Maui, Hawaii

Tag: restaurants

Lahaina and the Maui Tropical Plantation

My hunny is away, so today the kids and I spent a fun day doing Mom-son stuff. Lahaina was on the agenda (we had to make a stop at the Adidas outlet store for some new shoes) and without Sig present we had a big decision to make…. where to have lunch? In seven years of living on Maui we have twice NOT gone to Bubba Gump’s when in Lahaina – yes, Sig is a huge fan of Bubba Gump’s. To be fair, it has a great location on Front Street, the building being on stilts over the ocean, but…. I like a little variety. (FYI, the other two places we’ve been were Longhi’s and Pi Artisan Pizza – both very good).

our burgers at Cool Cat Cafe

Today’s lunch choice was the Cool Cat Cafe for some burgers. This restaurant is located on the top floor of the Wharf Cinema Center across from the Banyan Tree. Our burgers were excellent, and honestly, we should not have ordered the shared basket of fries… we had way too much food.

After lunch we headed across the street to a fun gift/clothing shop, Maui Memories, owned by Austrian transplant Dany White. This shop relocated from Wailea to Lahaina a few years ago and is now in the old Pioneer Hotel building, also across from the Banyan Tree. I had a gift certificate burning in my pocket and found some beautiful abalone jewelry for myself ‘for Mother’s Day’.


On the way home… a stop at the Maui Tropical Plantation

After some successful shoe shopping, we headed back towards Kihei where we took a little detour to visit the local ducks at the Maui Tropical Plantation. If you haven’t been here, do go check it out – it’s only about five minutes from North Kihei! Apart from the obligatory gift shop, they have repurposed some old sugar cane factory gear in their landscaping and an actual steam engine in the bar at the Mill House. So very cool. I have yet to come hear for dinner or drinks, but it’s on my list…. Additionally they have a (beginner) zipline, coffee roaster etc.

A train in a bar? Yep! Only on Maui ūüôā

What a fun day! Unlike the Anaheim Ducks (who were soundly defeated by the Edmonton Oilers today – oh dear), the local ducks were in great spirits, happily eating what kids were feeding them ūüôā

Now back to the grind – cleaning and doing homework for the kids, blogging and making dinner for me.

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Coupons and that kama’aina rate!

Have you ever wondered how you can get a kama’aina rate? Wondering what a kama’aina rate is? It’s a discount some shops and restaurants will give to local customers, hoping they will be repeat customers.

Generally you need to have a State of Hawaii driver’s license or other State of Hawaii ID to qualify for that local discount. By the way, did you know Hawaii driver’s licenses have a rainbow on them? I would show you a picture of mine, but…. well…. as with most IDs the picture turned out ‘just great’.

If you are staying at one of our four condos, we have the next best thing to a kama’aina rate: the Pueo Premier¬†Card – a discount card for our guests to use! This is a fundraiser put on by one of the local elementary schools. No worries, you do not need to buy one – we always buy them¬†and leave¬†them in the condos for our guests to use. The discounts are similar to what some of these businesses offer as a kama’aina rate, and some of these businesses don’t actually offer a kama’aina rate, so this is as good as it gets!

In case you can’t zoom in on the picture here are some of the businesses participating in this year’s Pueo Premier Card:

5 Palms Restaurant (at our Kihei Surfside condo) – 20% off

808 Wellness 10% off

Aloha School of Massage Therapy – $5 off

Amigo’s 15% off

Cow Pig Bun 15% off

Cupie’s Drive-in 10% off

Dina’s Sandwitch (at our Sugar Beach condo) 15% off

Fat Daddy’s Smokehouse 15% off

Fork & Salad $1 off

Duo Steak & Seafood 10% off

Four Sisters Bakery – buy 1 doz, get 1 free

Hawaiian Moons Natural Foods 10% discount

IHOP 10% off

Java Cafe 15% off

L&L Hawaiian BBQ – free soda

Maui Brick Oven – free soda

Maui Sandwich Shack 15% off

Panda Express 3 for 2

Peggy Sue’s 15% off

Round Table 20% off

Ruth Chris Steak House 15% off

Sanrio 10% off

Taqueria Cruz 50% off 2nd entree

Tutti Frutti 50% off 2nd cup

Wow Wow Hawaiian Lemonade 10% off

Where can you find this card? If you are staying at one of our condos, look for it in the condo (near the business cards, at our Palms at Wailea condo it’s next to the kitchen phone). You are welcome to use the card, please just remember to leave it in the condo when you leave so our next guests can take advantage too.

If you are not staying at one of our condos, swing by Kamalii Elementary School on the corner of the Piilani Hwy and Alanui Ke Alii (just up the road from Kamaole I beach) in Kihei. They have them for sale in the school office (by the flag pole). Thanks for supporting the kids!

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Wailuku Coffee Company

Have you explored Main Street in Wailuku? This is a street with a different twist. Local business people have done well to revitalize this street. Here you will find five pawn¬†shops, the Iao Theater, various Mom and Pop shops, a cat in the window, and… the Wailuku Coffee Company.

A few days ago I had some time to kill before the mall opened,¬†so I went in search of coffee. Granted, the mall’s Starbucks was open, but I like to try new places (for the blog) and I’d heard good things about the Wailuku Coffee Company. Surprisingly (to me) parking in and around Main Street was scarce. The¬†main (large) parking lot was full – local businesses and County government employees¬†fill those spots quickly. I did find a spot down one of the side roads.

Wailuku Coffee Company was busy – apparently it’s a popular place for breakfast. There is a good amount of seating inside and outside on the sidewalk. I even saw a lady I know (well, I’ve seen her a few times before) – Maui’s full-time population is around 140,000, so yes, this is normal.

Once a month local businesses host Wailuku’s First Friday town party on Main Street. Have you checked out any of the Maui¬†Friday town parties?

Wailuku Coffee Company

Curious to give them a try – they offer free shipping on coffee purchases within the US. Check them out!

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Four great places to buy malasadas on Maui

Malasadas are donuts of Portuguese origin. The Portuguese were among many immigrants who were brought to Hawaii to work in the sugar plantations. The immigrants’ food and recipes became part of the rather hodge-podge Hawaiian food scene. Here on Hawai’i we love the¬†diversity!

I have officially embarked on a mission to try Maui’s malasadas for you – our guests! You’re welcome! I am sure you will appreciate this, right? Here are the ones I’ve tried so far – in no particular order. They are ALL good.

  1. Nalu’s in Kihei’s Azeka Plaza: You are served five warm malasadas covered with sugar,surrounding a helping of custard and drizzled with a caramel syrup. These are amazing and the presentation is tops! I believe they are $5/plate.

    malasadas at Nalu’s Restaurant in Kihei
  2. Sugar Beach Bake Shop in North Kihei (right next to Ululani’s shave ice). These are made to order between 6-9am. They have three kinds – sugar, cinnamon sugar and li hing mui sugar (salty dried plum powder mixed in with the sugar – very good). They are served warm and are delicious. $10 for a dozen.

    Sugar Beach Bake Shop – why not make these part of a ‘healthy’ breakfast?
  3. Home Maid Cafe in Kihei’s Azeka Plaza. These are made to order between 6-10am (closed Sundays). Sometimes they do run out, so go early. Home Maid Cafe has two kinds – plain with sugar and custard-filled (my personal favorite). These taste best warm (a bit of a lard after taste when cold). Similarly priced to the SB Bake Shop, cash only.
  4. Komoda’s Bakery at the only four way stop in Makawao (corner of Baldwin Ave and Makawao Ave). Komoda’s has been around for ever (and I mean over a hundred years). They are well known for their bakery and are a cash-only establishment. Their malasadas are either plain, guava-filled with an option of small ‘malasadas on a stick’ (5 on a skewer). They¬†are pre-made and kept in a display cooler. Price are very reasonable¬†– your best deal is ‘malasadas on a stick’ ($1.50 for 5 small malasadas), cash only.
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Check out the Maui Film Festival June 15-19!

Are you a movie buff? Check out Maui’s very own Maui Film Festival next week – June 15-19!

There is a whole line up of movies that will be shown in three different locations.

maui film festival
The setting for the Celestial Cinema – amazing view from the top of the driving range at the Wailea Emerald and Gold courses. This is also the location of the David Leadbetter Golf Academy.

The Celestial Cinema under the Stars is located at the Wailea Gold and Emerald Course above Gannons. Specifically, it is on the unique driving range which is on a hill, sloped like an amphitheater. Yes, it is outdoors! So bring your low beach chair or towels to sit on (please don’t bring the condo blankets, they¬†usually don’t fit in the apartment sized washer/dryers). Parking is available at the Wailea Special Event parking lot – this is the grassy area across from the Monkey Pod restaurant which has parking lights in the middle of the lawn. There is a free shuttle.

The Castle Theater is at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center in Kahului. This is an indoor theater/concert hall. Typically the overflow parking for events at the MACC is across the street at the University of Hawaii campus (same place you park to go to the swap meet).

On Saturday June 18th there will be a FREE Toes in the Sand Cinema event on Wailea Beach (in front of the Four Seasons hotel).

Additionally there will be special culinary and film maker events, awards presentations etc. Please check out the Maui Film Festival website for much more information and tickets.

Are the movies appropriate for children? As a parent, this is your call. Have a look at the movie list, watch the previews and look the films up online for much more information!

Importantly – for the outdoor film events, come early to claim the best seats! If you have a tall chair, please sit off to the side or in the back so as not to block the view of others. And please, no umbrellas.


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What to do on a rainy day in Kihei?

rainy dayThis morning we woke up to an unusual weather phenomenon in Kihei! It’s raining! Do you know how unusual a rainy day is in Kihei?

Kihei and Wailea lie in the rain shadow of Haleakala. Most of our rain clouds come from the other side of Haleakala (the green rainforesty Road to Hana side). The rain falls on the lush green North/East side¬†of Maui, while Kihei and Wailea get about only 8-11 inches of rainfall a year. Suffice it to say – Kihei residents get a little excited when it rains. Kids run outside to play in the rain, adults contain their enthusiasm by sitting on the lanai with their coffee. Many¬†even bust out their¬†‘winter clothes’ (long pants and sweaters) and claim it’s cold. Cold? It’s all relative – try low 80s.

Of course, we realize you weren’t planning on a rainy day for your Maui trip, so what to do?

Go for a drive. Did you know, Maui has 30+ different micro climates. Chances are really good that it isn’t raining a short five minute drive from where you are.

Go shopping.

  • Shops at Wailea – they now have paid parking, however the first hour is free. After that, make a minimum purchase of $25 at most shops (including restaurants) and get a parking voucher (don’t forget to ask)
  • Maui Tropical Plantation – this place has been reinvented and is pretty neat. Check out their stores, but also the very cool Mill House bar (with a train engine inside), coffee house and restaurant.
  • Shops at Maalaea
  • Lahaina

Go to the movies at Queen Kaahumanu Center or Maui Mall in Kahului.

Go for lunch.

Go for a walk – it’s just warm rain, pick up an umbrella at the convenience store.

Check out ‘fishes’ the Maui Ocean Center.

What NOT to do when it’s raining?

Please stay out of the ocean, particularly if the water looks brown and murky. Several reasons for that, it could be run-off from land (particularly if it is raining heavily upcountry), it could be run-off from overflowing cess pools (gross). Additionally, sharks tend to come closer to shore to check out the run-off. Just stay out until the water clears up again.

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A Hawaiian Food and Culture show

Have you seen the¬†cool new 30 minute Hawaiian Food and Culture TV show? It’s called ‘Search Hawaii – Where Food Meets Culture.’¬†In it we follow the Grand Wailea Resort’s Chef¬†Michael Lofaro and¬†Hawaiian cultural practitioner Kainoa Horcajo as they travel to various¬†Hawaiian islands to hunt, fish and pick¬†local ingredients, and prepare unique meals based on the Hawaiian moon calendar. The meals are then prepared in someone’s home (no fancy chef’s kitchens) and then served to those who assist them.

Chef Michael Lofaro recently won¬†Maui’s Chef of the Year¬†Award (selected by his peers and published in the Maui No Ka Oi magazine). He is the Chef at the Grand Wailea’s ‘HumuHumu’ restaurant¬†where the show’s own Mike and Kainoa¬†also¬†host Ka Malama dinners with foods inspired by, fished and gathered based on the Hawaiian moon calendar!

This is a great show to learn more about Hawaii, local traditions and see some great scenery from around the islands. Oh, and the chef and his cultural advisor are easy on the eyes, too!

Hawaiian Food and Culture
Time to fish!

I’ve watched the first four episodes¬†now – my favorite has got to be episode 3 where they go wild boar hunting on Kauai! A little trivia¬†from my friend Yvonne, who is the Executive Producer of the show: on filming day there were four teams looking for a wild boar, just to make sure they caught one for the show! I had to laugh when¬†they showed Kainoa¬†give the boar a piggy back ride out of Kauai’s rain forest! FYI, wild boars are not native to Hawaii and are considered a pest as they endanger native vegetation and animal species.

Hawaiian Food and Culture
preparing dinner

Where can you watch the show? Check out the ‘Search Hawaii: Where Food Meets Culture’ website or look them up on Youtube. If you’re in Hawaii, local TV station KHON2 will be airing their adventures this summer Saturdays at 9PM, repeating Tuesdays on CW93 at 9:30PM.

‘Search Hawaii: Where Food Meets Culture’ has been nominated for two Emmys (for episodes 2 and 3) in the Lifestyle – Program/Special category. Very exciting!

Special thank you to my friend Yvonne Biegel, Executive Producer of ‘Search Hawaii: Where Food Meets Culture’ for the pictures!

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Wailea Restaurant Week May 22-28

Twice a year seventeen of Wailea’s restaurants get together and offer a prix-fixe menu. All participating restaurants offer a¬†three course menu with pupu (appetizers), entree and desert all included for either $29, $39 or $49 which is a GREAT deal compared to their regular prices. This special menu is in addition to their regular menu – so if you don’t feel like anything on the special menu, you can still order from the regular one.

This is a popular event – reservations are highly recommended – no coupons needed.

May’s participating restaurants are:

in Wailea Gateway Plaza:

  • Fabiani’s Wailea (tucked in the very back – don’t miss it!)
  • Pita Paradise Wailea (the Kalama Park ¬†location closed a while ago)
  • Monkeypod Kitchen

at the Shops at Wailea:

  • Longhi’s
  • Ruth Chris’ (they usually piece-meal their dinners, ie. $50 for the steak, $10 for the potato etc)
  • Tommy Bahamas (did you get the pay $100 and get $50 off your bill Mother’s Day coupon in the mail? you can use it both in the store and at the restaurant)

Other locations:

  • Gannon’s – club house at the Wailea Gold and Emerald course, dinner with a phenomenal view of Molokini and Kaho’olawe
  • Manoli’s Pizzeria – across the street from the Shops at Wailea (they have my very favorite chicken piccata on their prix-fixe menu, it is the best!)
  • Matteo’s Osteria – great¬†Italian tucked into the shopping/office center above the Wailea tennis court/next to the new Marriott Residences
  • Mulligan’s on the Blue – Irish pub with sports screens on the Wailea Blue course, home to the Brenton Keith’s Tuesday night magic show¬†(clean family fun – great show)

Resort locations:

  • Capische? – great Italian place in the Hotel Wailea
  • DUO Steak & Seafood (Four Seasons)
  • Humuhumunukunukuapua’a (Grand Wailea) – no worries, you can just say ‘humu humu’
  • Ka’ana Kitchen (Andaz)
  • Ko (Fairmont)
  • Morimoto Maui (Andaz)
  • Nick’s Fishmarket at the Fairmont (same owner as Manoli’s and also Sarento’s)

For more information and menus, check out Wailea Restaurant Week.

A portion of all sales goes to support the Maui Foodbank.

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This weekend check out Maui’s premier craft fair!

The Seabury Hall Craft Fair is arguably Maui’s premier craft fair. It is set on the beautiful private prep school campus high above Makawao with beautiful bi-coastal views. This time of year is particularly beautiful with upcountry’s signature purple-blooming jacaranda trees in full bloom! The best part is – it’s the day before Mother’s Day, so you can pick up something for mom, or even let her choose! It’s also a great place to pick up locally made souvenirs and thank you gifts!

Maui's premier craft fair
Seabury Hall campus

It is held this Saturday, May 7th from 9am-4pm. Admission is $5/adults, children 12 and under are free. I believe parking¬†is $5 (across the way at the Oskie Rice Arena) and $10 for premium (on campus) parking. Can’t make it this year – it is always the Saturday before Mother’s Day.

For the adults there are over 100 local crafters and artist booths (no made-in-China here), a silent auction, rummage sale, restaurant alley, bake shop, live music, and of course the beautiful views. This really is a special peaceful place.

Maui's premier craft fair
blooming jacaranda tree

The kids zone includes two giant slip and slides, bounce castles, face painting and many games.

How to get there? Take the Haleakala Highway upcountry to the Makawao turnoff. Turn left and follow the road to Makawao’s only four way stop (Makawao Ave/Baldwin Ave). Turn right¬†(you will see Casanova’s and Poli’s Mexican at that corner). Continue driving up Haleakala, past¬†pastures (check out the cows – this is farming country!) and great old trees. The school will be on the right side with additional parking on the left. Seabury Hall’s address is 480 Olinda Road, Makawao.

The craft fair is a financial aid fundraiser for this prestigious college prep school.

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Lunch at the brand new Tin Roof Restaurant

As reported last week, former Top Chef finalist Sheldon Simeon opened a new restaurant in Kahului – the Tin Roof. This restaurant is tiny – with bar seating for four or five people along the window, it’s a take-out place. I have heard great things about it, and have been anxious to give it a try.

Tin Roof Maui
Sheldon Simeon straightening his hat in his new kitchen! This is it – the Tin Roof – with a drink cooler to the left of the picture and window bar seating to the right, it’s a small space¬†but big enough to¬†cook delicious food!

As it’s a brand new restaurant, they are still figuring out some of the details. The first week of being open, they had lines out the door. Then on Facebook they asked diners to call in their orders. This week they’ve gotten techy and you can order and pay online. It was really easy ~¬†Tin Roof Mauilast night I ordered my lunch from their menu (mochiko chicken), added a side (kale salad – $7 for the mochiko chicken, I wasn’t sure how large the serving would be), selected a pick-up time and paid online. This morning I drove into town, pulled in, and there it was, waiting for me. I also got an email at 10:57 informing me lunch was ready. The portion was a lot larger than I thought it would be! Ah well – more food for me!

We grabbed our orders, checked out Rachel’s U’i Gallery next door and then headed for Queen Kaahumanu Center to eat in their food court.

Tin Roof MauiWhat is Mochiko Chicken? My non-foodie explanation is this: it’s breaded chicken pieces (moist) with some steamed cabbage on the side (the green leafs). I had mine over hapa rice – (half brown half white – which was a little sweet) and a spicy mayo sauce (unsure of name)¬†drizzled over it. It was amazing!

As a side I ordered the kale salad, my friend had the beet box – both delicious!

Tin Roof Maui
Tin Roof Maui’s kale salad – very delicious

Tin Roof is located at 360 Papa Place in Kahului. There is currently no sign. It is tucked in between U’i Gallery and Money Mart. Marco’s Grill, Pinata’s Mexican and Fedex are all in this strip mall.

Tin Roof Maui
the beet box was surprisingly ono (good)! I’m not a beet lover, but this was great!
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