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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.
Getting there is half—well, maybe a quarter—of the fun. Tucked in the back corner of a covered parking garage, Tokyo Tei is worth seeking out for wonderful Japanese food. At lunch you'll rub elbows with bankers and construction workers; at dinner, three generations might be celebrating Tutu's (grandma's) birthday at the next table. This is a bona fide local institution where for more than six decades people have come for the food and the comfort of familiarity. You'll find the freshest sashimi, feather-light yet crispy shrimp and vegetable tempura, and local-style bentos and plate lunches. www.tokyotei.com. Credit cards accepted. No lunch Sun.
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.
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Oahu: Ocean House Restaurant
Kauai: Plantation Gardens