Aug 31, 201212:17 PMThe Saucy Dish
Foodie Fodder with Island Flavor
Cane and Taro Is Now Maui Fish and Pasta
Maui Fish and Pasta (formerly Cane and Taro)- Whaler’s Village, Kaanapali, Maui
When D.K. Kodama (of Sansei fame) opened Cane and Taro in Whaler’s Village a few years back, Kaanapali residents and visitors gave a collective cheer at the thought of accessing Sansei style sushi at yet another stellar outlet helmed by the famed restaurateur. But something happened along the way and in the attempt to be all things to too many diners, Cane and Taro didn’t quite catch on.
That was then. The restaurant has been recently reinvented and renamed Maui Fish and Pasta. Though it still lacks a gripping moniker, (why not just D.K.’s?) the eatery has evolved from being a secondary option for Hula Grill’s overflow crowds to becoming self-sufficiently booked as tight as Sansei on Sundays. The fact I couldn't get a reservation before 8 pm indicates they ae now headed in a very good direction. That we've eaten there twice in as many weeks tells you even more.
So far, I’ve heard nary a complaint from any of my dining companions about the food (and they don’t hold back, believe me!) Rather, I’ve heard raves about the enormous and amazingly tender Osso buco, the ravioli appetizer with buttery pesto and grilled shrimp, the Opakapaka with bok choy and Thai chili (one of six fresh fish preparations), the sweet Maui onion soup, and the too-good-to-be-good-for-you crisply fried kale.
Typically, my main squeeze finishes all his food plus the balance of whatever is left on my plate, but the other night he was adequately sated with osso buco to spare, which he packed up in a to-go box hoping for a lunch time treat on Monday. Too bad – instead it served as breakfast for yours truly in what is known as the “leftovers so good you wake up wanting last night’s dinner again for breakfast” syndrome, aka in some circles as “that devil DK made me do it.”
Maui Fish and Pasta’s mesmerizing ocean views were equally as predominant during its Cane and Taro period, as were the trade winds blowing through the open-air restaurant, but for some reason we appreciate these elements all the more now that the cuisine matches the ambiance.
We also respect the fresh ingredients used to make the lilikoi mojitos and a host of elegantly crafted tropical drinks. Save room for the Banana Chocolate Mac Nut Tart, a surprisingly light but decadent dessert sporting a shortbread crust banana chunks in a creme anglaise fillinng that's nothing short of scrumptious.
Maui Fish & Pasta