Story by Shannon Wianecki | Photography by Nina Lee
Abuzz with activity already, this new “downtown” bistro branches out from its Upcountry sister, adding Mediterranean influences to a menu of wonderfully affordable fresh pastas. Charming manager Jean Francois Lefevre greets guests at the door, and seasoned waitstaff weave through tables packed with theatergoers, business folk, and those seeking post-shopping nourishment. New favorites include paella for two, fresh-cut french fries, a tasty duck salad, and a tiramisu-like crepe stuffed with mascarpone and marsala wine and drizzled in chocolate. Kid-friendly.
33 Lono Ave., Kahului, 873-3650. L, D. Mediterranean. $.
Cane & Taro
Minutes after the sun sets on Ka‘anapali Beach, the people pour into D.K. Kodama’s newest restaurant, where the oceanfront address and ample menu more than make up for the Spartan decor. Find award-winners borrowed from Sansei sushi bar, keiki-friendly pastas, and some new favorites. Chef Ivan’s kalbi-beef tacos topped with kim-chee slaw and the vegan chop-chop salad are especially ono-licious. At the bar: muddled lychee martinis and Maui Brewing Company’s Bikini Blonde on tap. Kid-friendly. 2435 Ka‘anapali Pkwy., Ka‘anapali. 662-0668. B, L, D. Pacific Rim. $$.
Surfside Spirits & Deli
Celebrating twenty years of delivering delicious, local-style food to south-siders, Johnson and Vicky Young know many of their customers by name. Join the surfers and construction workers lining up for chicken hekka or roast pork with heaping scoops of “hapa” rice (brown and white mixed) and mac salad. Stop by Saturday night for the Hawaiian plate: chicken long rice, laulau, lomi salmon, and—a real treat—homemade poi. “We have friends who grow taro and like to share it with everybody,” says Vicky. “It feels better when you make your own.” Collectible kitchenware (Vicky’s) and surfboards (Johnson’s) decorate this slice of old Hawai‘i. 1993 South Kihei Rd., Kihei, 879-1385.L, D. Local Mixed Plate, Hawaiian. $.