West Maui Eats

Hi friends! How’s the morning going? Hope you’re having a great day. In the spirit of reviving Indian Food Wednesday, I’m making channa masala, veggies, gf naan and basmati rice for dinner tonight. It’s nice to have some kitchen motivation since I’ve been feeling blah about food since our vacation. Everything we had in Maui was so delicious (and three cheers for someone else cooking and cleaning up afterwards) and I can’t help but think it would be so nice to be surrounded by fresh tropical fruits, the best coffee, sweet potatoes and desserts (shaved ice! pie! banana bread!) all the time. 

Since I already shared some adventures and where we stayed, here’s a recap of some of the amazing things we ate in Maui!

Mamas fish house

(dress from Anthropologie)

Night one: We arrived at the hotel (Hyatt Regency) fairly late, so many restaurants were closed. We decided to hit up the pool restaurant and it was amaaaazing. I got the Caesar salad which had fresh Spanish anchovies and blackened mahi. 

Day two:

Breakfast: hotel buffet! I wish I would have snapped a picture of the spread, because the buffet was packed with tropical fruits (papaya, pineapple, mango, melons), yogurt, oatmeal, eggs (and a Tuscan omelet), potatoes, breakfast meat, bagels, miso soup (!), pancakes and pastries. We’re huge buffet fans in our house, and this was perfect because there was something for everyone. 

Pilot at buffet

Dinner: Star Noodle. This was highly recommended, and for a great reason. We ended up calling a couple of hours in advance, which we learned was a mistake because reservations book a couple of days ahead. The hostess said they get extremely busy, but they would take walk-ins and that the earlier crowd was a little slower. This is one of the benefits of being 3 hours in the future (still on SD time). We showed up at 5pm, were seated right away, and left just as the restaurant began to fill.  

Star noodle

The food consisted of Asian shared plates, and it was a lot of fun to order different things from the menu to sample. We enjoyed a pohole salad, which was infused with kombu seaweed, various types of dried seafood and sesame oil. We also shared some chicken skewers, miso salmon (perfectly cooked), tempura shrimp,

Star noodle  1 of 1

and pad thai with rice noodles, chicken, shrimp and peanuts. It was my pad thai experience, and I had a feeling nothing will compare.

Star noodle  1 of 1 2

I want to dive into that photo.

Day 3:

Breakfast: Slappy Cakes! I saw this on Nom Nom Paleo’s Instagram, and knew we had to take Liv. You pick your batter/s, toppings and filling, and make your own pancakes on the griddle at your table.

Slappycakes

They had a gluten-free and vegan batter (which was light and fluffy; not overly chewy like some gf mixes can be) and a house-made coconut syrup, which was lightly sweetened; I should have asked to buy some to bring home, or at least asked how they made it. 

St slappycakes

If my career as a fitness instructor and blogger ever fails, I have a backup plan as a pancake artist. 

Slappycakes1

We did the DIY pancakes, along with eggs, bacon (turkey for me!) and THE BEST coffee I’ve ever had. Hawaiian coffee is not from this world.

Dinner: Mama’s Fish House. I’ve found that sometimes when restaurants are overhyped, I end up disappointed or leave the meal expecting more. This was not the case at all with Mama’s Fish House, and the hype level was high. My aunt frequently travels to Maui for work, and I knew it had to be good when she said it was her favorite restaurant on the entire island. It was an hour drive away, and totally worth it. 

Mama’s Fish House is in Paia, and located on the beach. Half the restaurant is beachside, and the surrounding ocean and exquisite sunset views make it a perfect date night spot. Throughout the restaurant, there is authentic Polynesian and vintage decor, and the menu changes daily according to what their fishermen catch.

I got the party started right away with a virgin Lava Flow:

Me and lava flow

 

(liquid dessert)

and the Pilot had a Mai Tai.

Pilot and mai tai

(We got Liv a Shirley Temple just for kicks but she wasn’t into it haha.)

For an appetizer, we chose the lobster guacamole, which was served with house-made taro and sweet potato chips.

Lobster guac

They also surprised us with a carrot ginger soup, and freshly-baked honey wheat bread.

For my entrée, I had a really difficult time deciding. I love fish, and everything on the menu sounded perfect. In the end, I decided to go with the ahi, which was rubbed with red chili, served in a ti leaf with roasted banana, coconut rice, and papaya. 

Tuna 

The Pilot ordered the mahi mahi, stuffed with lobster and crab in macadamia nut crust, and Liv got the keiki’s breaded white fish with veggies and fries. We will definitely be back next time we’re in Maui! (Tip: It’s not far from the airport, so next time I’m going to book our reservations either around the time we arrive or are heading to the airport to leave.)

Day 4:

Breakfast: Ka’anapali Hotel. We wanted to try something walking distance and venture out of the hotel, so we ended up here at the patio restaurant. It was so good that we went back the next day! Food in Maui is pricey, and we found this spot to have great options for a decent prize. (We tend to splurge more on dinners while we’re on vacation.)

Dinner: Old Lahaina Luau. This is getting it’s own post because there’s so much to say. In a nutshell, it was truly magical and hula dreams do come true. (Livi has always loved hula dancers, so she was enthralled the entire time.)

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Day 5:

Breakfast: Ka’anapali Hotel. Back for round two! I tried a frittata with arugula salad the next day and it was great.

For lunches and snacks, each afternoon we stopped by the little shops in our hotel, which had a great variety of sushi, sandwiches, acai bowls and salads. 

Desserts:

Ululani’s Shaved Ice. This is on the must-do list for Maui and they have various locations. You have to do it.

IMG 3881

Ululanis at hyatt

I loved that the syrups weren’t overly sweet or glow-in-the-dark neon colors.

For mine, I ordered the sunrise which had green tea, lychee, and almond.

Ululanis

Homemade ice cream on Front Street. The Pilot and I didn’t partake, but Liv had some strawberry ice cream with fresh strawberry chunks in it. She seemed 

Leoda’s Pie Shop.  Seriously the best pie I’ve ever had in my life (and that’s coming from a usual cake > pie person) and in my top list of desserts ever. They have a variety of flavors, and the graham crust is outta control. 

Leodas

This photo makes me laugh because it perfectly captures my pregnant-eating-pie-in-pajamas euphoria.

Scary happy w pie

So there we go!

Maui, I hope we get to come back soon. In the meantime, I’ll be savoring the banana bread that’s in the freezer.

What’s your favorite thing you ever ate on vacation??

xoxo

Gina

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Comments

  1. It usually depends on the pie and cake mix so I’m an equal opportunity eater. That said, I followed your link to Leoda’s and saw a picture of the macadamia chocolate praline pie… I’m in love.

  2. Jessie R says:

    Looks like so much fun and what a beautiful family!! My whole family (14 people!!) did a Hawaiian cruise a few years ago, and I agree about the coffee- AMAZING! Never had such great coffee 🙂 Maui was my favorite island, followed by the big island. AND the luau was magical!! It was the only part of our trip my grandma insisted we all go to, because they had gone a decade before with my great-grandma. We all loved it, minus my smallest cousin who was scared of some of the dancers ;).

  3. I love the idea of a DIY pancake place! How fun!
    I also love the idea of having Indian food Wednesday nights, it’s always my favorite! I just recently made Chana Masala successfully for the first time and it was incredible!

  4. Heather says:

    FYI a lot of the photos are showing up twice and don’t follow the commentary after the Mama’s Fish House paragraph. Not sure if it’s just showing up that way for me! I’m viewing on an iPad.

  5. Oh my goodness! I want to eat all this food!!

  6. Haha I would’ve eaten the pie even if I wasn’t pregnant! Hawaiian coffee is to die. Hopefully you brought some home.

  7. Those desserts… I wouldn’t ever be able to choose one! The best thing I ever ate was actually also in Maui.. it was my first Key Lime pie… I’ve never had another one that’s ever measured up. So delicious.

  8. This post is making me so hungry! My favorite thing was the fresh fish at Pike’s Place in Seattle!

  9. We loved the food in Hawaii, always so fresh and the abundance of tropical fruits was to die for, its definitely a place we would love to visit again, but the flight from NYC is just way too long.

  10. All the food looks amazing and I really love that Anthro dress! I think the lava cake at Roy’s is the best thing I’ve ever eaten on vacation. If they gave gold medals for eating really rich, chocolate desserts I’d have a serious shot at it!

  11. That all looks amazing! My favourite vacation food memory was a family trip to visit my grandparents in eastern Canada when I was young. We went and got ice cream every single evening of our trip. As a child, and an intense ice cream lover, it was magical.

  12. These posts make me miss Maui! I was there last summer and it was amazing 🙂 Must go back!!

  13. All the food I ate in London was amazing! I loved all of the museli bowls – so delicious. Thanks for sharing your Maui faves!

  14. Kariann Lee says:

    YUM. All of that looks so delicious! Especially the food at Star Noodle. You folks will have to visit Kaua’i some time! That is where I grew up. 🙂 Mm, and you can’t beat lu’au food.

    Oh that’s a hard question…I think my favorite thing to have eaten on vacation was street food phad thai or phad kee mao in Chiang Mai! Hot, spicy, and freshly made for you right there…and just a couple bucks! The best.

    Lovely pictures and beautiful family!

    • I’m planning a trip to Kauai with my hubby in the near future! Any recommendations on food/activities for first-timers?

      • Kariann Lee says:

        Exciting! Keoki’s in Po’ipu is a great spot! Or Duke’s in Lihu’e – you have to get their hula pie. 🙂 Ahi poke (raw fish) is always one of the first things I get when I am back at home!

        If you like hiking, I would recommend Hanakapi’ai. It’s as far north as you can go – the trailhead starts at Ke’e Beach which is beautiful and great for snorkeling. Go early in the morning so you can find a good parking spot!

        On the other side of the island, west side is Polihale which is my favorite beach. It’s a little bumpy to get there, but amazing once you’re there: just you and stretches of beautiful sandy beach and perfect sunsets. Bring a picnic kind of thing or stop at Ishihara Market on the West Side to grab some things on the way there!

        You can also go paddleboarding or learn how to surf at nearly any one of the beaches…Kalapaki, Sheraton’s, etc.

        There’s also kayaking and lu’aus all over! Check out Wailua area.

        That’s so exciting you and your husband are visiting! I’m going to be there just for a few days in August. 🙂 Sorry this post is so long! Love sharing my home with others hehe.

        • Thanks so much- you are awesome! We’ve both been to other Hawaiian islands separately (I was 10 when I went, so MANY years ago), but this will be our first time together AND our first trip without kids, so it’s a big deal!

          My hubby’s best friend went to Kauai for his honeymoon last year, and said the best poke they had was at a Foodland (no joke!) near where they were staying on the North Shore (I think Hanalei?).

          Anyway, thank you again! So nice to get tips from a local. : )

  15. Yum! I loved, loved all of the cajun food in New Orleans. Gumbo, oysters, fish, muffaletta sandwich, bread pudding. Also love San Diego restaurant scene! I had some of the best meals there. Lastly, possibly one of the best meals of my life at Graffiato in Washington, DC (plus, they have prosecco on tap!!).

    • Fitnessista says:

      i definitely want to try the food in new orleans! and yes, the restaurants here are pretty incredible 🙂
      xoxo

  16. Oh I love the food in Maui so much!! The one thing I didn’t do was a luau and I so want to next time!

  17. I want to dive into that photo, too! And I love your Anthro dress. My favorite thing I’ve eaten on vacation…that’s a tricky question, but what popped into my mind was quail I had in Paris. I’m not usually crazy about quail, but it was such a highlight.

  18. My favorite thing I ate on vacation was fresh fish in Nicaragua on our honeymoon! When I ordered it I didn’t expect the WHOLE fish (head and all) to come out on my plate, but by the end of our trip I was a whole fish eating machine. It came with this garlic dipping sauce. Oh my word!

  19. That DIY Pancake breakie is such a fun idea.
    I don’t think I can choose just one fav vacation meal…my favs usually involve grilled seafood while sitting beachside under the stars with my hubby, Thailand and the Philippines were great for that.

  20. All that food looks AMAZING! I can’t wait until the day I get to travel there 🙂

  21. hawaiian coffee really is the best.

  22. Oh my gosh you seriously could be a pancake artist if that ever becomes a thing! Amazing! Love all your pics, you all look so happy. I can’t tell who Liv looks more like you or the pilot.

    • Fitnessista says:

      hahah! thank you 🙂 and i totally agree. at first i thought she was my little clone, and now i think she looks exactly like tom

  23. Amanda F says:

    My husband and I went to the big island (Hawaii) for our honeymoon and while there visited Kona. We were able to tour a Kona coffee farm. They walked us through the whole process from the farm to how they roast them. BEST COFFEE OF MY LIFE. According to the farmers, the coffee is naturally sweet due to the acidity of the volcanic soil.

    • Fitnessista says:

      i love pretty much all coffee (it has to be BAD for me to notice), but the first sip i was like “this is the best coffee i’ve ever tasted”

  24. I love your orange and white dress from Anthropologie! I’m 32 weeks pregnant and looking for something to wear to a baby shower in a couple of weeks. Do you recommend it? It’s hard to see how it would fit now and after the baby 🙂 For reference — I’m 5’10” and normally around 137 lbs. Thanks so much!

    • Fitnessista says:

      thank you! definitely. i love how flowy it is, but i’m thinking in my non-preg state it might feel like too much fabric. i’ll prob get it taken it a little after the baby is here because i love the print

  25. We went to Maui for our honeymoon and went to Mama’s Fish House also. It was amazing and is still probably the best piece of fish I have ever had. I loved that on the menu they tell you the name of the fisherman that caught your fish earlier THAT DAY. So fresh and delicious. Would love to go back!

  26. I was drooling just looking at those photos!! YUM! The best thing I ever ate was at WDW and it was this pork chop. I am not a huge pork chop fan but they had this sauce that was thebomb.com. So so wonderful!

  27. Your pancake art skills are on point! That mermaid – so cute! And, you had me at lobster guacamole 🙂

  28. I went to Hawaii when I was a teenager, and since I was sick most of the trip, I mostly remember the AMAZING breakfast buffet! Ugh!! But the PANCAKE PLACE!! What an AMAZING restaurant concept!

  29. looks like some yummy & fresh eats!!

  30. erin m. says:

    Hawaiian coffee is seriously the best ever! I had fried oreos with a malted milkshake on the side that you dunked them in at Lavo in Vegas …..so yummy!!!

  31. Yaara Leve says:

    OMG I’m drooling! Give me EVERYTHING! I need to go to Hawaii right now. You got me with that kombu infused/seafood concoction. That is life! And that pad thai looks absolutely incredible. You look so happy and relaxed! It’s so nice that you were able to enjoy yourself with balance and not worry about fear foods or anything. And all the food looked so healthy and fresh anyway. I’d be all over that pie too! You’re adorable!
    XOXO

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