but came on piles of raw kale and cabbage. A more traditional Japanese presentation would have been lots nicer. I had calamari and fries, very good, squid was tender and fries crispy.

That night we had dinner at Sansei. I must say I was truly underwhelmed. The house special poki was amazing. My wife and I split a roll, the sashimi trio and the nisei combination, I had some saba, which was excellent, we each got an order of amaebi, good but not 11.95 for two pieces good. We spent around 150.. including tip. It was ok but portions were small and the food did not sing liek I would have expected. Maybe my comparisons in Seattle Mashiko and Chiso are jsut really good. My other thought is that perhaps we should have dome the omakase or just ordered specials..

Thursday lunch was Shaka Pizza. We had the rectangle crust with mushrooms, peperoni and garlic. It was really good. The sauce seemed to be fresh tomatoes cooked down. It was light and flavorful. There was enough left over for lunch on our trip to Hana Friday.

We ate dinner at the Wave Cafe during the 2-1 dinner. I had the steak and shrimp and Katrina had the stuffed snapper. It was ok...both dishes were heavy on the butter. Snapper was cooked perfectly and the shrimp were excellent. Stuffing was good but tasted mostly of butter and crab. My steak was thin and covered in pan sauce (again lots of butter) I think to cover a cheaper cut of meat. It was ok but we could not go back. They also charged a 20% tip right off the bat. We usually tip at around 20 but to have it automatically added on...We won't go back.

Friday we drove to Hana...awesome...and back. We ate dinner at Eskimo Candy. We both had the fresh Ono fish and chips. It was great., tasted fresh and well worth the price. Seafood stew was good with lots of variety but not great. We should have eaten there sooner.

Lunch on the last day at Pita Palace. We both had lamb and it was great, tasty and well cooked with fresh lettuce. I had the roasted red potatoes, yummy, Katrina had the pilaf and it was boring. Overall the food was so good I would go back..

We got great ahi poke from the safeway in Kihei and ate it as a snack. The octopus poki we got was too tough.

The two things that bugged me most were the seeming lack of local produce on most menus and lots of offering of farmed salmon. I did not think I would see it in Hawaii.

If/when we go back I think we will most likely get a place with a kitchen and cook at least two meals a day ourselves.

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