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Executive chef Tom Muromoto is a local boy who loves to cook modern, upscale Hawaiian food. He augments the various fresh fish dishes on his menu with items influenced by Hawaii's ethnic mix. This casual, open-air restaurant is the only place on Maui—maybe in Hawaii—where you can have a Native Hawaiian combination plate that is as healthful as it is authentic. Sunday brunch, complete with strolling Hawaiian musicians and hula dancers, is renowned here; and if you're around for any holiday, chow down at the amazing holiday brunch buffets. www.kbhmaui.com. Credit cards accepted. No lunch.
The name of the restaurant comes from the three young chefs who met working at a Wailea restaurant, only to decide in 2010 to strike out on their own. Each has a distinctive style (Hawaiian, Southwestern, and Pacific Rim), but somehow it all works. The food is good, with a large selection of salads, burgers, and flatbreads for lunch; fresh fish and steaks are served at dinner. There's also a raw bar, sushi, ceviche, and poke. The space is as big as the menu with three separate dining areas, plus an outdoor patio. www.threesbarandgrill.com.. closed for breakfast Mondays and Tuesdays.
Fragrant tea and coconut-ginger chicken soup begin a satisfying meal at this excellent Thai restaurant, set unassumingly in the middle of a shopping mall. The care and expense that goes into the decor—glittering Buddhist shrines, elaborate hardwood facades, fancy napkin folds, and matching blue china—also applies to the cuisine. Take an exotic journey with the fantastic pad Thai, special house noodles, curries, and crispy fried chicken. Can't decide? Try the family dinners for two or four. The fried bananas with ice cream are wonderful. There's a second location in Kahului's Maui Mall, a perfect choice before or after a movie at the megaplex. www.thailandcuisinemaui.com. Credit cards accepted. No lunch Sun.
In a very short time this wonderful spot has become one of Maui's best restaurants. It's way up above the highway in a light industrial park, but don't be discouraged by the location. Take the drive and you'll find a hip place and a welcoming staff that knows the meaning of "aloha." There's a communal table in the center of the room, smaller tables around the perimeter, and comfortable stools for those who like to eat at a bar. Menu musts include the Ahi Avo, pan-roasted brussels sprouts with bacon and kim chee purée, and really any of the noodle dishes, especially the Lahaina fried soup (fat chow fun, pork, bean sprouts). The cocktail list is fabulous and the lychee martinis served here may be the best on Maui. www.starnoodle.com. Credit cards accepted.
It's a marriage made in Hawaii heaven. The California cuisine of celebrity-chef Wolfgang Puck is combined with Maui flavors and served lobby level and oceanfront at the luxurious Four Seasons Resort. Try the spicy ahi tuna poke in sesame-miso cones to start, and then see what the chefs-in-residence can do with some of Maui's fantastic local fishes. Finish with a little wild lilikoi (passion fruit) crème brûlée with white chocolate-macadamia nut biscotti. Oh, it'll cost you, but the service is spot-on and the smooth, Asian-inspired decor allows the food to claim the spotlight. Credit cards accepted. No lunch.
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Oahu: Ocean House Restaurant
Kauai: Plantation Gardens