Last week, Jason and I vacationed in Maui!!! It was my second time visiting the island and Jason's first trip. Nearly every August, he gets to take a chunk of time off from work, and it's become a tradition to take advantage of the time to travel. Going somewhere to "unplug" is a huge priority for us, both as a couple and as individuals, thus making Maui the perfect place to get away.
As with many of our vacations, our days mostly revolved around food. So, for the first post about our trip, let's get down to the business of where we ate.
We took a direct flight out of Sacramento and arrived at our hotel, The Westin Resort and Spa Ka'anapali, mid afternoon. We checked in, threw our swimsuits on and quickly realized how ready we were for food. We decided to try the hotel's restaurant and, sadly, it wasn't our favorite meal. However, Jason's burger with a slice of pineapple on it (a trend he would continue through the weekend), was delicious! My chicken nachos were meh. On the other hand, the happy hour mixed drinks, both virgin and alcoholic, hit the spot.
For breakfast, two out of the five mornings we were there, we split an acai bowl from Island Vintage Coffee in Whaler's Village. My favorite acai bowl is in San Diego and I was so excited to find a version that compared, and within walking distance from our hotel! I just love the mix of granola, acai smoothie, fresh fruit and honey. Mmm.
Our other favorite breakfast was at The Gazebo restaurant located near Napili Beach, a few miles north of where we were staying in Ka'anapali. I had been before when I came to Maui with my family and knew Jason would enjoy it, too. It was raining when we got there, and there was quite a line just to be seated. From what I read, the wait was not unusual, and for us, it was well worth it! Jason had an omelet (with ham and pineapple – the trend continues!) and I had the combo pancakes which include macadamia nuts, bananas and pineapples mixed in to the batter. My favorite part of The Gazebo is either the pretty view, or the coconut syrup on every table.
For our second dinner, we tried Aloha Mixed Plate in Lahaina- just south of our hotel. I wouldn't highly recommend it: the rice was crunchy. But for the price, location, and service, we left happy overall. My drink did come with a flower, which I'm a sucker for, every time.
A dinner that we would highly recommend, was Star Noodle. It's located just off the main road of Lahaina, and we were able to walk in and get a table without much wait. If you're visiting during a more busy season, I would make a reservation because the restaurant isn't all that big. I would describe the menu as Asian Tapas. We ordered the brussels sprouts, kalbi steak, chicken kabobs and hapa ramen (which they split for us). We both left with very content tummies. Jason loved his jalapeno margarita. This place was delicious, and had a great atmosphere! A+!
After our dinner at Aloha Mixed Plate, we drove down to Lahaina's Front Street. It is touristy with lots of restaurants and souvenir shops, but very cute, especially at night. Be aware, you will need to pay for parking in one of the adjacent lots.
I heard great things about Ululani's Shave Ice (via instagram, among other sources) so we decided to give it a try. It was melt in your mouth good. Since there are only two people working both the ice machine, and register, the wait does take a little while, but the temperatures were cool enough that standing in line wasn't awful. For the record, we noticed two different Ululani's locations within walking distance from each other, in the Front Street area. We sat on the patio of a nearby store which gave us an awesome view of the sunset through the rain clouds.
After our shave ice, we walked down Front Street to the famous Banyan Tree. It's hard to explain to someone who hasn't seen it in person, just how giant the tree and it's roots are. Starting as an eight foot tree in 1873, it now stands at nearly sixty feet tall. It has grown so large by dropping roots from it's branches which have become additional trunks over time. Our minds were blown; we had never seen anything like it. It was dark when we were there, and birds were beginning to nest for the night, so it felt a little creepy. I would have loved to visit it in the day time and take pretty photos.
Our final night on the island, we had dinner at Lahania Grill. It was our obligatory "fancy dinner" of the week, and we couldn't be happier with our choice of restaurant. The biggest issue was, honestly, choosing between menu items because everything looked really, really good. The atmosphere of softly painted flower murals, paired with dim lighting made my heart happy. I can't recommend this place enough. Yes, it was on the pricey side, but if you're looking for a fancy dinner on this side of Maui, look no further.
Maui, you are delicious.