BEST FEMALE BARTENDERAmy Docherty
Like all good bartenders, Amy pays attention to her customers, knows how to pour a good drink and nearly always has a friendly smile on her face. That Amy is also a knockout who likes to chat up her customers are welcome bonuses. In an exclusive interview with MAUI TIME, Amy admitted that she’s tended bar at Kihei’s South Shore Tiki Lounge for just eight months! Clearly, South Maui’s Diva of Daquiri has made a good impression on our readers—in fact, she won the category handily, grabbing twice the number of votes as her closest runner-up (Katie Healy, who won the Best Female Bartender title back in 2005). But Amy is no rookie: she’s worked bars in L.A., Daytona and Boston, which is where she’s originally from but please don’t hold that against her. And she works every day except Monday and Tuesday, if you want to stop by Tiki Lounge and congratulate her. 1913 S. Kihei Rd., 874-6444.
Runner-up: Katie Healy. Dog & Duck Pub, 1913 S. Kihei Rd., 875-9669. (AP)
BEST MALE BARTENDER
Oh, that Chad. He’s been around. What we mean is, Chad’s worked at many bars all over Kihei. And he’s been at Longhi’s in Wailea for five years now. We know this because this is Chad’s second year in a row to win this spot as Best Male Bartender, according to you readers—many of whom we’re assuming are female. Yes, that Chad’s got a way with the ladies. But he’s also a guy’s guy. That way he has all the bases covered, if you know what we mean. Actually, we don’t know what we mean… other than, uh… Chad makes a fine drink! We love you, Chad! Longhi’s, 3750 Wailea Alanui Dr., 891-8883.
Runner-up: Renie Hamayelian. South Shore Tiki Lounge. 1913 S. Kihei Rd., 874-6444. (SC)
We might as well call it “Best Hangover Cure,” too. Because whenever we go, we usually find ourselves in the company of many likewise bleary-eyed patrons—most of whom leave in decidedly better spirits, with bellies full of detoxifying banana pancakes and spinach omelets. But really, Gazebo is the quintessential breakfast spot on Maui. Stellar oceanfront views, friendly staff that’s been there forever, hearty helpings of the kind of carb-o-tastic stuff you crave when you get your ass out of bed in the morning, with a cozy, down-home, open-air ambience at real-people-who-actually-have-to-work-to-live-here prices. In fact, we want to know why there aren’t more Gazebo’s around the island? Plus, maybe that would eliminate the place’s impossibly long line. Although we guess that is part of the charm. 5315 L. Honoapi‘ilani Rd., Napili, 669-5621.
Runner-up: Kihei Caffe.1945 S. Kihei Rd., 879-2230. (SC)
Take that, International House of Corporate Fluff! Once again, little Wailuku Town treasure Tasty Crust smites you with their warm, buttery pancakes and even warmer service. In fact, you didn’t even make runner-up this year! So sorry, but that honor went to Gazebo, with its amazing view and classy reputation. 1770 Mill St., Wailuku, 244-0845.
Runner-up: Gazebo. 5315 L. Honoapi`ilani Rd., Napili, 669-5621. (KS)
BEST SHAVE ICE
Aloha Shave Ice
On a hot summer day, shave ice is like a gift from the gods. Nothing sucks more than having someone screw up anything that comes from the gods. It just shouldn’t happen. You won’t ever run into this problem at Aloha Shave Ice. We’re talking perfectly light and fluffy ice topped with just the right quantity of syrup. Not too sweet, not too plain, but jes’ right. Our favorite is a blue vanilla cone topped with li hing mui powder. The ambiance is quaint—sources say it’s because the owner is an older local man with good taste. Local shave ice—what a concept! 77 Hana Hwy, Paia, 579-8747. (LB)
BEST ROMANTIC RESTAURANT AND LOUNGE
We were recently spotted making ourselves comfortable by the bar. Sources say we might’ve been too relaxed when we ventured up the elevated platform, where a seductive couch and loveseat awaited our arrival. We were heard saying something like, “Ohmigawd I wanna live here!” while kicking our shoes off next to the lamp and ordering another glass of wine, listening to the croon of a nearby live piano player. Then we might have been ushered to a table on the balcony overlooking an immaculate Japanese garden, where other tables of patrons dined with less fanfare than our insiders say we did. But what do they know. Wailea Diamond Resort, 879-2224. (SC)
Upcountry Fresh Tamales and Mixed Plate
We discovered horchata several months ago by accident. We were feeling a little adventurous at Maui Tacos and suddenly blurted out, “We’ll take a taco and one of those brown drinks.” That brown drink turned out to be horchata, a creamy, yummy, sweet, spicy concoction that has long been a refreshing treat of choice in Mexico. Now we thought Maui Tacos offered a good brew, but now realize that it sucks, when compared to that served by Upcountry Fresh Tamales and Mixed Plate. Jose over there makes it from scratch and it takes him hours. Literally hours. It’s so good that we dream about it. For real—as we’re writing these words. Jose’s pretty cute too… and he knows the secret horchata recipe. Hmm… 55 Pukalani St., Pukalani, 572-8258. (LB)
BEST PLATE LUNCH
Aloha Mixed Plate
There’s something about a plate lunch that is quintessentially Hawaiian. Maybe it’s the harmonic blend of different cultures that creates a unique, island flavor. Maybe it’s the sweet way in which mac salad and sticky white rice easily complement all sorts of meats—fried chicken, barbecued chicken, gravy-drowning hamburger, chili dogs, etc. More likely, it’s that plate lunches are also steaming, hot evidence that our taste buds are eternally locked in a vicious, no-holds-barred war against our arteries. Hey, if you don’t eat stuff like this then all those doctors who perform angioplasty, rotational atherectomy and liposuction will go out of business. Do you want that? We didn’t think so. 1285 Front St., Lahaina, 661-3322.
Runner-up: Da Kitchen. 425 Koloa St., Kahului, 871-7782; 2439 S. Kihei Rd., 875-7782. (YT)
BEST ICE CREAM
Cold Stone Creamery
Stone cold, Maui, stone cold. How can we turn our backs on the local Roselani for anything as typically mass-marketed as Scottsdale, Arizona-based Cold Stone’s ice smooth and creamy ice cream all mixed in with your choice of crumbly, sticky, gooey or crunchy toppings? That’s really cold, readers—nearly as cold as their incredibly rich Cookie Dough Delirium ice cream cake. Sooooooo collllllllld. 291 Pi‘ikea Ave., Kihei, 875-8811; 900 Front St., Lahaina, 667-2744.
Runner-up: Lappert’s. 3750 Wailea Alanui Dr., 879-1711; 891 Alua St., Wailuku, 242-2919; 2463 S. Kihei Rd., 879-0189; 693 Front St., Lahaina, 661-3310. (KS)
Ruth’s Chris Steak House
Okay, we’re surprised. Surprised and jealous. You, dear readers, have chosen Ruth’s Chris as the home of the best, most amazing steak on Maui. The sad thing is that we rarely get to eat there. Why? Uh, because we’re broke mo’ fuggahs and Ruth’s Chris is freaking expensive. It’s one of those places where we start experiencing General Anxiety Disorder when we read the menu prices posted on the wall by the front door. But on those rare times when we saved our pennies or sold a kidney and suddenly found ourselves with sufficient disposable income, we found the blazing hot steaks here that sizzle in butter while they’re sitting on the table in front of you to be the best damn steaks on the island. No question. 900 Front St., Lahaina, 661-8815; Shops at Wailea, 874-8880.
Runner-up: Outback Steakhouse. 4405 Honoapi‘ilani Rd., Kahana, 665-1822; 281 Pi‘ikea Ave., Kihei, 879-8400. (LB)
Ever hear the saying, “A Jamba a day keeps the doctor away?” Me neither. But something’s certainly got the attention of our readers. They chose Jamba Juice as the best place to get a smoothie. With more flavors than you can think of—or likely know of—Jamba Juice is great tasting and healthy. Plus, they have outlets pretty much everywhere. Located island-wide.
Runner-up: Alive & Well. 340 Hana Hwy, Kahului, 877-4950. (MN)
BEST DINING WITH A VIEW
When the occasion calls for romance, sunset dining with a view of the sparkling bronze ocean is a sure bet. And none is better than the view of the breathtaking Wailea Coast from Seawatch, where diners can relax in casual elegance while gazing out towards Kaho‘olawe and Molokini across a candlelit table as they sip champagne and feast on succulent fresh fish. Afterwards, there are few pleasures better than indulging in a warm, decadent chocolate brownie while watching the sun slip beneath the horizon. 100 Wailea Golf Club Dr., 875-8080.
Runner-up: Mama’s Fish House. 799 Poho Pl., Kuau, 579-8488. (JA)
Kobe Japanese Steak House
Really? Guess we’ll have to take your word for it and surmise that you, our usually intelligent and sensible readers, know something that we don’t. We mean, we’ve eaten at Kobe, and while we enjoy the theatrics involved in the food preparation, we weren’t all that impressed with the dinner’s actual flavor. We can admit we’re wrong, though. Perhaps our error was in our food choice—while we’ve heard Kobe is all about the steak and lobster, we opted for the tofu. Who orders tofu at Kobe? Big dummy us, that’s who. 136 Dickenson St., Lahaina, 667-5555. (LB)
BEST ITALIAN FOOD
When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore. And when you find yourself Upcountry, waltzing through an enchanting, low-lit dining room with a decidedly Mediterranean ambience, stopping only to be greeted and kissed by a dapper Italian gentleman you assume is the owner, and you sit down to a romantic and yet surprisingly inexpensive fourcourse meal of insalata caprese, pasta al funghi, out-of-this-world osso bucco and homemade tiramisu, and still can’t live without another serving of that wood-fired, oven-baked bread with the oil and vinegar, that’s Casanova. 1188 Makawao Ave., Makawao, 572-0220.
Runner-Up: Penne Pasta. 180 Dickenson St., Lahaina, 661-6633. (SC)
We’ve always thought that how you eat a burrito is reflective of you, as a person. There are people who eat their burritos by first consuming the inside or those who like to separate out the individual ingredients. While these people are mildly neurotic—okay, they’re nuts—it’s the people who eat their burritos horizontally that you should watch out for. These burritos are tasty enough to make us forget that “burrito” is Spanish for “little donkey.” Then again, it’s no weirder than eating a “hot dog,” or as our southern neighbors would say, “perro caliente.” Oh, and when you order, say you want your burrito “wet.” Chicks dig that. Located island-wide.
Runner-up: Las Pinatas. 395 Dairy Rd., Kahului, 877-8707. (YT)
We just wrote a dining story on these folks and their awesome lunch cart in Makawao. Then last week we got a call from one of the uber-hot owners saying they’ve been shut down because of weird permit issues. What? Permit, shmermit. We can’t live without our Kalua Pig Po’ Boy! Luckily, Cloud Nine has been catering for years, or we’d have to totally freak out. Now it’s just about planning a party so we can get them to cater it. Or we could just get married again, or someone could have a baby, or a bar mitzvah. Who cares? Send invitations our way, people. www.cloudninehawaii.com. (LB)
Yeah, well, duh. They make burgers the way burgers were intended: fresh, juicy and named after dead icons of the 1950’s. And they sure get all the details right, too. The buns are soft, the lettuce is crunchy, the cheese appropriately melted, the bacon well done… and that barbeque sauce! Quick! Print the number! Print the number! Wharf Cinema Center, Lahaina, 667-0908.
Runner-up: Jonny’s Burger Joint. 2395 Honoapi`ilani Hwy., Ka`anapali, 661-4500. (SC)
BEST SPAM MUSUBI
There are two things you need to take seriously: drinking and dieting. On those nights when you party to the point of negative caloric intake, you want to fill your stomach with something unusually fulfilling. This spam musubi is the answer. While you might not remember how you got home or why you slept in the bathtub, the distinctive pink of the Spam and the white grains of rice will help you remember what you ate. The best part is that it still tastes fine, the second time around. Located island-wide.
Runner-up: 7-Eleven. 111 Alamaha St., Kahului, 877-4598; 1847 S. Kihei Rd., 879-7177. (YT)
Wow. You readers are high maka-maka! When asked who serves the island’s best pupus, you turned away from the squid luau at the Foodland seafood deli to something a bit higher class. And Hula Grill’s not a bad spot. In fact, our super secret inside spy who goes there all the time says their pupu menu includes ahi poke rolls, imu style pork ribs and even crab and macadamia nut wontons. Like Rachael Ray would say if she were here: Yum-O! Whalers Village, Ka‘anapali, 667-6636.
Runner-up: E&O Trading Co. Closed. (LB)
BEST CHEAP FOOD
Oh. My. Chalupa. Are you kidding us? Of all the cheap food we have here, you’ve decided to go with big-chain, freeze-dried fake-Mex? What’s the matter with you people?! What about last year’s winner Aloha Mixed Plate and runner-up Da Kitchen? Or those awesome carts of food, like Island Tacos? Or… oh, wait, we see what’s going on. Don’t wanna let the secret out, eh? Trying to keep the ol’ Supply and Demand System stable so we get the prices we’re used to at our favorite local joints, eh? We get it. In that case, we’ll have the Mega-Supreme Gordita Meal, Super-sized, to go. Thanks. Located world-wide. (SC)
Flatbread Pizza Co.
In a stunning upset, rookie pizza parlor-extraordinaire Flatbread has beat back previous winners like Southside’s dominant Shaka Pizza and Westside favorite BJ’s. And why not? Flatbread offers tremendous pies—okay, breads—topped with all manner of lip smacking, life-prolonging toppings you don’t find anywhere else, including but not limited to organic basil, macadamia nuts, Surfing Goat cheese, organic rosemary, kiawe-smoked free-range pork shoulder, nitrate-free pepperoni, Kalamata olives, homemade nitrate-free maple-fennel sausage, garlic, pesto, homemade organic mango BBQ sauce, fresh Roma tomatoes and premium whole milk mozzarella. Plus, every Tuesday night a portion of that night’s take goes to benefit a non-profit organization! Hungry yet? 89 Hana Hwy, Paia, 579-8989.
Runner-up: Shaka Pizza. 1770 S. Kihei Rd., 874-0331. (AP)
BEST PLACE TO BUY WINE
Demanding divas and egomaniacal movie stars can afford to pay people to keep chilled champagne stocked in their hotel rooms and limos. But those of us lacking such luxuries have to get off the couch and find bottles of bubbly ourselves. Thank goodness for Mr. Wine. Even if you have Cristal tastes and Miller High Life budgets, Mr. Wine offers a fabulous selection of wine and champagne in all price ranges. They also sell a variety of familiar and unique beers, if you’re in the market for something a bit more working class. 808 Waine‘e St., Lahaina, 661-5551.
Runner up: Hawaii Liquor Superstore. Maui Marketplace, 270 Dairy Rd., Kahului, 877-8778. (JA)
BEST CHINESE FOOD
We’ve found that a lot of Chinese food is akin to a pretty, world-weary whore: cheap and tasty, but you don’t want to think about where she’s been. Luckily, Dragon Dragon is different. No mere haolified Chinese lunch buffet, this is the real deal—amazing Chinese food you can take home to your mom. And the price is reasonable enough that you can bring some back for the rest of the family, too. Maui Mall, Kahului, 893-1628.
Runner-up: Panda Express. Ka`ahumanu Center, Kahului, 877-5645; 1279 S. Kihei Rd., 879-0883. (YT)
There are some things you just know. Like, when a French fry is a good French fry or a bad, bad French fry. Nobody likes a soggy fry, or a fry that’s undercooked or over-salted. And we tend to think that fries are not just an accompaniment to a burger or fried strips of chicken. You should not underestimate the importance of fries. They are the ultimate comfort food, as well as the perfect ladle to ketchup. When we first walked into Stopwatch, Makawao’s premier neighborhood pub for the working class and French fry gourmand, we knew they’d serve those potatoes right. Seasoned with only the slightest hint of savory. Simple yet hearty wedges that are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Kind of like those Stopwatch regulars... 1127 Makawao Ave., Makawao, 572-1380. (SC)
BEST MEXICAN FOOD
MAUI TIME’s readers voted Pinata’s the best place to get great tasting Mexican grub. Who wouldn’t love the relaxing atmosphere and sprawling menu packed with authentic tacos, enchiladas and burritos? And judging by the crowds—just try to get a table between 11 and 2—we’re not alone. 395 Dairy Rd., Kahului, 877-8707.
Runner-up: Amigo’s. 41 E. Lipoa St., Kihei, 879-9952. (MN)
BEST MAI TAI
Mama’s Fish House
When you’re the best, you know it, and the staff at Mama’s Fish House knows that their Mai Tai is da bomb! The recipe is Trader Vic’s original, with Hana Bay light and dark rum, orange liqueur and fresh, tart fruit juices. There are a few other special, super-secret ingredients, but if we divulged them then who would drop $15 for one? You’ll just have to learn the secrets of Maui’s best Mai Tai the way we did, one sip at a time. 799 Poho Pl., Kuau, 579-8488.
Runner up: South Shore Tiki Lounge. 1913 S. Kihei Rd., 874-6444. (JA)
BEST FINE DINING
Mmm… yeah. Now you’re talking, people. Not only does David Paul’s consistently deliver the goods on all that is great in the culinary world of Euro-Hawai‘i cuisine, unbeatable service, and a wine list to drown yourself in, they treat everyone like family. Actually, maybe even a little better. We don’t want to offend our moms but we can’t remember the last time she cooked us a Tequila Shrimp and Firecracker Rice, Four-Cheese Manicotti, Maui Onion and Sesame Seed Crusted Seared Ahi, Crispy Fried Blue Corn Crusted Chile Relleno or Macadamia-Nut Smoked Kurobuta Pork Chop. And they won’t even make you wash the dishes if you check out most of these delicacies on their hip new Demi-Menu, which has nothing to do with Ashton Kutcher’s wife. Rather, the Demi-Menu offers smaller portions of David Paul’s regular entrees at half the price when you sit at the bar Sunday through Thursday. Bar? Hell, we’re already there. 127 Lahainaluna, Lahaina, 667-5117.
Runner-up: Ma`alaea Waterfront Restaurant. 50 Hauoli St., 244-9028. (SC)
BEST HEALTH FOOD STORE
Great place. Great food. Great people. Part grocery store, part deli counter, Mana Foods is all good, regardless of whether you’re a card-carrying member of the earth-loving, health-conscious hippie set or not. Mana Foods is the place to go if you’re stocking up for a week or just that trip to Hana you’ve finally allowed yourself to take. That MAUI TIME’s readers are in love with this wonderful health food store means there’s hope for us all. 49 Baldwin Ave., Paia, 579-8078.
Runner-up: Down to Earth. 305 Dairy Rd., Kahului, 877-2661; 1169 Makawao Ave., 572-1488. (MN)
Want saimin? Then head down to Hanafuda, where the walls are covered in dollar bills and the saimin is always hot, Hot, HOT! For an added treat, try the fried saimin—packed with bits of fish cake, beef and chives. It’s a massive dish enhanced by, of all things, brown sugar. Yummy! 199 Dairy Rd., Kahului, 877-9033; 1279 S. Kihei Rd., 879-9033.
Runner-up: House of Saimin. Old Lahaina Center, 667-7572. (MN)
South Shore Tiki Lounge
They won last year, and you readers are more than happy to come back again. And what’s not to love? The place is lined with more Hawaiian tiki kitsch than you could shake a bamboo pole at—they did win Best Mai Tai runner-up (page 27), after all. They’ve always got a band or DJ playing for no cover charge and they serve pizza around until midnight every night. The staff is also one of the best on the island—you’ve got Amy Docherty (Best Female Bartender, page 24) behind the bar during the day and Renie Hamayelian (Best Male Bartender runner-up, page 25) offering dry intoxicants and even drier puns at night. 1913 S. Kihei Rd., 874-6444.
Runner-up: Mulligan’s on the Blue. 100 Kaukahi St., Wailea, 874-1131. (AP)
BEST FISH SANDWICH
Paia Fish Market
We think we’ll have to go buy one of these glorious sandwiches to celebrate their victory once again. Coleslaw is a delicious delicacy and fish are sooo meant to be eaten. In fact, we like Paia Fish Market’s sandwiches so much that we stole the recipe and use it at home. No, no, we’re just kidding. Stealing is illegal, kids. Please don’t do it, but do go eat this sandwich. Right now. 2A Baldwin Ave., Paia, 579-8030.
Runner-up: Alexander’s Fish & Chips. 1913 S. Kihei Rd., 874-0788. (KS)
By day, Sansei is a family-friendly restaurant specializing in Maui’s best hand rolls and shrimp dynamite. But by night Sansei transforms into a red-hot nightspot for first dates, celeb sightings—Calista Flockhart! Mike Myers! That chick from that one movie!—or just sipping sake with friends at the bar. Late night weekend dining always attracts a posh crowd who hover in the entrance waiting for the clock to strike 10, which magically makes all sushi rolls and appetizers 50 percent cheaper. Insiders say you’ll be too late for a table by 10:15, but you can always groove to the always-delightful sounds of fellow customers serenading the crowd with cheesy karaoke songs while you wait. 115 Bay Drive, Kapalua. 669-6286; 1881 S. Kihei Rd., 879-0004.
Runner up: Kobe Japanese Steakhouse. 136 Dickenson St., Lahaina, 667-5555. Run
Been thinking about this… Being named the Best Chef on Maui is a really big, mondo big deal! There are so many amazing chefs on the island that cook up some of the world’s best and most exotic dishes. And you, our humble readers, named Chef Marisa Samuels of the very humble Makena Grill (they also won Best Lunch!) as the island’s best chef. You readers think she’s better than Plantation House’s Alex Stanislaw. Better than Sansei’s D.K. Kodama. Better than Pacific‘O’s James McDonald. Better even than Pineapple Grill’s Joey Macadangdang. And you know what? We’re cool with that. Located at the entrance to Big Beach in Makena.
Runner-up: Jojo Vasquez. The Banyan Tree, 1 Ritz Carlton Dr., Kapalua, 665-7250 (closed for renovations). (LB)ner up: Kobe Japanese Steakhouse. 136 Dickenson St., Lahaina, 667-5555. (JA)
BEST BUSINESS LUNCH
We don’t know a lot about business—we did choose to make our living in journalism, after all—but we do know a lot about lunch. And what we learned at Cafe O’Lei is that the phonetic phrase “Olay” is applicable in situations other than in bullfights and the bedroom. We also know that the very thought of discussing business over lunch would make us very jittery. Good thing the Cafe O’Lei locations are serene and completely non-threatening. And if business goes a little too much in the Enron direction, the Kihei location is indiscreetly located on the second floor, while the Cafe O’Lei at The Dunes is conveniently near a lake. And soon—Soon!—there’s one going in on Market St. in Wailuku! Maui Lani Golf Course, 877-0073; 2433 S. Kihei Rd., 891-1368.
Runner-up: Manana Garage. 33 Lono St., Kahului, 873-0220. (YT)
BEST LOCAL FOOD
Da Kitchen has delicious grinds, shockingly huge portions and a fun, laid-back feel. What more do you need to know? In truth, Da Kitchen not only has the best chicken katsu we’ve ever tasted, but also has some of the nicest people. 425 Koloa St., Kahului, 871-7782; 2439 S. Kihei Rd., 875-7782.
Runner-up: Aloha Mixed Plate. 1285 Front St., Lahaina, 661-3322. (MN)
BEST FISH TACO
Jawz Tacos truck
After a long day of Sausage Fest at Little Beach, it’s refreshing to get a nice, heaping serving of fish taco. The Jaws’ Truck at Makena not only offers fish tacos you can really dig your face into; it also offers a great variety of seafood to choose from. When you tire of the light and flaky mahi, you can always try the firm lovin’ of the ono. Whatever you’re craving, these fish tacos hit the spot every time. Well, at least that’s what your mom told me last night. Located at Big Beach.
Runner-up: Maui Tacos. Located island-wide. (YT)
Old Lahaina Luau
What’s better than being served beverages by a bunch of cute, tattooed, local guys? Being served beverages from an open bar by a bunch of cute, tattooed, local guys, of course. Sure, you may have to sit next to an overly excited tourist who will massacre a few street names, but then again, you’ll be able to ask some moke for a “Little Tita” without fearing for your life. Insiders say the food and entertainment aren’t bad, either. 1251 Front St., Lahaina, 667-2998.
Runner-up: Feast at Lele. 505 Front St., Lahaina, 667-5353. (YT)
Considering this is a corporate chain that used to run ads showing rodent-like Spongmonkeys, a dude sucking on a wolf teat and some guy eating a sandwich he fished out of a garbage can, Quizno’s does make a damn good sandwich. Our fave is the Au Jus with a French Dip on white. No, we said that right—the sauce is the main course. We’ve been known to drink it straight from the Styrofoam container until the last drop dribbles down our chin. And no, we are not joking. It’s that good. Located island-wide.
Runner-up: Subway. Again, located island-wide. (LB)
There’s something about big waves, hot sun and tacos that go so well together. You readers know this. A ton of you wrote in and voted Makena Grill as the best lunch on Maui. I think very few people would disagree. We totally dig the roadside stand vibe and the way you can drive up, park your car any old place, order your food and then head to the beach, all in the space of about five minutes. Did we tell you about the time we saw tourists trying to long-board at Big Beach? Disastrous! Hilarious, but disastrous. And it all could have been avoided had they just stopped at Makena Grill. Located outside Big Beach in Makena. (LB)
BEST FARMERS MARKET
Ohana Farmers and Crafters Market II
There are a lot of farmers’ markets on Maui, but this one’s not a bad collection of locally grown produce. It’s centrally located, and has the added benefit of not sitting in the middle of a parking lot. The market’s open every Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Located in the center stage area of the Queen Ka‘ahumanu Center, Kahului.
Runner-up: Honokowai Farmers Market. 3636 L. Honoapi`ilani Rd., Honokowai. (AP)
BEST RESTAURANT TO READ WHILE EATING
Since the new Harry Potter book just came out, we bet you’re looking for a place to devour it without interruption. Last year, we read most of a Potter book at IHOP. The lighting is decent, the booths comfy and a pot of coffee is cheap. They’re pretty much always open, too. We adore reading in restaurants because no one bothers you and it’s just plain hip. And yes, we know we’re total dorks. Maui Mall, Kahului, 871-4000. (LB)
BEST PLACE TO EAT WHILE MYSPACING IN PUBLIC
Maui Coffee Roasters
Yes, they offer free wireless Internet. You wouldn’t think this was such a special thing to advertise, but we assure you that it is. You see, most other coffeehouses charge for this service but not Maui Coffee Roasters. They offer a decent selection of soups, salads, sandwiches and all the coffee beverages you could ever hope for. We’re thinking you should go ahead and add them to your “friends.” 444 Hana Hwy., Kahului, 877-2877. (SC)
BEST PLACE TO EAT WHILE MYSPACING IN PUBLIC AND GET SERENADED BY A MARIACHI
Hawaiian Village Coffee
Okay, so Hawaiian Village Coffee also offers free wireless. But they also offer something you won’t just find anywhere. His name is Nacho. And his voice is glorious. We think you should bring in a bottle of wine, order up some ice cream, log off the computer and listen to the sounds of Maui’s Mexican Sweetheart. He’s a shocking and welcome revelation. And we don’t shock easily. 4405 Honoapi‘ilani Hwy., Kahana, 665-1114. (SC)
Mama’s Fish House
If it was good enough for land-owning giant Alexander & Baldwin back in late February 2006—company execs wined and dined five Maui County Council members there in a celebrated example of politico shmoozing that made both this paper and The Maui News—then this famous home of beach shack ambiance and delectable seafood is good enough for our readers, who are apparently quite the well-heeled bunch, if this is their preferred dining spot. 799 Poho Pl., Kuau, 579-8488.
Runner-up: Cafe O’Lei. Maui Lani Golf Course, 877-0073; 2433 S. Kihei Rd., 891-1368. (AP)
BEST NEW RESTAURANT
TIE: Banyan Bistro and Dog & Duck Pub
In this corner, we have the quiet, unassuming Banyan Bistro—a quaint little Westside nook in the Wharf Cinema Center that serves pita sandwiches, pizzas, salads and some of the most exquisite grilled meats you’ll find this side of Cairo. And in this corner, we have Dog & Duck—a cozy little Irish pub specializing in good beers, rosemary chicken pie and some of the hottest wait staff south of the Pali. And the winner is… completely unknown because our readers couldn’t make up their damn minds. Banyan Bistro: Wharf Cinema Center, Lahaina, 661-0348; Dog & Duck: 1913 S. Kihei Rd., 875-9669. (AP)
BEST MILKSHAKE SERVED AFTER MIDNIGHT
What?! Denny’s made Best of Maui? Read it and weep, folks. But we stand our ground when we say that if it’s past midnight and you’re just hurting for a thick and creamy shake, Denny’s is the place to go. They really have great milkshakes in general, but there’s something otherworldly about drinking a milkshake at Denny’s at three in the a.m. Sure, the guy sitting next to you may be a drunk, cracked-out insomniac, but whatever. The milkshakes are awesome. 430 Kele St., Kahului, 873-5550; 2463 S. Kihei Rd., 879-8600. (LB)
BEST FISH & CHIPS
Alexander’s Fish & Chips
Alexander was a famous conqueror known for his voracious sexual appetite; Alexander’s is a locally owned chain of a couple restaurants known for fish and chips. They pretty much have nothing in common, except the fact that both are patrons of succulent, tender, delectable flesh. We could describe the ono that tastes like unicorn giggles, or the hilarity that ensues when you mix fries, bystanders and thousands of hungry little birds, but that whole “flesh” reference has us all distracted. Just eat the fish, okay? Ka‘ahumanu Center, Kahului, 877-5556; 1913 S. Kihei Rd., 874-0788.
Runner-up: Paia Fish Market. 2A Baldwin Ave., Paia, 579-8030. (YT)
BEST PLACE TO BUY ORGANIC QUICHE
Alive & Well
We’re a walking, talking oxymoron. We’ll pop a hydrocodone any day of the week (prescribed, of course!) but pesticide-laden milk? Hell no! And this is why Alive & Well rocks. Here you can buy hormone-free milk, vitamins, fresh fruit, vegetables, candles, lip balm, aromatherapy stuff, organic coffee, assorted snacks, blah, blah and blah. Plus, they have an outstanding deli counter loaded with sandwiches, salads, quiche, incredible soups and all sorts of other hot and cold dishes, all grown and prepared organically. 340 Hana Hwy, Kahului, 877-4950. (LB)
BEST COFFEE SHOP
The best place to be seen sporting a double, half-caffe, three-pump, iced, white chocolate mocha with whip? MAUI TIME’s readers say they indulge at their friendly neighborhood coffee conglomerate—Starbucks. Here’s a thought: top that cup off with a warm, gooey chocolate croissant or orange-cranberry scone and you’ve got a one-hand-on-the-wheel breakfast that will turn heads! Or grab some unsweetened iced green tea and a low-fat lemon bar to go when you’re on your way to/from that yoga class you finally joined. Just don’t be in a hurry, because at peak hour it can take 20 minutes or more to get that cup of joe. Located galaxy-wide.
Runner up: BadAss Coffee Company. 270 Dairy Rd., Kahului, 877-5477; 665 Front St., Lahaina, 661-4130. (JA)