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This nicely appointed open-air restaurant gives hotel dining a better name. The ocean views are stunning, and the gentle trade winds cool the night air. The glassed-in sushi bar is gorgeous. But it's the food that makes Japengo worth a visit. The award-winning sashimi-style hamachi and watermelon is delicious, while the fresh local fish is well prepared and perfectly accompanied. Many dishes are offered in half-portions at half-price, the better to taste more of the creative menu. Perhaps most surprising are the desserts, which are crazy good. Even if dessert translates for you to "chocolate," the flaming piña colada crème here will change your mind forever. www.maui.hyatt.com/hyatt/hotels-maui/entertainment/dining_detail.jsp?itemDesc=fboutlet&itemId=1003060. No lunch.
Eskimo Candy has been one of Maui's best fresh fish purveyors for many years. Their casual little restaurant/takeout place/fish market allows visitors and residents to enjoy the same fresh fish cooked in many of Maui's best restaurants. Everthing on the menu is delicious. Signatures include Davey Jones' fish-n-chips, the big kahuna fish platter, and Captain Charlie Butterfly's famous fish burger. They make several varieties of poke (Hawaiian ceviche) fresh daily. If you're staying somewhere with kitchen/grilling facilities, get your fresh fish here. Be sure to look at their fabulous T-shirt designs and cool packaging. www.eskimocandy.com. Closed weekends.
The spot's the thing—the view is amazing—at this casual eatery just steps from the beach on the grounds of the Honua Kai Resort & Spa. The food is reliable, the decor all surfer-dudes and little grass shacks, and the signature cocktails big and umbrella-garnished. The fresh fish is a good bet, and you'll know from the aroma when you enter that there are burgers on the grill. Kimo's original hula pie is reason enough to come. You can buy the cool retro plate on which it's served for 20 bucks. www.dukesmaui.com.
Golf is golf, and Hawaii is part of the United States, but Island golf nevertheless has its own quirks. Here are a few tips to make your golf experience in the Islands more pleasant.
If you are a fish or shellfish lover, then this is the place for you. One of the most wildly popular restaurants in Hawaii with locations on three islands, Sansei takes sushi, sashimi, and contemporary Japanese food to a new level. Favorite dishes include the mango-and-crab-salad handroll, panko-crusted-ahi sashimi roll, Asian shrimp cake, Japanese calamari salad, and Dungeness crab ramen with Asian-truffle broth. There are great deals on sushi and small plates for early birds and night owls. This busy restaurant has several separate dining areas, a sushi bar, and a bar area, but the focus is squarely on excellent food and not the ambience. www.sanseihawaii.com. Credit cards accepted. No lunch.
The flavors of Old Mexico are given new life here, where a dozen chilies are used to create the salsas. The owner, a former high-end food and beverage pro, spent three years visiting authentic eateries in 40 Mexican cities before opening this place. Tucked into an older and unfancy mall, this restaurant requires you to order at the counter and fill your own disposable beverage cup at the soda fountain. But as soon as you bite into a chipotle-citrus rotisserie chicken plate or, really, anything on the menu, you'll forget all about the plastic cutlery and lack of a view. The brilliantly colored, clever decor—a collection of worn-from-duty tortilla presses, now hand-painted—coupled with consistently excellent food at affordable prices more than makes up for the lack of fine dining amenities. www.cilantrogrill.com. Credit cards accepted.
You can tour Maui's only winery and its historic grounds, the former Rose Ranch, and sample such wines as Ulupalakua Red and Upcountry Gold. The top seller, naturally, is the pineapple wine, Maui Blanc. The tasting room is a cottage built in the late 1800s for the frequent visits of King Kalakaua. The cottage also contains the Ulupalakua Ranch History Room, which tells colorful stories of the ranch's owners, the paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) tradition that developed here, and Maui's polo teams. The old Ranch Store across the road may look like a museum, but in fact it's an excellent pit stop. The elk burgers are fantastic. www.mauiwine.com. COST: Free. OPEN: Daily 10--5; tours at 10:30 and 1:30.
Hawaii's favorite casual, eat-in, or takeout restaurant, Zippy's was founded more than 45 years ago. Today Oahu has more than two dozen locations from which to choose, and Maui waited a long time to get one. It's a 24-hour-a-day (takeout only after midnight Sun.-Thurs.), diner-type place with a big menu. Spaghetti with chili, oxtail soup, Korean chicken, chicken katsu, noodles, burgers, and burritos are just a few of the tasty menu options. Napoleon's Bakery counter up front serves its only-in-Hawaii-style turnovers, pies, cakes, and pastries, as well as made-to-order malasadas and andagi. www.zippys.com. Credit cards accepted.
As far as hotel dining goes, this beautifully appointed, oceanfront restaurant serving fare infused with European, Pacific, and Hawaiian influences is as cool, calm, comfortable, and delicious as it gets. Start with an exceptionally creative cocktail—the martinis are superb—or a glass of wine from a long, excellent list. Then, indulge in the chili-grilled tako (octopus), Hamakua mushroom stone-baked flatbread, and one of the delectable fresh fish preparations. As a sweet way to end your meal, try the "Study in Chocolate." This is a perfect spot for that special Maui dinner. www.westinmaui.com. Credit cards accepted. Closed Mon. and Tues. No lunch.
It's more "Island-style" than Hawaii, and yes, it's a chain, but the food is consistently great, the service is filled with aloha, and the ambience is just so Island refined. Try the ahi poke napoleon (with capers, sesame, guacamole, and flatbread), the Kalua pork or blackened fish sandwich, any of the generous salads, or the local fish preparations. The crab bisque is worthy of a cross-island drive, as are the desserts. The cocktails are among the best and most creative on the Island. www.tommybahama.com. Credit cards accepted.
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Oahu: Hau Tree Lanai
Maui: Mama's Fish House
Kauai: The Beach House