[Part 1 here: Maui, part 1 - Paia, etc ]
Continuing with the highlights of my recent 10 day trip to Maui - I spent the last four nights at a condo in Kaanapali, which was so very different from my beloved funky Paia rental, but had some really appealing aspects, like an actual beachfront location and excellent walkability (as opposed to Paia where I’m not fond of risking my life on the half mile walk into town along the sidewalk- and shoulder-less Hana Highway). Oh and air-conditioning. Again, condo had a full kitchen (nicer than my kitchen at home, in fact) so in general I ate breakfasts and lunches in and went out for dinners. Stopped at the Safeway in the Lahaina Cannery shopping center to replenish provisions. It’s no Whole Foods, but it’s decent. Some nice local produce, and good prices on wine with the club card. Good for Maui, that is - I’ve finally gotten used to how much more expensive wine is in Hawaii, whether you’re talking high-end bottles in restaurants or every day drinking wine in the grocery store. Makes sense, since regardless of where it was produced it’s travelled an extra long way.
Leilani’s, Kaanapali - http://www.leilanis.com
Condo was right by the Whaler’s Village shopping center, home to Leilani’s and the Hula Grill, two of the finer dining spots on that part of the island. But I’m not so much into fine dining when I’m on a solo vacation, and plus I don’t eat any seafood so that eliminates a lot of the signature items on many Maui menus. So I ate at the more casual Beachside Grill at Leilani’s. Bartender said the fish tacos were their most popular item - but I don’t eat fish say I - and he then offered that the kitchen would also make the famous tacos with the kahlua pork that’s used in other menu items. I went along with that suggestion and the tacos were very good if not the best ever.
Hula Grill, Kaanapali - http://www.hulagrillkaanapali.com
Settled in at the Barefoot Bar for an early dinner and some Sunday night football. (Football is on so @#$!ing early in Hawaii. It’s a challenging adjustment for the serious fan, even one who’s already used to the west coast start times.) The full dinner menu was available along with the bar menu, but I was craving a burger and fries (surfing 2-3 hours a day builds up one’s appetite) so that’s what I went for. It was a darned good burger, made per the menu with a hand ground blend of Angus chuck, brisket and butcher’s tender, medium rare as requested, and the fries came with house made guava ketchup and chili oil as well as standard issue Heinz.
[Note that I seem to have lost track of one day. That happens on vacation. Probably an extra lazy evening where dinner was leftovers or not very interesting takeout.]
Star Noodle, Lahaina - http://www.starnoodle.com
Seriously - one of the reasons I stayed in Kaanapali for part of this trip was so that I could finally check out whether Star Noodle is all it’s cracked up to be. I had read about the crazy lines to get in, so I called to find out what the wait would be like for a solo dinner on a Saturday night and was advised to get there no later than 5:30 as there would be a line by 6:00. But then I noticed on the website that they do take reservations via Opentable, and lo and behold I was able to make a same day reservation for one at 6:30. When I arrived there were maybe 10 people waiting for tables. There is no inside area to wait, and there’s pretty much nothing else around the immediate area, so waiting means milling around the parking lot. I was seated at the bar, which was good by me, and after getting the bartender’s recommendations for seafood-free dishes I ordered the roasted mushrooms (first dish that caught my eye), brussels sprouts, and, because it seemed wrong to go to a place with “noodle” in its name and not have any noodles, a half order of the garlic noodles. Mushrooms were definitely my favorite - so simple, yet the flavors and textures were amazing. Brussels sprouts were also really good. hard to go wrong with brussels spouts and bacon. As for the garlic noodles, I liked them ok but perhaps I’m just not a noodle person. I got bored with them pretty quickly and declined to take home the leftovers. The leftover vegetables, however, were both excellent with eggs on subsequent mornings. All in all a very good meal, and also reasonable - $38 before tax and tip for twice as much food as I could finish and one glass of wine.
I think that’s it! Already looking forward to my next trip back.