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This is the more upscale and newer outpost of the very casual Pita Paradise location in Kihei Kalama Village. The room is beautiful and welcoming, and the staff is knowledgeable and friendly; but it's the food that is the main event here. Lunch features affordable and delicious Greek/Mediterranean appetizers, fresh salads, and, of course, the signature pita sandwiches. The spicy falafel and Greek burgers are standouts. In the evening the restaurant is transformed into an Italian/Greek bistro with entrées like chicken fettucine and moussaka. Although you'll be tempted to fill up on the scrumptious food, save room for the award-winning baklava ice-cream pie—yes, you read that right!—made with Maui's own Roselani Hawaiian vanilla-bean ice cream. www.pitaparadisehawaii.com.
The renovations took a long time (almost nine months) and cost a lot of money (more than $5 million), but the result is spectacular. While the setting is anything but humble, the menu at Ko—which means "sugarcane" in Hawaiian—borrows treasured family recipes from plantation days. Executive Chef Tylun Pang adds modern, innovative twists to Hawaiian, Chinese, Filipino, Portuguese, Korean, and Japanese dishes. The cocktail and wine lists arrive via iPad. Take note of the tabletops—glassware, cutlery, plates, bowls, serving pieces. They are among the most handsome you'll see anywhere. www.ko.kealanifairmont.com. Credit cards accepted.
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.
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Oahu: Ocean House Restaurant
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