When I mentioned I was traveling to West Maui, including Lahaina, for a few days, restaurant recommendations were in abundance. And though Longhis's, Cheeseburger in Paradise and Kimo's were amongst the most popular, they seemed too touristy and less trendy then my debatably sophisticated taste.
I am NOT the diner who will forgo incredible food just to have an ocean view. Or pay double because all the servers dress in grass skirts.
The following three restaurants in the town of Lahaina were off the beaten path and are not to be missed. You'll be sorry. Really.
1. Star Noodle
Star Noodle is an Asian inspired noodle house were they make their own…noodles. Go figure.
Though the market price was $20 for the Ahi Avo (their version of poke) the quality and portion size was impressive. It was tossed with lemon pressed olive oil, sambal, usukuchi and topped with fresh avocado.
The Hapa Ramen was not like the 39 cent ramen I used to eat in college.
2. 100 Wines
100 Wines is a restaurant concept I would steal if I had plans on opening another eatery; featuring a large selection of unique wines, a rustic warm environment and tapas that will blow your mind.
The Brussel Sprouts in a Jar ($10) was the best version of this vegetable I have ever…EVER…had, it was no wonder that it's the most popular menu item.
Then again, you can pretty much add hunks of pancetta, parmesan and balsamic reduction to any dish and it would be my favorite.
The Waygu burger tasted just as gamey as you want for a specialty meat and was only enhanced by the slab of bacon on top. Somehow, they must have heard about my truffle fries addiction, because that's exactly what it came with.
3. Leoda's Kitchen & Pie
Leoda's is in the same restaurant group as Star Noodle and they had me hooked simply with the counter deli case filled with pies; banana cream, apple, macadamia nut, etc. Which shall I choose?
The pork, pork, umm pork sandwich could cure anybody's piggy addiction.
It was layered with salami, bacon and prosciutto and served on buttered and browned bread. You must butter your bread before you put it on the grill in order to get that glistening deliciousness.
The deep-fried Mac n cheese was an unexpected surprised. I'm not sure why, it was exactly what it said, deep fried balls of creamy Mac n cheese served with tomato dipping sauce. Put a little porky in that and I would have accumulated another addiction.
And then it was time for pie. Peter wanted apple, I wanted banana cream…we got both.
Get the pie people. They know how to make a flaky crust and execute a filling.
After you have overindulged in ahi, brussel sprouts and pie you are bound to be parched. Head over to Maui Brewing Company and get yourself a glass of Pineapple Wine and a sample of Chipotle infused lager.
Warning: the Chipotle Lager will taste like chewing tobacco, but if you are anything like me you won't be able to pass up at least tasting this strange drink.
What's your favorite restaurant in Maui? Have you ever had Chipotle lager?