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For Fanatic Foodies, the Essence of Maui


By dcal
Joined: Oct 8, 2008
Posts: 1

Posted on: October 08, 2008 at 4:21PM

This could be the Maui of 25 years ago. Before mega-lane highways, before commercial hotel luaus. It certainly is the best of Maui today. There is a tiny restaurant, set on the water's edge, tiki torches glowing. Your table is out on the wooden deck and the waves are lapping gently below. Sea turtles peek their heads out of the surf. And if you're lucky, there's a full moon making the waves luminous. You're at Mala Ocean Tavern, in Lahaina. At the quiet end of Front Street, owner Mark Ellman refurbished an old, run-down restaurant and created this haven. With a deceptively simple decor, the natural setting and gentle tradewinds take center stage. Until the food arrives. With promises of organic, ultra-fresh, and locally grown foods, Ellman delivers a sumptuous assortment of small plate servings. Sometimes down-home (sweet and spicy wings); sometimes exotic (a greek quartet of babaganoush, feta, raita, and hummus) ; sometimes pure Hawaiian (whole wok fried fish or the ahi burger) - always expertly prepared and delicious. These are the meals for traveling foodies who want to experience the flavors and sights of their destination. An astonishingly sophisticated and yet price-conscious wine list is available as are local brews and island style martinis. And not to save room for dessert would be a crime. There must be a special place in heaven for dessert chefs who come up with something like the Caramel Miranda. Let's just say it involves dark chocolate, caramel, broiled island fruit and macadamia brittle ice cream. From the location and authentic Hawaiian vibe to the exceptionally prepared and delicious dishes, Mala is not to be missed. report a problem

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