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At the top of many best-restaurants lists, this upscale bistro is about as fashionably chic as it gets on Maui. The food and service are consistently excellent and the place is abuzz with beautiful people every night of the week. The Cake Walk (little samples of Kona lobster crab cake, sweet Louisiana rock-shrimp cake, and seared ahi cake), toy-box tomato salad, and Kona-coffee-roasted rack of lamb are a few of the classics customers demand. Newer items include Maine lobsters flown in seasonally and seared California lion-paw scallops. The full menu—including dessert—is available at the bar. The interior is as pretty as its patrons. www.lahainagrill.com. Credit cards accepted. No lunch.
Year after year, Koho proves itself as a casual, family-friendly restaurant still worth recommending. If Hawaii had city-style diners, this would be Maui's version. For those looking for a hearty breakfast, a business lunch, or a quick, simple dinner, this is a great choice. Burgers, sandwiches, salads, sizzling fajitas, and pastas are all menu staples. Credit cards accepted.
This small, unassuming place across the street from Kalama Beach Park has a breakfast menu that runs the gamut from healthy yogurt-filled papaya to the local classic, loco moco—two eggs, ground beef patty, rice, and brown gravy—and everything in between. And the best thing about it is that the breakfast menu is served all day long. Prices are extremely reasonable and it's a good spot for people-watching. This is a popular place with locals so, depending on the time and day, you may have to wait for a table. www.kiheicaffe.com. Credit cards accepted. No dinner.
For a quiet, light dinner, or to meet friends for a cocktail and some ultrafresh sushi, head to this handsome restaurant on the lobby level of the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua. You have your choice of sushi, sashimi, and a list of rolls. The especially good Kai special roll combines spicy tuna, yellowtail, and green onion. In keeping with the hotel's commitment to the culture, the restaurant's design was inspired by the story of Native Hawaiians' arrival by sea; the hand-carved ceiling beams resemble outrigger canoes. www.ritzcarlton.com/kapalua. Credit cards accepted. Closed Tues. and Wed. No lunch.
Chef-restaurateur Beverly Gannon's second restaurant—named for her husband Joe—serves up classy comfort food alongside Island-inspired dishes (think ahi carpaccio, Joe's favorite meat loaf, and pumpkin seed-crusted fresh catch). Don't miss Joe's pastry chef daughter Cheech Shurilla's chocolate bread pudding. The wine list is user-friendly and features selections from both well-known and boutique vineyards. The restaurant overlooks the Wailea Tennis Center and is adorned with lots of fun memorabilia from Joe's days in show biz. www.bevgannonrestaurants.com. Credit cards accepted. No lunch.
The younger—okay, some would say "hipper"—sister restaurant of Pacific'O just across the walkway, focuses on fresh fish and produce from the owners' Upcountry farm. The influence, though, comes more from the Mediterranean than Asia. The nautical decor is contemporary, the menu is clever, the patio tables are truly beachfront, and the service is good. One of the partners—Stephan Bel Robert—is a wine connoisseur, so the lists at both restaurants are fantastic and surprisingly well priced. www.iomaui.com. Credit cards accepted. No lunch.
You don't have to wrestle with the restaurant's formidable name (it's Hawai'i's state fish); simply tell the valet or concierge you're going to Hoo-moo-hoo-moo. The Polynesian-style thatch-roofed, open-air restaurant "floats" atop a saltwater lagoon. It's exotic, romantic, and well suited for special occasions. Dinner is accompanied nightly by heavenly sunsets. Obviously, fresh fish dominates the menu here, but there's also Kobe beef, lamb, and even a vegetarian plate. For dessert, try an over-the-top coconut rice pudding tower or Humu hula pie. www.grandwailea.com. Credit cards accepted. No lunch.
A bustling and family-oriented spot on Kaanapali Beach at Whalers Village shopping center, this restaurant designed to look like a sprawling '30s beach house represents a partnership between TS Restaurants group and Hawaii Regional Cuisine pioneer chef Peter Merriman. They serve up large dinner portions of everything from fresh local fish and Maui Cattle Company beef to Hula Grill "traditions" like rosemary- and wood-roasted rack of lamb to sweet potato ravioli. Just in the mood for an umbrella-adorned cocktail and some pupu? Go to the Barefoot Bar where you can wiggle your toes in the sand while you sip. The beach is called "Dig Me"—you'll understand why after just a few moments. www.hulagrill.com. Credit cards accepted.
Right next door to their popular Mala Ocean Tavern, celebrity chef Mark Ellman and Judy Ellman opened this oceanfront fish house and pizza restaurant in 2011. Much of the seafood comes from the East Coast and Pacific Northwest: clams, crabs, mussels—and yes, Maui finally has lobster rolls. The pizzas are cooked in a wood-fired brick oven (is there any other way?). The wine list is fabulous. Judy designed the sleek, bright interior with white walls, abundant use of wood, and large windows: Honu makes the best of an unparalled ocean view. All in all, it's a hot new entry on the Maui dining scene. www.honumaui.com.
Chef-restaurateur Beverly Gannon's first restaurant remains a culinary destination after more than two decades. The big, rambling former plantation store has two dining rooms: sit in the front to be seen and heard; head on back for some quiet and privacy. Classic dishes like crab boboli, Asian duck tostada, grilled lamb chops, and many more are complemented with daily and nightly specials.To get here, take the exit on the left halfway up Haleakala Highway. www.bevgannonrestaurants.com. Credit cards accepted.
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