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Roy Yamaguchi is a James Beard award-winning chef and the granddaddy of East-meets-West cuisine. He has restaurants all over the world, but his eponymous Maui restaurant was one of the first, and it's still one of the best. It's loud and brassy with a young vibe, but come for the great food, even if the atmosphere isn't quite your thing. Signatures like fire-grilled, Szechuan-spiced baby back pork ribs, Roy's original blackened ahi tuna, hibachi-style grilled salmon, and the to-die-for hot chocolate soufflé have been on the menu from the beginning, and with good reason. Roy's wine list is exceptionally user-friendly. The service here is welcoming and professional. www.roysrestaurant.com. Credit cards accepted.
Part of a Japanese chain, this outpost in a mall is the first and only location in Maui. All of the ramen combinations are slurp-worthy, and the gyoza (dumplings) and local-style curries are reason enough to dine here. The portions are gigantic—seriously gigantic—so if you're not that hungry or just have a small appetite, you can order kid-size portions. The service is quick and friendly, and the prices are right. Credit cards accepted.
It's a bit of a drive, but when you get there you'll find a beautiful and comfortable restaurant with expansive views of the ocean below and the majestic mountains above. At this writing, Chef JoJo Vasquez was turning the menu upside down and infusing his own particular style. He calls his cuisine "Hawaiian Eclectic," and is renowned for sourcing as many local ingredients as possible. You won't be taking much of a chance if you choose Plantation House for dinner—Vasquez is a very talented chef. www.theplantationhouse.com. Credit cards accepted.
When it opened in 1995, this was an over-the-counter pizza place. It has evolved over the years into a local favorite serving Italian, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern comfort food as well as pizza. The pies are so popular because of the top ingredients—100% pure Italian olive oil, Maui produce whenever possible, and Maui Cattle Company beef. The menu also features gyros, falafel, grilled fish, rotisserie chicken, and tiramisu. www.pizzaparadiso.com. Credit cards accepted.
A couple of blocks off Front Street in Lahaina, this small restaurant packs a powerhouse of a menu with pizza, pastas, salads, and sandwiches. Heaping plates of reasonably priced, flavorful food make this low-key place a perfect alternative to an expensive night at the resort. House favorites include the cheesy baked penne in tomato cream sauce, and the linguine in clam sauce with lemon butter. There are nightly specials like the osso buco on Wednesday, made with lamb instead of veal and served with fettuccine and salad. Two can easily split a salad and entrée and leave completely sated. www.pennepastacafe.com. Credit cards accepted.
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Oahu: Ocean House Restaurant
Kauai: Plantation Gardens