Top Maui Restaurants 2008 From Thrifty to Four Star: Indispensable Advice from Experts Who Live, Play & Eat on Maui
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23 of 27 found the following review helpful:
One delicious meal after another! Apr 22, 2008
By Kimberly Shaw
We just returned from Maui with a well used copy of this book! We are VERY frequent visitors to Maui (about three times a year). I loved James and Molly's story, their passion for each other and for great food! I appreciate the fact that they are sharing their dining experiences with us (the readers). I highly suggest this book to anyone visiting or living on Maui!
I admit I peeked ahead to see what they thought of my favorite Maui restaurants and it helped me "trust" them to realize we shared similar tastes! Then I read the book cover to cover. Later I downloaded the latest edition. The book paid for itself the first new place we tried, which happened to be Cilantro Fresh Mexican Grill in Lahaina. Having lived in Hawai'i and also places that have some excellent Mexican food (Texas, California, Arizona and MEXICO)...in my opinion, this is the best Mexican food in all of Hawai'i, of course I am open to continue to try other places just to make sure. As it is often difficult to find an affordable dinner on Maui, this was a great place to discover.
Another time we wanted to kiss the book in thanks was after the first bite at Flatbread Company in Pa'ia. I cannot have gluten/wheat, so I had to skip the pizza, but I so enjoyed watching my husband and youngest daughter eat it. My daughter agreed that it was a "spiritual experience!" I enjoyed a salad with the yummy pineapple vinaigrette dressing! The lemonade was a little too tart for us, but loved the iced tea. My husband loved the pomegranate ginger mojito. The desserts were amazing, especially with their homemade whipped cream (sweetened with maple syrup). We found the service to be excellent, too!
Many places we had driven by on former trips and always wondered about. This book gave us the nudge to go ahead and try some of these places, as follows:
Longhi's - The steak WAS awesome, just as the book said. It was also one of the best breakfasts we had (even though Plantation House continues to be our favorite place). My husband thought it was the best french toast on the island. My daughter enjoyed the huge cinnamon roll.
Cafe O Lei - Great place for lunch, just as the book said. We loved the shave ice place downstairs, too!
Maui Tacos - Just figured it was typical fast food, so always avoided. After reading the review, we gave it a try. It was fresh and tasty and a perfect quick meal on the way to a movie.
Mala in Wailea - I appreciate all their organic items on the menu! The organic chicken was ONO!
I'O - It is now our top Lahaina restaurant, too! (Have enjoyed Pacific'o and Feast of Lele in the past.)
We did have two semi-disappointing meals this trip. I should say ONLY two, as we often have many more than that. Thankfully, this book helped us avoid most of those! And I do realize that every restaurant has an off day. Perhaps it was an off day for these two places? After waiting a while in the rain for the Gazebo, we felt it was not worth the wait. The view IS amazing, but you can get the view from the other side of the beach at the Sea House. The food seemed to be typical "diner" food. To me, it tasted like something you'd get at Denny's. It was not bad, but not great either. My husband and daughter had the pancakes and were disappointed. We much prefer Sea House or Plantation House for breakfast in that area (or Longhi's and SeaWatch further away). We had one night to have a romantic dinner, just my husband and I. We decided to try Pineapple Grill. We did not feel the view compared to the view at Plantation House (perhaps it was where we were seated). The service was excellent. The food was good. However, it was so noisy be could hardly hear each other. It was not too crowded, although there was one large group. We decided we did not like yelling at each other from across the table and did not stay for dessert.
Overall it was one ONO meal after another! We enjoyed adding some new winners to the restaurants we already enjoyed on Maui!
James and Molly, mahalo nui loa!
25 of 30 found the following review helpful:
Top Maui Restaurants from Thrifty to Four Star Oct 26, 2007
By S. Piper
This book is one of two guidebooks to Maui that we consider a must. Unlike the free guides readily available everywhere, the authors give you the straight scoop on a whole range of restaurants. It is very easy on Maui to find terrible restaurants and leave feeling ripped off. Even the bad ones are expensive. This guide led us to several places we would not otherwise have given a second look. Just one example: Gian Don's. This very attractive restaurant with its comfortable outside seating looks totally out of place overlooking noisy Kihei Road. Following the authors' suggestions we ordered the appetizer ribs and a salad and were very happy with the portions and the prices. Without this book, we would never have tried Gian Don's much less ordered ribs in an Italian restaurant. This wonderful, entertaining guide was worth every penny. It will be on our short list of "must brings" to Maui--unless there is a new version out.
10 of 11 found the following review helpful:
Makin' it so easy...! Jul 28, 2009
Not having visited Maui in 30 years, I had no idea where our family of four would be able to eat at reasonable prices. Given the fact that Hawaii, in general is so expensive, this wonderful book not only gave a comprehensive and entertaining review of Maui's offerings, but it was organized, thorough and easy to use as a daily guide...which we will for the next two weeks!
This book made an important part of our trip less challenging and took away the stress and frustration of trying to find nice, clean and reasonably priced restaurants.
I am so very glad we purchased this book -- I recommend it highly -- no one should travel to Maui without it!
4 of 4 found the following review helpful:
GREAT AND INDISPENSABLE GUIDE Feb 27, 2010
By Paula A. Wood
We are just completing a twelve day trip to Maui, and bought this book while here. We have been coming to Maui for years, and love good food. We therefore have some experience regarding the good restaurants. However, because we bought this book, we happily dined at several restaurants that we would not have otherwise frequented.
Examples: The Jacobsons highly recommended a new restaurant (David Paul's Island Grill) which turned out to be a great find. They also highly recommended Gerard's, a long-established restaurant in Lahaina that we had not visited for many years. It turned out to be one of our best dining experiences on Maui in many years.
Jim and Molly also had the courage to criticize many facets of Merriman's Kapalua, something that I am sure was difficult to do in light of Peter Merriman's exulted status as a chef in Hawaii. Unfortunately, their criticisms (which we were not aware of when we ate at Merriman's as we had not yet purchased the book) were quite accurate and carefully worded.
Besides being accurate, the Jacobsons write in a way that is entertaining and plain fun. They are obviously devoted foodies, and their descriptions of some of the dishes that they like best are such that you can almost taste them.
As anyone who has been to Maui knows, food is quite expensive over here. You can spend a great deal of money at a mediocre restaurant just as easily as at a great one. This makes the purchase price of this book (about the price of an appetizer at a good Maui restaurant) a bargain. If you like good food, and are coming over here, buy this book!
4 of 4 found the following review helpful:
This Book Is A Treasure Chest of Information Jan 22, 2010
By Edward Mendelsohn
This is the third edition of the book that I've purchased over the years, and each year James and Molly exceed my expectations and amaze me that they continue to seek out and find gems of restaurants on Maui. This book is more like a "Bible" than a reference book when it come to providing valuable information, and the money that you'll save by following their advice and dining at the recommended establishments will pay for this book many times over.
I'm sold on James and Molly!
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