First off, a huge mahalo to everyone for your recommendations. We had so many yummy meals and not a single loser in the bunch. A couple of quick notes: we had low key breakfasts (yogurt, fruit, etc.), so I don't have any breakfast reports. Also, my husband and I decided to hire the sitter our son adores and mostly have dinner on our own. Our son was happiest w/ pizza or Subway and an early bedtime, given the time change. So here we go:
Dinner: On the way from the airport to the hotel, stopped at Hank's Haute Dogs. My DH and I got the Chicago dog, my son got a plain dog, and we shared an order of onion rings. DH had a frozen pineapple drink, and I had yummy lemonade. The dogs were super tasty. The special that day was the lobster dog, and I'm a bit sad I didn't try it, but we were loopy after dealing w/ the airports and the flight -- next time. The onion rings were so freakin' tasty. Maui onions are so sweet, which I already knew, but I had never had them in the form of onion rings.
Day 2: (mostly copying and pasting from post on original thread): Lunch today at Teddy's Bigger Burger was phenomenal. Seriously the top burger meal I've had in that price range. Whatever is in their special sauce was super yummy. My son and I had original burgers and my husband had the cajun. The fries were just right -- the outside shattered and the inside was light and tasty. For dinner we went to 3660 on the Rise and had a wonderful meal. I had the ahi katsu (um, hello; that is a seriously delicious dish) and the lacquered salmon. My husband had a special ahi sashimi starter and the duck breast (my son said his spaghetti was very nice, too) . Everything was perfection -- well except the service, which was friendly but nowhere near on par with the food. We also had a bottle of the 2006 Peay Vinyards Pomeranian (?) Pinot Noir, which I highly recommend if you enjoy a Pinot with lots of structure and finesse -- not a fruit bomb that looks and tastes more like a Syrah (nothing against Syrah, mind you -- it's just that if I want Syrah I'll order Syrah). We were too full for dessert. A big thanks to KaimukiMan, as well, for the 3660 rec!
Day 3: Lunch was a total bust, but only because I had to eat at the resort where another family was staying. A friend of my son's from kindergarten was at the Kahala, and her family invited our son to go to the keiki club that morning until 1:00. After dropping him off, snorkling with my DH, and dropping said DH off at his meeting across town, I didn't have time to get lunch before picking up my son. I was starved when I got there and then had the distinct pleasure of waiting about 30 minutes and paying $19 (plus tax and 17% mandatory gratuity) for an ahi summer roll with chili dipping sauce. The fish was fresh, and the whole thing tasted fine, but $19? For something I could easily replicate at home? Grrr...
Dinner, on the other hand, was sublime. Went to Chef Mavro (without our son). we did the four course menu. Amuse bouche was a shot glass filled with a lovely cold lemongrass soup, tiny tapioca pearls, and a swirl of basil puree. It was everything an amuse bouche should be -- our mouths were definitely happy! The elements came together beautifully. Nothing seemed gratuitous. First course was grilled hamakua mushrooms. They had excellent flavor, and unfortunately I cannot remember what else was on the plate other than we loved the dish. Next we had the crispy fillet of flounder, coated in a rice flake crust. The crust was truly crispy and so light. We did feel that the tamarind sauce covering the plate overpowered the fish, both in terms of quantity and taste. The taste was nice, if a bit on the sweet side, but it was definitely a case of less would have been more in my opinion. For the third course, my DH had the mountain meadow lamb loin with a chick-pea crust, bulghur wheat, dates, up-country vegetables, and yogurt-garlic sauce. It was out of this world. I could not resist trying corned short ribs and ordered the wagyu beef and corned short ribs
that came with a fricassée of swiss chard, mustard crème fraiche, raïto sauce, and a little cracker of some sort. The carroway seeds in the chard were perfection. I kept taking little pieces of the cracker, some corned short rib, mustard creme fraiche, and chard and making the most amazing tiny corned beef sandwiches ever. The wagyu beef was so tender I could cut pieces with my fork (ordered medium rare). Ya, it was that good. As for the lilikoi malasadas dessert with guava coulis, pineapple-coconut ice cream? Dang. I mean dah-yung! All my favorite tropical flavors in the form of ice cream with a coulis and light-as-air donut holes? Are you kidding me? Total bliss.
Okay, I'm going to post this, take a break, and write about the next two days in a minute.