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Maui Trip Report: Hana


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Maui Trip Report: Hana

AmyMad | Jul 13, 2010 10:08 PM

We spent 3 nights in Hana recently. Since restaurants are severely limited in Hana, we stopped for supplies near the airport in Kahului before we made the long drive.

Costco: Prime rib-eye steaks and a few bottles of decent wine, along with a case of bottled water at prices not significantly higher than in Southern California.

Whole Foods Market: We got a great selection of prepared foods such as a whole smoked chicken, brioche bread, grilled vegetables, pasta salads, cheeses, dried fruits, nuts, and fancy soft drinks, along with basics like eggs, bacon, juice. We ate like royalty for most of three days.

Also, we stopped at Whole Foods on our way to the airport on the way home for something to eat on plane. We had lamb loin, grilled asparagus, braised short ribs, macaroni and cheese, and fudge brownies; we were the envy of everyone else on the plane and our meal cost only slightly more than the boxes available for purchase on board.

Paia: We ate at Cafe Des Amis in Paia on the way to and from Hana. The food was very good -- I had the caprese crepe both times because it was so yummy. Huz had a crepe with chicken and avocado once and one with ham and gruyere the next time. Both were delicious and came with a tasty green salad. We shared a banana and chocolate crepe for dessert and were practically licking the plate. It's a very casual, hippie kind of place -- sort of like the town of Paia -- and I would go back again even if I weren't driving to Hana.

Hana: We found Brudda Hutt's on the Hana Highway on the way to Hamoa Beach (pass through Hana and look for it on the left when you get to the stand of pine trees). We had a great plate lunch in this man's front yard for $10 each, cash only. I had pork -- two generous slabs of pork loin in what I think was a mango-based glaze and Huz had salmon. Both were classic Hawaiian plate lunches with two scoops of rice and a scoop of mac salad. It was delicious food and local people stopping in for lunch were very friendly.

The biggest bummer of the trip was our dinner at the Hotel Hana Maui dining room. When we presented ourselves, the hostess asked, "Does the gentleman have a collared shirt?" We were floored. At no time in making the reservation or confirming the reservation was a dress code mentioned, and Hana isn't the sort of place that puts one in mind of a dress code. Don't get me wrong -- I respect dress codes and we always pack a sport coat and tie when we go to New York City, New Orleans, San Francisco, or Charleston and expect to eat in a fine dining establishment. And places with dress codes always mention same at some point during the reservation process. Then she said, "Out of courtesy to our other guests, I can't seat you on the lanai unless you are dressed properly." Pretty condescending -- it's not like he was wearing a "No Fat Chicks" t-shirt. I had on a dress and he was in pressed linen shorts and a crew neck. Whatever. So, we went back home and he changed into a collared shirt and BOY was it all a lot of trouble for nothing. I had an overdressed salad -- entirely forgettable -- and a dried out chicken breast perched atop a pile of chalky mashed purple sweet potatoes in a pool of very sweet creamed corn. Huz had a piece of fish in a very sweet tropical fruit sauce and a pedestrian molten chocolate dessert. The bill with tip was $94. Our personable and professional waiter told us that the dining room was recently purchased by Longhi's and is no longer part of the hotel. He said right now there are lots of rumors about what is going to happen but nobody knows. This could explain a lot.

Cafe Des Amis
42 Baldwin Ave, Paia, HI 96779

888 Front St Ste H, Lahaina, HI 96761

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