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West Maui Trip Report 10/10 - 10/16 Part One

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West Maui Trip Report 10/10 - 10/16 Part One

YaYa77 | Nov 8, 2005 03:21 PM

I haven't had a chance to complete my trip review, so here is part one. Thanks for everyone who helped me plan my meals for this trip, overall, everything was GREAT!

To be honest, I was a little nervous about dining in Maui, I know there are great places to eat but I also know that it’s not on the same chow level as New Orleans (a favorite place to dine), NYC or Boston (I mean no offense to anyone, as you’ll see I had great dining experiences while there). I’ve lived in Boston and dined extensively there, San Francisco, and now I live in San Diego so I like to think I know my seafood. Luckily, we had many great meals, but I’d like to start out by noting the places we didn’t go, that I’d like to try next time we’re in West Maui. We missed Aloha Mixed Plate, Vino’s, Plantation House, Sansei & PacificO’s. I can’t wait to go back! By the end of the trip, we stayed in for two nights of dinners because we couldn’t eat anymore so I missed out on reservations at Vino and PacificO’s. We just couldn’t eat anymore!

Now on to the chow…

Kimos for lunch

Mixed Plate – The ribs were most and covered in a delicious bbq plum sauce that we couldn’t get enough of. The teriyaki chicken skewers were juicy and covered in just the right amount of teriyaki sauce, the macaroni salad was great, as macaroni salads go and the rice was your typical sticky white rice. Chicken Sandwich w/Maui Chips – Moist chicken breast covered in pineapple salsa. The pineapple salsa was a treat, but the sandwich could have used a little more of it. Hula Pie – Wow, loved this dessert. An oreo crust with macadamia nut ice cream covered in a layer of fudge and topped off with whipped cream. We almost finished it!

Excellent mai-tais and great ambience.

Old Lahaina Luau for dinner

Terrible! I realize you don’t go to luau’s for the food, but I was surprised with how mediocre, and at times downright terrible everything was. Before anyone thinks it’s because I’m not used to Hawaiin food, I can assure you that I have had other Hawaiian dishes cooked by friends who are native, and while in Maui, and the food at Old Lahaina Luau was in fact either overcooked, undercooked, or of poor quality. The kahlua pork and the banana bread were the only two things I enjoyed at dinner. The mahi mahi was so fishy and rubbery I lost my appetite after one bite. Everything else was so unremarkable that I can’t remember it to review it. The drinks were not only watery, they tasted like cheap powdered mixes. On the upside, the entertainment was great, and the tiny macadamia nut tarts served at dessert were pretty good. Took Maui Jon’s advice and cancelled Feast at LeLe so as not to spend two dining nights at luaus, so we’ll try the Feast next time we return.

Hula Grill for lunch

We started with the crab macadamia nut wontons that were recommended. They weren’t half as good as we’d hoped, and slightly bland. I had a fish sandwich with jalapeno aioli and my fiancé had the pork sandwich. Both were okay, the pork was better than the fish although the jalapeno aioli gave it a much needed kick. The drinks were so-so, the service was great and the views were fabulous.

Longhi’s for a drink

I think we met the world’s rudest bartender here. We had such pleasant experiences with many on Maui that this guy almost ruined our night out. He wouldn’t look at our faces when speaking to us and took forever to make our drinks because he was too busy chatting up the one other couple at the bar. He even threw our napkins at us for our drinks. We were flabbergasted. We felt better about things when looking at the unappetizing entrees coming out of the kitchen.

David Paul’s for dinner

I’ve read conflicting reviews on this place but we had an excellent experience. We arrived a half an hour early and were seated immediately. I forgot that the Reconstructed Roll was a must try and started with the WARM PECAN CRUSTED GOAT CHEESE AND BABY ARUGULA SALAD with Pears, roasted beets, Poha berry honey-mustard dressing. Any salad with warm goat cheese and beets is a salad I must try and it did not disappoint! I don’t remember exactly what my fiancé had for an entrée, I was too busy chowing down on mine. My entrée of choice was SAUTÉED MAHI-MAHI with Kula spinach, herb infused mashed potatoes, Gorgonzola, pancetta and Chardonnay beurre blanc. This was heavenly. The mahi mahi was the PERFECT texture and each entrée complimented the dish perfectly. I have to say that the portion sizes were rather large so I only ate about half. This may have been the best fish dish I have ever eaten. For dessert, as the trip was a celebration of fiance’s 30th, we ordered the sampler and they wrote “Happy 30th Birthday” in beautiful chocolate scrolling on the plate. The Triple Berry Pie was a standout and I’ve discovered the recipe is online and plan on making it come berry season. The Sunken Chocolate Cake and Crème Brulee were fabulous as well. Okay, everything on the plate was great and we decimated it. We didn’t feel rushed as others have mentioned, I believe we were there for a under two hours. Our meal was perfect in every way and we can’t wait to return.

On the way to Hana…

We stopped in Pa’ai for some snacks on the way to Hana. If you go there you MUST try Mana, a whole food market. Lots of great organic and natural foods. I had a breakfast burrito filled with eggs, cheese and rosemary potatoes. Delicious. We shared a giant hunk of homemade organic carrot cake with cream cheese frosting and I swear it was the best carrot cake I have ever had in my life. Moist with freshly grated carrots, large nuts and overall a great piece of cake.

Halfway to Hana ~ we had to stop here for some banana bread and it did not disappoint. Fresh out of the oven with chunks of banana and at least a stick or two of butter, just what the waistline needed after three days of mai tai’s and pina coladas. Somehow, the edges of the bread were just a little bit crisp (not burnt or hard) and with the warm soft center, it made the texture just perfect. I’m still dreaming of that banana bread.

Snack stand on the harbor in Hana. An unremarkable mixed plate, nothing to comment on.

Mama’s Fish House ~ I know there are dissenting views of this establishment, but our experience was incredible. Just walking down the tiki lit path watching the waves come up on the shore was enough to set the tone for a lovely night. I’ll start with the fact that our server was great. He made us feel at ease and even gave us a tasting of one of their specialty soups, coffee and a dessert on the house. The food was fabulous. I started with a trio of sushi/sashimi, I apologize that I don’t remember the names of the fish, I’m not so good at that. The first was in a pineapple tamarind sauce, I have an aversion to tamarind so they made it without and it was delicious and very fresh. The second was a roll with panko covered seaweed. Also very tasty. And finally, a type of white fish with freshly shredded parmesan. It was some of the best sushi I have ever had, and I live in San Diego which has some excellent sushi. My fiancé had the crab cake which was basically a cake of fresh crabmeat and a few fresh vegetables that somehow held together. He proclaimed it to be the best crab cake ever. I had the mahi mahi for my entrée which was on par with the prior night at David Pauls and my fiancé had a type of mixed plate with two different types of fish, kahlua pork, yam and something else I can’t remember because I was too busy enjoying my mahi mahi. Dessert was French pressed kona coffee and their signature pie of a type of mouse on a thick layer of caramel with a thick Oreo cookie crust. Beautiful ambiance and extremely fresh, well prepared fish. Yes it’s expensive, but it was less than David Paul’s and it is Maui. My one complaint would be the surly bartender. What is it with bartenders on Maui?

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