During my recent stay in Maui, where I discovered that I really much enjoy staying at the Andaz in Wailea, I had three dinners interesting in their own right.
I thought I’d share them here, in case they help folks deciding to eat – or not eat – at one of these places, since Maui is such a frequent tourist destination.
Scott at Hack My Trip says the Andaz Maui is “one of the few hotels where I felt I could stay there all week and never leave the property.”
I could stay on property, to be sure, but I prefer leaving the property when on Maui – there are close and far off foods, lots of variety (though not all of it good) and certainly at a lower price point. Only one of the three dinners I’ll mention was at the hotel.
Scott is giving away 3 nights there so considering entering.
Last year in Maui I tried – and absolutely loved – Star Noodle. So much so that even though it’s in Lahaina, on the other side of the island, I decided to make the trek back there.
To me, though, it’s good enough to be worth the trip over to Lahaina even when staying in Wailea. That’s in part about how good Star Noodle is, and in part that I haven’t been over-the-top thrilled by the other things I might have closer to the Andaz. (Yes, I know you have your favorites nearby…!)
Star Noodle is in an industrial park, just a few minutes but worlds away from the mega resorts. It’s not a tourist spot on the water.
Here’s the menu: (Click to enlarge.)
I began with the scallop shots, the broth for which is amazing.
Then the ‘Filipino Bacon & Eggs’ which is definitely worth doing.
There was a duck confit on special which was good but probably the least good of the dishes for the evening.
Here’s the Hot & Sour noodles. Good, but my top choice for noodles by a wide margin is the Lahaina Fried Soup (which is oddly enough dry and not in a broth).
Landing in Maui, traveling from the East Coast, is interesting because it’s taken all day to travel but it’s still light out for several hours. It’s not like an early morning or noon arrival in Asia, where you’ve been traveling much farther and may have even more of the day to force yourself up (in which case I allow myself a brief nap so that I can stay up the rest of the day). Instead I’m tired, but it’s too late to rest, I want to have dinner and power through the evening but still remind myself I’m in Hawaii so I want to relax.
I solved that dichotomy on my most recent trip with an outdoor meal at my hotel.
The Andaz on Maui boasts an outpost of the Iron Chef’s restaurant.
The restaurant is beside the pool, and I didn’t feel like it was set apart enough. It almost seemed as though it could be the swim up bar (though the pool bar was on the other side of the pool).
Morimoto’s is quite good. It’s also on Maui, so it’s pricey since it’s good. And it’s at an upscale resort so pricier still. Some report getting out of there quite reasonably, but I wanted a meal good enough to keep my attention since I was so tired. I ordered the omakase.
Any time I’ve ever done a ‘chef’s choice’ at a solid Japanese restaurant I’ve always gotten more than my money’s worth. The chef picks, and it would be an embarassment not to provide value. It’s often pricey, but you get at least what you’re paying for.
The problem here is it’s $140++ per person. And they don’t do much in terms of quantity of expensive ingredients. It’s an interesting meal but not one where I felt like it came close to its price.
Brew Dogs, an Esquire Network (seriously, that exists) show where the proprietors of a Scottish brewery visit American craft beer spots, was was filming an episode while I had dinner here.
I sat outside and was constantly accosted by flies. I haven’t found Wailea to have truly top notch dining (though of course people have their favorites). Monkey Pod comes recommended, and it was certainly fine, but there’s nothing that would draw me back.
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