Monday, November 24, 2008

Worth the wait! (Gazebo Restaurant, Maui)

I did my study and I was prepared for the wait so I wasn't shocked when I saw this line. I was prepared but I still despise waiting in line. It has got to be one of my biggest pet peeves. But when you have beautiful views and you're in paradise, the waiting doesn't seem that bad. Although, I thought the location of Gazebo Restaurant was pretty peculiar. Always mentioned as one of the top breakfast locations in Maui, Gazebo is located by the pool of the Outrigger Napili Shores. While the location is a little peculiar and a little difficult to find, the food and views are spectacular. In fact the whole time that we were in Maui we ate somewhere different every time with the exception of Gazebo Restaurant. We ate here twice for breakfast. That's how much we loved it! They have the best pancakes. I already miss this place!

What a view!
With views of the blue Pacific Ocean, Molokai and Lanai Islands, and the Napili Bay who wouldn't mind waiting in line! With a view like this even my biggest pet peeve of waiting in lines did not affect me. What a view!

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pancake
"Mrs. Gohan" decided to order the White Chocolate Mac Pancakes and it was delicious. We were both worried that it might be overly sweet but that was not the case. I asked the waitress whether the topping was some kind of whipped butter or whip cream, but she informed me that it was actually Dream Whip with some added secrets. Regardless, it was delicious!

Fried Rice (half order)
I read somewhere that Gazebo serves up a really good fried rice. So naturally I had to order it and taste for myself. My dilemma was that I wanted to order pancakes as well. The solution....was to order a half order of the fried rice and the short stack of pancakes. Well, the half order ended up being larger than most full orders. Gazebo's version of the fried rice was okay. It just was not my kind of fried rice. It had too many things going on. It seemed to have all the different breakfast meats in there along with bell peppers, onions, and green onions. While I love breakfast meats, I don't know if I like them all together like this. It was a bit much.

Banana Macadamia Nut Pancake
Well here's the picture of my other half of my breakfast. I couldn't help but have that Jack Johnson song in my head "Banana Pancake" while I was eating this. This was absolutely one of the best pancakes I have ever tasted in my life! They were light and fluffy and almost melted in your mouth. These were so good that we came back again another day to eat these :)

Gazebo Restaurant
5315 Lower Honoapiilani Road
Lahaina, Maui, HI. 96761

Monday, November 17, 2008

Maui's best restaurant? (Mama's Fish House, Maui)

The last time we were in Maui we never got the chance to dine at Mama's Fish House, so this time around I made sure we had plans to go. Upon arriving here, I was struck by the beauty of the location. It was simply gorgeous and breathtaking. The views and atmosphere alone makes this restaurant one of the best on the island for sure! Prior to our trip I've heard nothing but good things about this restaurant that perhaps my expectations were set too high. The views and atmosphere are undeniably spectacular, but the food, while it was definitely good I wouldn't go as far as to say this is hand's down the best restaurant in Maui. Our dinner happened to be a momentous occasion. This marked the first time that I ordered a seafood dish for my main entree EVER! Those who know me, know that I'm a meat eater. But I figured when you're eating at a place with the name fish house in it you can't order meat. Beware, you pay for not only the food but the views as well. This place is expensive!

What a View!

What a view! Mama's Fish House literally seems like it was constructed from a gutted out beach house (A really nice beach house!) with open windows. Can you believe this? I took this picture from our table! Wow!

Mai Tai
When in Hawaii, you got to order a Mai Tai. But I wasn't too happy on paying the $15 for the Mai Tai. I have to say this was pretty darn good! Well, it better be for that price.

White Asparagus Soup
The amuse bouche happened to be the White Asparagus Soup. To be honest, I don't really remember much of the flavor structures in the soup other than it tasted pretty good :) I'm not a real big fan of asparagus though.

Shrimp Won Tons
I was expecting something totally different when we ordered this appetizer. Since it was called Shrimp Won Ton I was expecting a won ton stuffed with shrimp. So when these came out I was surprised and intrigued. The shrimp was wrapped with the won ton skin and then fried and served with a macadamia nut dipping sauce. These were pretty good, but I don't know if I would order this again.

Here it first seafood entree ever! The one thing that I like about Mama's Fish House is that they catch the fish daily and they even tell you what boat it was caught on. I love that! I decided on the Opah. And my Opah was caught on the boat “Manaloa”. It was prepared upcountry style with caramelized Maui onion, avocado and jasmine rice. It basically was cooked with shoyu (soy sauce). My favorite thing about this dish was the onions. They were delicious. I would have to say that for my first seafood entree I might order seafood more often as my main dish :)

"Mrs. Gohan" ordered this dish and we had no idea what kind of fish it was. We never heard of Monchong, but now we know. The fish was absolutely delicious. It was moist and light. As soon as I got home I looked it up on the internet and I'm glad we ordered it before we knew what it looked like. The fish is ugly!

Mama's Chocolate Kuau Pie
I just love chocolate desserts and this one didn't disappoint. It was a chocolate mousse cake with a caramel cookie crust. This dessert went really well with my $10 cup of French Pressed Kona Coffee!

Liliko'i Creme Brule
The flavor of the lilikoi (Hawaiian passion fruit) really shined through in this dessert. The flavor was really refreshing and really went well with the overall experience of dining at Mama's Fish House. I would definitely would order this again.

Mama's Fish House
799 Poho Place
Paia, Maui, HI. 96799

Monday, November 10, 2008

Heavenly! (Ocean Pool & Bar Grill, Maui)

With the morning sun, came our first true sight of where we were staying. It's been 7 years since the last time we visited Maui, so we were pretty excited to say the least. And what we awoke to was truly heavenly. If you ever stayed at a Westin, you'll know that the Westin has a line of products called Heavenly. So literally we woke up in heaven :) We were truly happy to be back in Hawaii to do absolutely nothing but relax and enjoy good food. An emphasis on doing nothing. If we were going to Hawaii for the sake of eating, we would have chosen Oahu and not Maui.

Our first day we decided to stay at the resort to relax and eat. So we opted to eat at one of the only restaurants here.... Ocean Pool & Bar Grill. I was hoping to order one of my favorite local dishes (loco moco) but we didn't make it on time for breakfast so I had to find a replacement. After perusing the menu for a few minutes we saw that they had Maui Onion Rings... we had to order them. You can't go to Maui and not have Maui Onions and what better way to eat them....battered and fried! Yummy! It's kind of like going to Kona without drinking Kona Coffee or going to Philadelphia and not eating a Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich, you just can't do that! For my main dish I ordered the special of the day... Chicken Katsu (panko covered fried chicken). The one thing I have to say that I absolutely love about Hawaii, is that I could get gohan (rice) anywhere I want! Hawaii is truly a food heaven for me. I would have to say that the food was decent, but I just wish they had more variety in dining options at the Westin Villas.

Maui Onion Rings
When in Maui, you got to eat Maui Onions! These onion rings were absolutely delicious. They were so succulent and naturally sweet. In my opinion there is no better onions than Maui Onions. I wish I could eat these everyday!

Chicken Katsu
The chicken katsu was okay. I would have to say that these were pretty decent for a pool side bar grill. There was nothing that special about this other than I got to eat rice. The one thing that this meal reminded me of though, was how expensive Maui can be. The prices in Maui are astronomical!

Ocean Pool & Bar Grill
Westin Ocean Resort Villas

6 Ka'i Ala Drive
Lahaina, Maui, HI. 96761

Monday, November 3, 2008

Not sure what we got ourselves into (Jonny's Burger Joint, Maui)

Just off the plane and nowhere to go. After arriving in Maui for our "babymoon", we were very hungry and tired. We decided that we'll try to grab something to eat at the Da Kitchen, but to our disappointment they were closed. So we decided to go check into our hotel and maybe grab something to eat there, but again to our disappointment, not much was open. I asked the guest service guy for some advice and he informed me that most places around there closed at 9pm and he said that there was a McDonalds open. We were just about to go to McDonalds, but I decided to ask the bell guy for recommendations. He told me about Jonny's Burger Joint just down the street. He said that was about the only place still open and that they have good wings. So on his recommendation we drove down the street and found this hidden place.

When we walked in we both were a little weary. This place was straight out of a movie. What we walked into was a bar that happened to serve food. There was no one there to greet us and there was plenty of inebriated locals playing pool. This place didn't seem too friendly initially. Although we weren't too sure as to where to sit we finally decided to find a seat and proceeded to order food at the counter. We decided to follow the recommendations of the guy from the hotel and ordered the buffalo wings. The one thing that struck me was how good the food tasted. I had to ask myself..."does the food really taste good or is it because I'm really hungry and tired?". I even asked "Mrs. Gohan" the same question and we both concluded that the food was really good and that it wasn't our imagination. After having eaten here, I would definitely say I would eat here again. Especially now that I know what to expect.

Buffalo Wings
These were actually one of the best buffalo wings I've had. They were really tasty, crispy, and juicy. A lot of times wings can tend to be a little dry and tough when they are this crispy. These wings were cooked perfectly and flavoring was also spot on.

French Fries
These too were actually one of the better french fries I've had in a long time. They came out piping hot and were cooked perfectly. Crispy on the outside and nice and light and fluffy on the inside. They were perfect!

Jonny's Burger Joint
2291 Kaanapali Pkwy.
Lahaina, Maui, HI. 96761