Lahaina Grill

Since we were in Maui celebrating our anniversary (and first trip with no kids), my wife and I treated ourselves to some truly amazing meals. Lahaina Grill was definitely one of the best.

We were late setting a reservation, but were able to grab two seats at the bar when they opened at 5:30. We ended up enjoying a great evening of delicious food and good conversation with the couples seated on either side of us.

We started the meal with off with the Caprese salad. The local tomatoes were the star of the show, and a touch of truffle oil added a nice earthy note. A great rendition on this classic, as tasty as it was beautiful.

20110318-043209.jpg
I also had a bowl of the Kula sweet corn soup with chive creme fraiche. Creamy, but not too thick and full of fresh sweet corn flavor. Really enjoyed it.

20110318-043739.jpg
For entrees, I went with the Maui onion and sesame crusted Ahi with vanilla beam jasmine rice. This was the single best piece of Ahi I’ve ever eaten in my life. The crust was perfectly flavorful, but didn’t overwhelm the flavor of the exceptionally fresh fish. The vanilla bean was not too strong and provided a nice sweet note to the rice. Amazing dish.

(Sorry about the photo lighting. When entrees came, the sun was down and the lights dimmed.)

20110318-044120.jpg
My wife went with the seared local Mahi with herbed mashed potatoes, gorgonzola, pancetta and chardonnay beurre blanc. Another special dish. Really liked the gorgonzola. And let’s face it, pork in any of it’s forms makes everything better.

20110318-044706.jpg
A meal like this must conclude with dessert. We picked up a coupon across the street at Ululani Shave Ice (another must stop) for a free Triple Berry Pie, their signature dessert. We also both love chocolate, so we added a Road to Hana, Maui (chocolate cake, chocolate sour cream mousse, macadamia nut caramel). Both were very good, but the Road to Hana was our favorite.

20110318-045039.jpg

20110318-045107.jpg
All in all a very memorable meal. Of the fine dining meals we had on the trip, this is the one I would do again, without a doubt. It’s a Lahaina institution and it is clear to see why. Fresh, flavor dishes served in a very cool location. Mahalo Lahaina Grill. See you next time we’re in Maui.

Advertisements

A Shining Star Noodle

My only regret about Star Noodle is that we didn’t find it earlier in our stay. Tucked in an industrial park in Lahaina, this James Beard Award nominated restaurant and chef are cranking out house made noodle dishes in all shapes and sizes.

On our first visit (went twice in 3-days) we worked our way through what seemed like half of the menu. Diners around us were fascinated by the number of dishes we ordered as a party of two.

First thing that impressed me was the nonalcoholic daily drink special. Since neither my wife or I drink alcohol, this was a welcome and refreshing treat. Fresh squeezed Asian pear lemonade.

Our 1st appetizer was the Mala Dog: all beef hot dog, wrapped in Hawaiian sweet bread, then deep fried. It was served with 3-garnishes: mango ketchup, kimchi mustard, Maui onion cucumber relish. I have a real weakness for elevated junk food and this was en point.

Next app: Vietnamese Crepe. This was not your ordinary crepe. It was deep fried and extremely crunchy. Filled with coconut curry pork and shrimp. Garnishes included mint, Thai basil, cilantro, bean sprouts and a sweet chili sauce. All this was assembled in the combination of our choosing in a local Kula lettuce cup. Unquestionably the best lettuce wrap I’ve ever eaten.

The Steamed Pork Buns with pressed pork, hoisin, shiitake mushroom and pickled cucumber were awesome, so much so that a second order was heavily considered. The soft, spongy bun was perfectly complimented by the crispy, salty, sweet hoisin pork and slightly acidic cucumber. Mouth watering just thinking about it.


For entrees we chose two house made noodle dishes. The Lahaina Fried Soup featured a fat chow funn noodle, ground pork and bean sprouts. The Singapore Noodle had vermicelli noodle, chicken, shrimp and veggies in a curry sauce. A squeeze of the calamansi limes provided on the side finished off the dish. Both were full of flavor and the house made noodles were the clear star as you would expect.


This was without a doubt one if the best meals of the trip.

Second visit dishes, all equally inspired:

Fresh Kula Strawberry Soda muddled with fresh mint.


Sizzling Garlic Steak–perfectly cooked steak, sweet Maui onions, toasted garlic and an amazing sauce.


Pad Thai–the best version I’ve had. Loved the garlic chives.


Daily Special–Spiral noodle, jumbo shrimp, thinly sliced pear and red grapes, Thai basil in a coconut curry sauce. Wish I had a plate right now. Wow.


If you’re lucky enough to be on the beautiful island of Maui, do yourself a favor and stop in to try any of Chef Simeon’s Asian entrees and noodle dishes. Star Noodle gets five in my book.

Star Noodle
286 Kupuohi St
Lahaina, HI 96761
http://www.starnoodle.com