A Love Letter to Maui

Get ready for a love fest.

Maui means so much to me.  Not just because it’s incredibly beautiful, which it is, but because it holds a lot of really precious memories for me.  I lived there for the first few years of my life on a small mom-and-pop style resort managed by my grandparents, known as “Tutu” and “Papa” to me. I took my first steps on Napili Beach, was later christened there by a Hawaiian minister when I was a year old (I was even given my very own Hawaiian name, which my dad had tattooed on his arm, as did my husband eventually) and then got married there twenty years later on that same stretch of sand.  Maui is home in a lot of ways, the place I feel the most connected to, my own little “kokomo” I head to whenever I need to recharge and rejuvenate. Over the years, I’ve brought a lot of friends to Maui in the hopes that I could share with them everything the island brings to my life, and it’s enchanted them just the same.  There’s a reason why it’s referred to by the Hawaiians as “The Magic Isle”.  Because it’s special and it’s blessed, and I feel like every time I’m there, it passes some if its blessings on to me.

And since this blog’s called Happy Opu and all (opu means tummy in the Aloha State), I figured I better pay proper homage with a blog showcasing my top ten favorite places to chow down on Maui.  These are my absolute favorite spots to hang out, kick back, relax, and get happy!  But be warned: you’re gonna want to hop a plane and get lei’d ASAP after reading this. Which you should, really and truly.  You owe it to you!

Some quick tips to start with, though: Maui’s great to visit all year round, but the most spectacular time to go is during whale season, which is generally from November to March.  No matter what patio you’re sipping mai tais on, you’ll be able to see humpback whales breeching out in the channel between the islands pretty much daily (this gets even more exciting with more mai tais!). You’ll notice that most of the restaurants I’ve included are on Maui’s west side, which in my opinion is the best place to stay.  If you usually stay in Kihei or Wailea, try the west side just once, especially further north.  It’s less touristy, more off-the-beaten-path, and less commercial, which is really what Maui is all about anyway. Try finding a condo in Napili Bay, one of Maui’s best kept secrets for swimming and sunbathing, or nearby Kahana or Honokowai. Plenty of great ones can be found on www.vrbo.com all depending on what your needs may be, and renting directly from the owners saves you a lot of coin in the long run. Screw the Hyatt, guys: renting your own condo is the way to go! Also, if you want to see the entire island in all its splendor–and you do–it’s imperative to rent a car.  The island is easy to navigate, so you don’t have to worry about getting lost, and it’s truly the best way to get the most out of your visit to Maui.

Alright.  On to more important matters.  Let’s EAT:

#10. Kimo’s

Situated smack-dab in the middle of Front Street, Kimo’s is a Lahaina institution. I can’t remember a trip to Maui that didn’t include at least three afternoons spent on Kimo’s patio, sipping mai tais ($5.50 during happy hour!) and eating plates of smoked marlin while we waited for the sun to set.  The view’s the best you’re going to get in Lahaina, the ocean lapping underneath the deck and the island of Lanai looming in the distance with a glittering stretch of ocean in between.  It’s pure magic.  The food’s good too, especially the mu shu kalua pork, succulent and juicy shredded pork served with little tortillas for wrapping and plum sauce for dipping.  Kimo’s is more of a place to go for pupu’s (that means appetizers– you’ll be able to say it with a straight face soon, I promise) and cocktails from 3pm-5pm when the prices are right, the sun’s setting, and the live music starts up.  FYI: I’d skip the Hula Pie, a giant ice cream cake monstrosity that has “I’m an ass-hat tourist who just likes the word hula” written all over it.  Best to chow down on lots of that pork and head elsewhere once it gets dark.  www.kimosmaui.com

A sunset at Kimo's on a stormy day STILL looks this beautiful, guys!
Me, a few mai tais deep, perhaps.

#9. Roy’s Kahana Bar & Grill

And why the heck wouldn’t you go to Roy’s?  Now, let me just defend myself, here: yes, Roy’s is a chain, with a total of thirty-one restaurants all over the world and a whole slew of cookbooks for sale at Barnes & Noble.  Roy’s like the Gordon Ramsay of Hawaii, James Beard award and all.  But guess what?  Roy Yamaguchi is no slouch.  He knows what he’s doing, and I have never, ever been disappointed with either the food or the service at a Roy’s restaurant (wish I could say the same for Mr. Ramsay).  The location in Kahana is situated just off the Honoapi’ilani Highway, which is the main highway servicing West Maui, in a mini-mall facing the road. Meaning, don’t go here for sunset.  But the food is spectacular, truly Hawaiian-fusion at its best, complete with an amazing Wagyu beef “loco moco”, a kind of Hawaiian-style egg and meat hash, and plenty of locally caught fish (ono, opa, ahi, mahi mahi) prepared in a variety of delicious ways.  We always start with the canoe for two, which is an appetizer sampler featuring the restaurant’s best-sellers– grilled Szechuan pork ribs, the lobster potstickers, an excellent spicy tuna roll coated in panko and flash fried, seared tiger shrimp, and some sesame-dusted blackened ahi.  I almost always order the misoyaki butterfish for my main course, a seriously tender and sweet melt-in-your-mouth piece of fish soaked in a miso sauce, with the kalua pork fried rice on the side, if they have it. And my husband Matty always cracks out and gets a double order of those Szechuan ribs, cuz he’s crazy like that.  And no matter how full you are, end with the molten chocolate souffle.  You’re on vacation.  Live it up.  Get fat.

PS. If you’re up for it, Maui Brewing Company is in the same mini-mall.  It’s a local hangout, it’s super casual, and a great place to go if you’re sick of mai tais (apparently this can happen?).  It’s also got this nifty wrap around bar with an ice strip to rest your pint on so it doesn’t get too warm.  Try a coconut porter or a pau hana (which means “done work for the day” in Hawaii) pilsner while you watch surf videos on the TV.



#8. The Gazebo

Since breakfast is the most important meal of the day, I had to showcase my very favorite breakfast joint on the island.  The Gazebo is a fabulous little spot to start your day, with one of the best views around. The Gazebo sits on the Napili Shores Resort property (Dad used to be one of the maintenance men there) overlooking the ocean and beautiful Napili Bay.  There’s almost always a daunting-looking line, but it moves fast, and there’s free help-yourself coffee out front while you wait. Plus, it’s so beautiful there, don’t you dare complain about waiting, you lucky nut!  Once you get inside, the service is fast and friendly, and the food’s delish.  Start off with an ice cold glass of POG (pineapple orange guava juice– a hangover cure if I’ve ever found one) and then try one of their many ginormous omelettes, or a plate of buttery fried eggs and portuguese sausage.  Or if you’re like me, get serious and order a short stack of their famous macadamia nut buttermilk pancakes, complete with coconut syrup and whipped butter… Not exactly bikini-friendly, but by now you should know that bikini-friendly eating isn’t exactly my first priority.

Overlooking The Gazebo
This is the "waiting area" for the Gazebo. For serious!!

The Gazebo: 5315 Lower Honoapiilani Rd    96761

#7. Mala Ocean Tavern

And now for a little romance…..  Mala is at the far north end of Front Street in Lahaina, away from the hustle and bustle and perched on a stretch of rocky beach overlooking the ocean.  This is as close to the water as it gets, and it’s the perfect place for a romantic sunset dinner.  Its lanai (deck) is tiny, so get there early to ensure a great table and also to take part in happy hour, from 3pm-430pm.  Have a glass of house-made sangria and some pomegranate-ginger chicken wings, and then tuck in on the lanai to watch the sun go down. The food overall doesn’t take itself too seriously, focusing instead on what’s available and what’s fresh, and I guarantee you’ll always have a fabulous and unpretentious meal here.  Try the seared ahi bruschetta with edamame puree, a sauteed freshly caught opakapaka (a Hawaiian snapper once only reserved for royalty because opakapaka has to be caught in deep water– a heck of a lot easier nowadays, thankfully, because it’s insanely delicious) in a tomato cream sauce made with tomatoes grown right on the island, an organic chicken grilled on lava rocks, or hoisin glazed baby back ribs.  Get the chef Mark Ellman’s signature “Caramel Miranda” for dessert, a plate coated in caramel and served with the freshest grilled fruit available and macadamia nut ice cream.  OHMYGOD.


#6. Aloha Mixed Plate/The Old Lahaina Luau

Why am I fitting two in here at once you, ask?  A. because it’s my blog, and B. because the food comes out of the same glorious kitchen for both places. First, let me tell you about the Old Lahaina Luau, which happens to be one of my favorite places/things/shows to visit in the world.  If you’ve never been to a luau, they’re giant outdoor parties with a buffet of Hawaiian delicacies, hula dancers, and lots of happy revelers.  Maui has a lot of them (luaus and revelers), offering deals as cheap as $50 for all you can eat and drink plus a show, but none of them I repeat NONE of them compare to the Old Lahaina Luau. For one thing, it’s authentic, complete with a big ol’ pig wrapped in ti leaves and buried in an “imu” (underground oven in the sand).  Its location and setting can’t be beat either, a beautiful grass area with a low stage encased in lava rock, palm trees and the ocean as its backdrop, and smiling shirtless boys (I said shirtless) sporting tribal tattoos serving you cool drinks as you lounge on the grass.  You can choose from traditional seating with cushions on the floor (choose that) or conventional chair seating, and each table is called up one at a time to fill their plates with as much food as they want from the buffet.  It’s insane– steamed purple sweet potatoes with lilikoi (passionfruit) butter, ahi poke (diced raw ahi tuna in an onion and soy sauce, served cold), tender crab and pea salad, lomi lomi salmon (salted salmon with tomatoes and sweet Maui onion), guava-glazed chicken, plenty of crispy fried rice, and that pork: cooked until it falls apart, running with juice, salty sweet and oh so ono!  Which means delicious.  Following dinner, you’ll be treated to a spectacular show, telling the story of how Hawaii came to be, and all the while those shirtless boys are bringing you as many cocktails from the open bar as you can handle. Did I mention all of this costs only $95?!?!  My favorite lunch spot Aloha Mixed Plate is right next door, so you can have that delicious food the very next day all over again on the cheap: a traditional Hawaiian plate lunch of one scoop macaroni salad, two scoops rice, and your choice of soy sauce marinated chicken, grilled mahi mahi, teriyaki beef, or coconut prawns.  DOUBLE OMG!

The lovely ladies at Old Lahaina Luau
Us after getting lei'd



#5. Merriman’s

Perched atop a bluff in Kapalua, Merriman’s is the perfect, best, most gorgeous place to watch the sunset on the entire island.  Sure, you could drive all the way up to the Haleakala crater, but there ain’t no wine bar at the crater.  Merriman’s has it all figured out: chilled glasses of Ca’Vittoria Prosecco (25% off from 3pm-5pm every day), goat cheese with a strawberry and Kula onion salad, kalua pork quesadillas with mango chili sauce, mini Maui cattle filet and applewood bacon sliders with blue cheese mayo, lobster avocado and tomato salad, parmesan truffle fries… Settle in on the deck at the point, put your feet up, and savor this moment.  It’s as good as it gets. Thank you, Peter Merriman, you friggin’ genius, you.


#4. David Paul’s Island Grill

We stumbled upon David Paul’s one night in Lahaina after a few cocktails at Kimo’s, in search of somewhere with great food that could take our large party on short notice.  David Paul’s is on a quieter stretch of Front Street, located just past the Hard Rock Cafe in a relatively vacant mini mall.  It has no frills and gimmicks out front to entice people to come in, Jimmy Buffett isn’t on the stereo full blast, “Aloha” prints aren’t burning your retina everywhere you look… It’s simply an elegant, understated, beautifully designed room with a relaxed patio, perfect for settling in to enjoy some seriously delicious food.  And if you ask me, this place slays the majority of restaurants in Lahaina, and it deserves to be packed to the rafters every night.  Start off with the “reconstructed California roll”– a sweet and tender crab salad with avocado relish and fried nori threads.  Order the pancetta wrapped beef tenderloin with sauteed tiger shrimp for the main course, or choose from one of the many delectable specials they have on that day.  Once when we were there, they had a glazed grilled quail stuffed with goose liver and served with truffle mashed potatoes, a concoction that I think may have made me gleefully scream, “What the fuck did you just say?!”  (You know how I feel about delicious little birds!)  Also: their french fries are fried in duck fat and served with truffle ketchup.  Just go.  GO!


#3. The Pineapple Grill

So… little disclaimer: I have spent many, MANY nights lounging at the bar at The Pineapple Grill, sampling pupus and drinking the night away with my cohorts, getting to know the bartenders (Hi, Megan!) and basically acting like I own the place.  They treat us extremely well, and for that I am totally thankful.  But I swear, I’m not biased in giving it the #3 slot!  There’s a reason we keep going back: it’s always great, always relaxed, always friendly, and even (at least for Maui standards) affordable. For instance, every Thursday their extensive pupu list is 50% off from 5:30pm-10:30pm, as well as 8pm-10pm on Fridays and Saturdays. We’re talking kalbi flat iron beef satay, shiitake and pork hash in butter lettuce cups, ahi and salmon tartare, miso sake grilled shrimp, ahi tacos, short rib sliders, etc. etc. etc.  Even better?  Almost everything they use is locally raised on farms on the island.  Oh, and did I mention their wine list is like something out of a dream, with about 100 wines to choose from?  And those bottles are 50% off every Wine Wednesday?  You starting to see why I frequent this place a lot??  See you there.


#2. Sansei

I’m going to try to write this without drooling all over my keyboard.  Sansei. Is. Awesome.  I simply cannot go to Maui without having at least two meals at Sansei.  It’s sometimes our last stop before we head to the airport to fly home, because I just need to have one last crab and mango salad hand roll before I go.  There are two locations, one in Kihei and one in Kapalua (the one we frequent the most), and there’s always a wait for a table, unless you’re smart and book a reservation well ahead of time.  They have a late night happy hour after 10pm with half price sushi (and karaoke!), but my advice is, make a reservation between 7 and 9 to avoid the huge crowd.  You can always stay for sake and karaoke after, when you’re good and full.  Order the calamari salad sauteed in a sweet and spicy vinaigrette, the panko crusted ahi roll with wasabi butter sauce, the miso butterfish, the Sansei special roll with spicy crab and thai chili sauce, or the shrimp dynamite: flash fried tender shrimp tossed in the most incredible garlic aioli and drizzled in eel sauce.  Really, you can’t go wrong, no matter what you order.  Plus, Sansei’s a fun place to hang out, and you don’t have to get all gussied up… I’ve been known to wear flip flops and sweat pants, chow down on as much as I can get down my gullet, and then break out a little Grease Lightnin’ on the karaoke machine.  You’ll have a blast.  Promise.  Unless you happen to be there when I’m singing after a few sakes, in which case, I apologize.


#1. Mama’s Fish House

And the grand finale…. Mama’s.

Mama’s is one of my favorite restaurants in the whole wide world.  If I were sentenced to death for breaking into Christian Louboutin and vandalizing millions of dollars worth of shoes (a heinous crime worthy of the death penalty), this is the place where I would have my last meal.  Mama’s is simply and truly one of the most extraordinary restaurants in the country.  Nestled on a private beach on the outskirts of Paia (you’ll pass Paia if you brave the dreaded Road to Hana– which if you do decide to take on, do yourself a favor and spend the night in Hana when you get there instead of turning around and heading back.  Less pain.  More mai tais.), Mama’s Fish House sits in a converted beach house amidst a cluster of palm trees.  Put your name in for a table and settle in one of the nearby hammocks to wait, or better yet, make a reservation so you can get to eatin’ that much quicker.  The ambiance is romantic and relaxed old-Hawaii, with tiki torches and soft Hawaiian music playing, comfy throw rugs and wicker chairs inviting you to kick back and make yourself at home.  The service is always top notch, warm people who really care about the experience you’re going to have and who take a lot of pride in the food they’re presenting.  Fair warning, friends: you’re going to pay a hefty bill at the end of this meal, but I’ve never felt sorry about it, and neither should you.  This is a treat to be enjoyed and relished with abandon!  For goodness sake, order a mai tai, which is one of the best and booziest mai tai’s on Maui, and listen to the servers entice you with the daily specials, complete with which fisherman caught what, when, and where.  Cool!  DO NOT MISS the wasabi crusted calamari to start, as well as the stupidly yummy Polynesian lobster soup with coconut.  Then dig into the grilled ahi sandwich with applewood smoked bacon and Vermont cheddar, served with a pile of Molokai sweet potato fries.  Or, go big or go home: get the stuffed mahimahi, a juicy piece of fish crammed with the freshest lobster and crab, then breaded in a macadamia nut crust and baked until golden… with a side of kalua pig fried rice, because you just have to.  Just don’t operate any heavy machinery after, okay?

Mama's in all its glory
Who wouldn't want to wait for a table here??



There you have it.  My ode to Maui, my magical, beautiful place of indulgence!  Mahalo, Maui, for giving me an appreciation to always have a very happy opu.  I love you, I miss you, and I’ll sure as heck see you soon!

44 Comments Add yours

  1. Mike Mayhem says:

    Been to Kauai and Oahu. But you are correct. I want to make travel plans ASAP!! Very nicely written.

  2. wosushi says:

    I’ll be sending this post to my parents. We sent them to Kauai for their anniversary a few years ago (it was a joint effort among us 5 kids) and they loved it so much they’ve talked about taking another trip to explore Hawaii. This would definitely come in handy.

    And I’ll bookmark it for me. ‘Cause one day, I’ll make there.

  3. Rhiann says:

    I live in Maui and I’ve only heard if a few if these places. Guess that’s what happens when you’ve lived in Wailuku your whole life. I do know Mama’s. We we would pass it a lot. This really made mr hungry lol. You’re a fabulous writer.

  4. fojoy says:

    I am trying to to convince my Husband that we should go to Maui for Christmas this year…I think your list just might help my argument!

    On an unrelated note – We were in Chicago recently and found a restaurant that we both thought you would love:


    1. sharon Winslow says:

      Hmmmm chicago in the cold …..Maui with the restaurants with superb food as described by Jewel…my experience ……sun… sunset…whales…

  5. Kanoe says:

    I didn’t know you had to many ties to Maui! That makes me even more of a fan. I live on Maui and agree with all of your suggestions (especially Roy’s and Mama’s Fish House).

  6. SillyJaime says:

    If my husband and I can ever afford it someday, I want to go to Hawaii. I judge everywhere I go on their food, so if I ever get to go I’m sure I’ll like it.

  7. Amanda says:

    The Gazebo is my absolute favorite place for breakfast in the entire world. It is so so gorgeous!

  8. M Mckinnon says:

    Never will I be able to afford to get to Maui, or buy any of these delicious things, but just reading about them is wonderful, thank you. And the pictures are lovely!

  9. John B says:

    Jewel! I have been soo waiting for your review of Maui’s best! Ok you’re making me lean towards Maui instead of Kauai this year just to try out your restaurant picks which have been quite trustworthy btw!

  10. Chris says:

    You’re totally right about Mama’s Fish House- absolutely amazing! They could charge and arm and a leg for that food and I’d pay it.

    The view there is truly spectacular, this was us outside waiting for our table back in ’09: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cjgibbs/4539268567/in/set-72157622680286156/

  11. Dani says:

    We ate at Mama’s when we were in Maui about 5 years ago. My dinner was quite tasty but what we all remembered was dessert. I had a thing the called the black pearl which was Chocolate mousse in a cookie oyster and was super nummy and my husband had some sort of apple macadamia nut cobler thingy that we’ve been talking about ever since. Mmmmmmmm.

  12. Diana Mac says:

    Awesome! I’ve been to Oahu & Big Island on the way to New Zealand & Australia two separate times. I was thi king about Maui next so now I must go this winter! Your post really made me miss Hawaii.

  13. Jason K. says:

    I’ve been reading since you started your blog, but haven’t commented yet. You are doing a great job and I love seeing all of the great places you go. Some day we will get to Maui (and the other places you’ve been) and I hope I can try out all of your suggestions. Thanks again!

  14. Lori M. says:

    You are so right! I’ve been to all of these except the Gazebo (I argue that escaping Alberta winters is a necessity, not a luxury), and they are brilliant. Pineapple Grill is my go-to every time I’m there, and I just stumbled on David Paul’s last trip – you’d never expect to find something so brilliant at the end of that sleepy little mall! I’d add a #11: j’adore les Poke Nachos at the Sea House at Napili Kai…

  15. Ash says:

    Ooo. Gonna have to island hop over there while I have the chance. I was wondering on which side to stay and now I even know what to eat there, thanks 🙂

    Any advice for Oahu, by any chance? I’m kinda stuck here for now so I would love some suggestions!

    1. MaryC says:

      Well, if you are looking for a great and somewhat pricey meal? Orchids is the place I would recommend.

      My husband and I dined there the night after Thanksgiving. It was a wonderfully romantic setting, with a soft and warm tropical rain falling. The food was beyond divine. The walk back to the Royal Hawaiian was awesome as well, because the Warrior’s had won their football “bowl” game, so there was much rejoicing in the the streets of Waikiki.

      Well fed, walking in a warm rainfall, with people rejoicing in the streets? Awesome.

      Orchids. That’s my recommendation to you.

  16. Nana Smile says:

    The Gazebo is my absolute favorite place for breakfast in the entire world. It is so so gorgeous!

  17. Tessa says:

    Grrrrr! I really wish I could have read this before I went to Maui last summer! I DID manage to go to the Old Lahaina Luau though and it was spectacular. I only wish I hadn’t been the driver, but they were able to make any of the drinks on the list sans alcohol for me, which was great!! Im hoping to go back next summer and when I do I am definitely taking your advice on these restaurants.

  18. Sarai says:

    I am SO in love with this!! I was in Kauai and Maui this past July with my best friend and it was an absolutely perfect time! You are definitely right about people falling in love with Maui….I did. I cannot wait to go back! Thanks for posting this- I love reading about other people’s travels and great stories!! :oD

  19. Kitten says:

    You may have just selected our honeymoon spot for us.

  20. Liz says:

    Thank you for the excellent timing! Hubby and I are going to Maui in September and now I have a great list of eateries to check out 😀

  21. MikeD says:

    OMG! A friend of mine pointed me to this blog today and I had a chuckle when I opened, it, as my wife and I just honeymooned there, and then started laughing again when we had hit three of your top ten (Roy’s twice), Old Lahaina Luau, and Kimo’s, and I have to agree that while we didn’t have a bad meal on the island, those were amongs the best.

    My personal favorite meal was lunch on the boat coming back from snorkeling out in Molokai through the Pacific Whale Foundation (http://www.pacificwhale.org/), simple grilled fare, but local beer and hunger is the best sauce. The I’m looking forward to hitting some of these others the next time we return (especially that butterfish in miso!).

    Great advice about staying overnight in Hana too!

  22. Cate says:

    Flashback… haven’t been back to Maui since we lived their when I was 6…. really got to go back 🙂 Thanks for sharing all of the best places to go!!

  23. Paul says:

    OK, there is something inherently wrong with reading this and eating a Lean Cuisine for lunch…Thanks Jewel. 🙂

  24. Mrs. L says:

    My husband keeps making noise about taking me to Maui (he’s been, I haven’t). Maybe I should just send him a link to this post, think he’ll get the hint I want to go? 🙂

  25. Channon says:

    I have always, always wanted to go to Hawaii, but I never knew which island to visit. Until now. And you have me ready to blow the moving fund on tickets and the trip of a lifetime right now!! It’s a good thing my husband has his head on straight 🙂
    Thanks so much for sharing and inspiring me yet again.

  26. An Arizona Husband says:

    Thanks for writing this (Mama’s rules!) My wife and I were married on Maui. We rented a house on the beach, invited our closest friends and family and had a magical wedding on the beach at sunset. Your favorite places gives us yet another reason to go back soon and enjoy the recharging effect that Maui gives.

  27. Alex A. says:

    Thanks for the awesome Maui indulgence…just like I requested. 😉

    Oh, and everyone knows if you go to Maui you have to stop at Krispy Kreme. haha!

  28. Marky says:

    Hello Jewel 🙂
    It’ s very interesting 🙂 I like it. You are very nice person 🙂

  29. Amy says:

    Hi Jewel
    I would love to go to Maui as that is the last place my parents went before my mom died, with my twin meeting them halfway coming from Japan. You make it sound fantastic. Excited you’re coming to Omaha the weekend of my twin sis and dad’s birthday! I’ll have to get back to you on recommendations for where to eat when you’re here since I don’t eat out often. I have to check with my fellow law enforcement foodies since they always know the best places to go. Have fun with George Takei in Tulsa!

  30. Chris a says:

    Hey. I’m excited to hear about tulsa as that is where I live. I would recommend Kilkenny’s Irish pub. Pretty much everything is amazing there. It is downtown as is mcnellies another great pub with literally hundreds of beer choices if you’re in to that kind of thing. If you like pizza then there is Joe mama’s New York style pizza downtown or Savastano’s in south Tulsa. I know there are more but I can’t think of them at the moment.

  31. Hillevi says:

    Hey Jewel,
    This is so great – my sister and I are actually heading to Maui for the first time in just a few weeks so we’ll have to take you up on some of your suggestions! We are already booked in for the Old Lahania Luau – we actually booked that before we even booked our flights!

    I just discovered this blog and I think it’s wonderful – keep up the good work!


  32. Anais says:

    I hate this blog. It makes me hungry… I guess that’s why I love it.

  33. Brad says:

    Unfortunately, you posted this while I was in Maui and didn’t have internet access so I missed a lot of these restaurants. I have to agree with you on Napoli beach (we made a pilgrimage from Kehei just to spend the day there and take our 9 month old on his first ocean swim). I would suggest next time your there you try Star Noodle (on the hill above the cannery mall), we stopped by because the chef had been nominated for a James Beard award and it ended up being our best meal on the island.

  34. StefandTodd says:

    Hi there! You probably don’t remember me, but I sat and visited with you for a fun evening at the Hunt Valley, md Marriott! In the bar, during a Star Trek convention, 3 years ago. A friend was vending there, and you were being surrounded on all sides by men in Klingon masks. I was your crazy person buffer. Anyway, my husband found this blog and we remembered meeting you. Coincidentally, we were married at Mama’s Fishouse! Cheers to you! Mahalo!

  35. Jen says:

    I’ll have to live vicariously through you. I had a lifelong dream of going on a tropical vacation but it’s pretty much never going to happen.

    In the meantime I’ll eat my homemade strawberry and white chocolate ice cream and drool over your photos.

  36. Tallulah says:

    Buhhh Hawaii is so far away!! D’8

    But this is (and I’m not joking) the reason I’m at uni with my arsey double degree so I will one day be comparably wealthy and enjoy stuff like this with wanton abandon! Wheee!!!

    Love from Australia.

  37. Brandice says:

    Me and my family love Maui. Last time I was there I literally almost didn’t come home. I shared this blog with my mom and the couple places she has not been she now wants to go. She said she wants to still get the hula pie though

  38. david says:

    You forgot The Waterfront in Maalaea.

  39. Baconhound says:

    My wife and I are in Maui right now and went to happy hour at Kimo’s! Damn, you were not kidding about the mu shu kahlua pork… fantastic.

    FYI, duty free amaretto mixes beautifully with P.O.G. or pomegranate lemonade! Perfect post-snorkel replenisher…

  40. Laurie says:

    I’m missing Maui right now, and with no hope of getting there anytime soon, I was reading through your blog and I have to say – you’ve skipped one of the best little places on the island (though it may not have opened yet when you wrote this). Next time you’re there, you have to try Star Noodle up the hill and around the bend from the Cannery Mall. It’s AMAZING. My friend Ashleigh took me there shortly after it opened and I make a point to go every time I hit the island. I’m still dreaming of the Fern Salad and the Miso Encrusted Salmon. Cheers!

  41. Colleen says:

    We are just back from Maui and we ate our way through this blogpost. You didn’t steer us wrong once. Thank you thank you thank you!

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