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Kauai Trip Report (Mostly Poipu)

Yum, those photos of the poke and the seared ahi make me want to be at Koloa Fish Market right now! And the prices are good too. Hooray! Our 22 year old some who will be with us could probably put away 3 of those pu'pu platters, though. I'll have to make sure he gets the Mac salad and 2 scoops rice to fill up!

Thanks for the Merriman's rec. We always mean to go, but don't usually stray far from our home base for dinner. The one time we went up to Kapalua for Merriman's, thinking to do sunset on the deck followed by dinner if we could get a table, the whole place was booked up for a special event. We always go by there at lunch time and wish they were open. Anyway, this time we are staying at the Kapalua Bay Villas and will definitely visit Merriman's. Maybe just wine and pupus, or maybe our special dinner. Can't wait!

And Beach Chick, I am excited to try Hamura's on Kaua'i! That should work for the budget. I have heard some good things about Mark's Place too, for plate lunch take out. Anyone have any advice about Mark's?
http://www.marksplacekauai.com

Thanks again!

Jan 07, 2014
terijoy in Hawaii

Kauai Trip Report (Mostly Poipu)

Katherine, thanks for all the great details. We'll be spending 5 nights in Poipu for the first time in March, so it's great to have your report. Koloa Fish Market sounds tasty! How are the prices? And your mouth watering description of Josselin's food places it firmly on my list of restaurants to consider.

Unfortunately this will have to be a lower budget trip for us, so only 1 or 2 really nice restaurants between Kaua'i and Maui.

I'm curious what you would choose as your top 2 or three of the places you've eaten on the 2 islands. Do you think there are any clear winners? I value your thoughtful opinions.

Jan 07, 2014
terijoy in Hawaii

Chocolate Covered Macadamia Nuts

How about Big Island's Donkey Balls?
http://donkeyballskona.com/catalog/c1...

Jan 07, 2014
terijoy in Hawaii
1

ISO Great Food Trucks on Oahu and Maui

Oh, darn! Nice research Kathryn! Thanks.

Dec 15, 2013
terijoy in Hawaii

ISO Great Food Trucks on Oahu and Maui

Itryalot, I have to disagree a little bit with Beach Chick on Jawz tacos. If you are at Big Beach and you want something right there, the tacos can hit the spot. But mostly because they really your only choice. I wouldn't make a special trip for them. The tacos are full of white rice and the fish is shredded. They are a bit overpriced. You can get much better fish tacos at Coconuts in Kihei or Fish Market Maui in Honokowai.

I've been hearing about a Korean taco truck in Kihei on Maui lately. Can't recall the name, maybe Gogi? Its supposed to be pretty good. Also look for roadside huli huli chicken stands.

If you go to Trip Advisor and do a search of the forums you will find lots of threads on food trucks in the Oahu and Maui forums. Oh, I recognize your name from TA, so maybe you already found your food trucks! Happy eating!

Dec 15, 2013
terijoy in Hawaii

Grocery shopping on Maui

Honu, I just received my order of coconut candy and lilikoi butter from Julia's. Delicious! But I wouldn't drive there, yikes!
http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-...

Best quote ever << Oh and the reason why the bread tastes good is because you are alive. Don't let anyone fool you. It's the taste of cheating death and it tastes like bananas.>>

Suzie, try Thai by Pranee and Coconut Glen's ice cream made from coconut milk, dairy free and delicious. Both will be open or closed sporadically, like most places in the Hana area.

And please consider listening to Beach Chick and others who tell you not to drive the Hana Highway in the dark especially after a long flight. Where are you coming from? Remember if from the mainland your body clock will be several hours later than Maui time.

If there is a storm, not unlikely in March, Hana Highway could even be closed with downed trees and rock slides. That is exactly what happened last March.

Please make a reservation for your first night near Kahului. The Inn at Mama's Fish House would be great. Then you could start with a fantastic dinner and a safe and peaceful first night, picking up groceries in the morning. You might want to check out Mana Foods in Paia, lots of nice local produce and other great foods.

We'll be in Kapalua and Makena in March. I'd love to do a long stay in Hana sometime too.
I hope your week in Hana is fantastic, peaceful and safe.

Dec 15, 2013
terijoy in Hawaii
1

Where to eat in Maui on Christmas Eve and Day?

Hi Oaktown,
Katherine and Beachchick list some very good restaurants on Maui.
Do you want to be "on Ka'anapali" so that you can walk from your resort? Are you staying in the main Ka'anapali area south of Black Rock?

If yes to both of those, Hula Grill right on the beach may be your best bet. Roy's would be a close walk up on the golf course. There is also Leilani's next to Hula Grill on the beach. Roy's will probably have better food, but the two beach front places will have better atmosphere. On Christmas day, though they will probably be crazy busy.

If you don't mind driving, do try Merriman's in Kapalua as Beach Chick mentioned. Or there are several good places in Lahaina. The best food is probably Lahaina Grill, but no view there. We really like Pacific'O or its sister next door, I'o for fantastic views.

And, it is farther away, but Mama's Fish House is my first choice for fantastic atmosphere and very good food for a celebration.

We have not been on Maui over Christmas yet, but one thing I noticed in reading reviews is that restaurants with generally excellent reviews have some very disappointed customers on the busy holidays. I think I would trust the service at Mama's for a wonderful meal on Christmas.

Have a Mele Kalikimaka

Dec 15, 2013
terijoy in Hawaii

Squid Luau on Maui or Kauai?

http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-...

Check out this discussion of squid luau on Trip Advisor. Post 6 (and others) state that it is actually made with octopus even though it's called squid lua'u. Places to get it on Kaua'i and Oahu are discussed in the thread too.

Nov 23, 2013
terijoy in Hawaii

Maui Food Recommendations?

Qwerty, I hope you do pop over to TA! Great information and people there!

Nov 23, 2013
terijoy in Hawaii

Maui Food Recommendations?

Since you have a short trip and almost all of your list is in South Maui, I'll give some recommendations that are just as good and much closer to you in West Maui. You won't have much time to see the other areas of the island and Kapalua and West Maui have plenty to offer you!

Ululani's Shave Ice, Lahaina, HI in West Maui - big yes! You'll want to visit Lahaina. If you are looking for a nice beach side restaurant in Lahaina, try Pacific'O at 505 Front Street. We eat there every year and lately it has been some of the very best food. You can't do better than the setting right on the beach. They are a real farm to table operation with their produce coming from their own upcountry O'o Farm, and their wonderful Aina Maui Mokka coffee. You can do a lunch tour of the farm too. Very good!

Also in Lahaina is Fleetwoods, whose rooftop is a great place for happy hour with views, music and fun drinks. They have a very cool sunset ceremony with bagpipes(!) as well as traditional Hawai'ian blowing of the conch shell and chanting. Its a very cozy and kind of chic setting with live music too.

Coconut's Fish Cafe (fish tacos)- instead try fish tacos from Fish Market Maui in Honokowai, yum!!!! It's basically a take out place with super fresh fish! Really good poke and and other fish too. I like their fish tacos better than Coconuts, super juicy fresh fish chunks. Ask for guacamole. This could take the place of Eskimo Candy and Paia Fish Market as well. Take your lunch across to Honokowai Beach Park. Also in this center is the Honokowai Okazuya and Deli, more delicious fresh fish for takeout! This joint was opened by a former Mama's Fish House chef.

Yee's orchard & fruit stand is in Kehei. Instead try Honokowai Farmers Market. Its a great fresh produce, health food, local foods store in the same center in Honokowai as the two mentioned above. On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings there is also an outdoor farmers market in the parking lot. Be sure to get some of their lilikoi cream cheese!

Kihei Caffe (good breakfast) - near you, try breakfast at the Sea House or Gazebo both in Napili just south of Kapalua with beautiful views on Napili Bay and famous breakfasts, as well as good happy hour deals at Sea House. Plantation House in Kapalua is another good breakfast place with fantastic views.

Eskimo Candy for poke - get your super fresh poke close to home at Fish Market Maui, mentioned above. You can have them make it to order. You choose your level of spice and ingredients. I also recommend you try poke anywhere and everywhere that you get the chance!

Mama's Fish House will not be near you but is worth the drive. See my other reply on that. Just know that if you will have only one special (expensive) meal, you may be happier at Merriman's right in Kapalua. Several people I know who consider themselves true foodies find the food there better than Mama's and the setting is lovely too.

Paia Fish Market - Mama's is in Paia and you won't have time to do two meals there. If you skip Mama's, Paia Fish Market is worth a stop, but we find it to be uneven sometimes. There are other fun, funky restaurants there like Cafe Mambo and Flatbread Co. The fish at Fish Market Maui in Honokowai will be as good or better.

Nov 23, 2013
terijoy in Hawaii
1

Maui Food Recommendations?

Though I love Mama's for an anniversary dinner, you will find exactly what you ask for at Merrimans right in Kapalua. You will have a gorgeous sunset view in a spectacular oceanfront setting. Enjoy the sunset on their oceanside deck winebar before dinner, or request a window table and enjoy a sunset dinner followed by dessert or coffee at the fire pit on the deck. And if want to indulge in drinks Kapaluas's resort shuttle will take you back and forth without worry about driving. You might even want to walk over on the amazing Kapalua Coastal Trail.

I do like the idea of celebrating at Mama's Fish House. I would do both, but make Mama's your farewell to Maui meal before the airport. Give yourself plenty of time to enjoy the experience without rushing it. You won't actually see the sun setting at Mama's on the north shore, but it is a beautiful place to be at sunset or during the afternoon. Try to time your visit so you get there before dark and can enjoy the beautiful grounds. It's a great place for photos. Mama's will treat you right on your anniversary. Be sure to let them know you are celebrating when you reserve, same for Merriman's.

Happy anniversary and have a wonderful time!

Nov 23, 2013
terijoy in Hawaii

ISO best foodie/entertainment/view experience on Oahu or Maui

Itryalot, sounds like you won't find what you are looking for on Oahu, but you may find a different story on Maui.

It's not a lu`au exactly, but you might really enjoy the Feast at Le'le on Maui. This is a sit down dinner with private tables at I'o restaurant, outdoors in a beautiful beach front setting.

You will be served courses representing 4 Polynesian traditions interpreted by chef James McDonald, using fresh local seafood and organic produce from their own upcountry O'o Farm. The Hawaiian portion includes the traditional lu`au favorite kalua pork, if that is a lu`au must for you. Each course has very good wine pairings or you may order the same cocktails served in the restaurant, not watered down.

Each course is also accompanied by traditional dancing from the same geographic location. These are usually very good dancers, and the diners are seated right by the stage. The service is excellent. They are happy to personalize a menu for any dietary needs including vegetarian, or allergies.
http://www.feastatlele.com/
The sooner you reserve the better your table. If you are not sure, reserve with a phone call and you will not be charged, online reservations will charge your credit card. You can cancel within, I think, 24 hours of reservation time.

Also on Maui, if you are staying south, is the new Ulalena Lu`au at Makena Beach and Golf Resort. The setting is gorgeous, and Ulalena is a very well reviewed Hawai'ian dance show, now adapted to a lu`au format. The food is again, not the typical lu`au food and is served at your table rather than offered buffet style. I haven't tried it yet, but it sounds good. We did have dinner at Makena's restaurant in January since we were staying there, and were surprised at the excellent quality. Makena is undergoing a real transformation since new ownership took over a couple of years ago. And from what we've experienced, the new lu`au is definitely worth a try. I believe it's offered on Sunday and Wednesday nights.
http://www.makenaresortmaui.com/dinin...

Hope you have a wonderful trip!

Sep 14, 2013
terijoy in Hawaii

Maui with kids under 8 - Feedback on my plan please!

Smiles, sounds like you had a wonderful trip! I love to do the happy hour for dinner, and we don't even have young kids. But we only seem to need two meals a day when we are on Maui anyway. If we don't make a meal of small plates we usually order a pupus and split an entrée. The restaurants almost always plate it up separately for us at no extra charge, often with what seems like extra sides.

I am wondering if Star Noodle has gone downhill at all since chef Sheldon Simeon has left. Was this your first time there? Has anyone else eaten there both during and after his time?

KO sounds very good. It will have to go on our list for next trip.

Thanks for sharing your trip!

Sep 14, 2013
terijoy in Hawaii

West Maui - cooking and eating on the cheap

Fish Market Maui in Honokowai is also the place to get your fresh fish, not cheap, but super fresh, right off the truck! The owner of the shop is a fisherman, I believe. They will make fresh poke to order for you too, so good!

Mar 09, 2013
terijoy in Hawaii

Oahu and Maui authentic local food advise

Beach Chick, have you had your Maui trip yet? Did you try Coconuts?
Well, we finally tried both Jawz and Coconuts fish tacos, and enjoyed them both, but didn't really find either to be rave-worthy. The Maui fish tacos I am raving about are from The Fish Market in Honokowai!!!
They were exactly what I was hoping to get at Coconuts. Big juicy chunks of super-fresh ono, seasoned with a kick! Perfect corn tortillas, cabbage, nice tomatoes, really good salsa and topped with rich guacamole, yummmm.
I should've been tipped off at Coconut's when the menu bragged about being low fat!! Hey, fat carries the flavor after all. Not that Coconut's wasn't good, they were. But I was expecting them to blow me away, and they didn't. The Fish Market did! And their other food was wonderful too. Also had poke and fresh fish to cook at home.
I really recommend The Fish Market!
http://www.fishmarketmaui.com/
Anyone else have an opinion on this place or Coconut's Fish Cafe?

Feb 01, 2013
terijoy in Hawaii

Stinger Ray's at maui airport

The kalua pork itself is pretty good, but no better than I can get from my crock pot at home. We had some on nachos before our flight out. And I've always liked their mai tais, but this trip I was just tired of sweet drinks. I didn't find Stinger Rays to be anything more than typical airport food.

Jan 30, 2013
terijoy in Hawaii

Maui with kids under 8 - Feedback on my plan please!

A stop at upcountry Surfing Goat Dairy with the kids is fun too.

Jan 02, 2013
terijoy in Hawaii

West Maui Trip Report with school-age kids

Thanks for the details. We will do Merriman's at least for a sunset drink and pupus. I think I may call first, though. A year ago we stopped by when they open at 3:00 pm, but that day they were closed for a private party. We never made it back.
Oh, and we loved the O'o Farm lunch tour as well. Here's a picture of the outdoor kitchen complete with chickens!

Dec 28, 2012
terijoy in Hawaii

West Maui Trip Report with school-age kids

Thanks for sharing, Jacolis! I'd love to hear what you had at Merrimans and what made it your best meal on Maui. Can you also tell what you liked at Honokowai Okazuya & Deli? Those are two places that we haven't tried yet and are on our list of maybes for next month. Thanks!

Dec 25, 2012
terijoy in Hawaii

Oahu and Maui authentic local food advise

Woops! Sorry Kathryn - I'll try again
Kathryn gave you a good list!

Dec 03, 2012
terijoy in Hawaii

Oahu and Maui authentic local food advise

Very cool, honu! Thank you for the story.

Dec 03, 2012
terijoy in Hawaii

Oahu and Maui authentic local food advise

Hali'imale General Store is on my want-to-do list for our upcountry day this year. We never have enough days! Husband wants to do the wood fired oven pizza at Kula Lodge. Not sure who will win, but I bet Bev Gannon's food is better. However we can always do one of her other places in South Maui. What do you think, is Hali'imale her best? We really enjoyed our O'o Farm lunch tour upcountry last year too.

Dec 03, 2012
terijoy in Hawaii

West Maui Mostly 2012.11.16

Thanks for the report mrsharkbait. Great details.
Have not heard of Fu Lin before, sounds delicious! I see it's on Front Street, is there any view? We may try it for take out if not. I have to eat outdoors with an ocean view in Hawaii!

Dec 03, 2012
terijoy in Hawaii

Oahu and Maui authentic local food advise

Thanks Beach Chick! I've always meant to try Jaws, but we usually only get to South Maui one or two days on our trips and I love MonkeyPod so we eat there. This time we will stay south for part of our trip, so we should def try Jaws and Coconuts too.

Promise i will wait until the sun shines brightly before i go into the water. I have snorkeled with a four foot white reef tip shark and was curiously not afraid. If a tiger shark wants me I probably won't see it coming. But the same goes for getting hit by a car crossing the street and I will still do that, as well as swim and snorkel in the ocean - following safety rules of course.
Then I'll go get me some fish tacos!

Dec 03, 2012
terijoy in Hawaii

Oahu and Maui authentic local food advise

Staying in Makena in January..... snorkeling every morning...... I will not fear sharks.... I will not fear sharks..... I will not fear sharks.... ommmmmmmmm......
:-)

Dec 03, 2012
terijoy in Hawaii

Oahu and Maui authentic local food advise

Oh wait, I do have one don't miss rec for Oahu. The Saturday Farmer's Market at the community college! So many wonderful things to try there! I especially loved the miso butterfish. We picked up lots of fresh fruits and herbs to muddle into some delicious drink concoctions too!

Dec 03, 2012
terijoy in Hawaii

Oahu and Maui authentic local food advise

Beach Chick - Have you tried the fish tacos at Coconuts Fish Cafe? From most reports, these are some of the best fish tacos anywhere. They use big juicy chunks of fish (not the fish shreds that Jaws uses) and something like 18 other fresh ingredients. Everyone says they are fantastic! Can't wait to try them in January.

QBall - Ive only been to Oahu once, so my recs are all for Maui. I'd say put Coconuts for fish tacos on your must do list. And also, very important, it is *shave ice* NO *d*. ;-) The only shave ice you need to try is Ululani's! Their ice is amazingly powdery fine and their syrups are made from scratch with real local fruits. The lilikoi is my favorite with li hing mui powder! If you must try another shave ice place go ahead and compare, but don't miss Ululani's!

Also you might want to try Kamoda Store and Bakery upcountry in Makawao, but go early before they run out of their famous cream puffs and other yummies.

The Fish Market in Honokowai is another stop for great, not fancy, food at a good price. Their original chef, and his recipes, came from Mama's Fish House.

We've enjoyed Old Lahaina Luau a couple of times, it's a fun experience. Load up your plate with the Ahi poke and kalua pork, and try the poi with the pork. Some of the other food is barely edible and not worth the calories imho. You can get great kalua pork and poke at other places. Have you looked at the option of doing Feast at Lele?

Oh, another good place to try is Mana Foods in Paia. It's a natural food store with lots of cool local products, including unusual fruits and some good prepared foods too. I always stop and get some produce and red salt among other things.

Karen gave you a good list, too. We plan to try Local Food in Lahaina in January as well. I'll come back with our impressions of these places, and we can see if we agree or not!
Have a great trip!

Dec 03, 2012
terijoy in Hawaii

Amasia - Alan Wong's Maui

Thanks Bill! It sounds like we should definitely stop by Amasia.

Dec 03, 2012
terijoy in Hawaii

Amasia - Alan Wong's Maui

Thanks for the link macaraca, but it looks like there is no free access.

Anyone have first hand experience at Amasia lately? Do you think it would be worth a stop for one drink and one or two shared small plates? If so what would you order?

On Maui we like to keep it light and sort of graze our way through the island day. In January we will stay South Maui for the first time. We plan to do our hotel breakfast buffet (included) as a brunch after some early morning snorkeling and other outdoor activities. Then explore and eat as we go.

Any other suggestions for grazing in South Maui, Paia and upcountry? We may do a full lunch at Mama's or Hali'imale if we can't resist, but really, we want to keep it light so we can keep our energy going, focusing on local fresh fish and produce. We'd love to take advantage of any happy hour deals offered too. Thanks so much for sharing any experience you might have.

Nov 22, 2012
terijoy in Hawaii

Searching for casual spots in Maui

See Star Noodle chef Sheldon Simeon on this season's Top Chef. He's made the cut for the first two shows. His team won the challenge in show 2.

Nov 17, 2012
terijoy in Hawaii