Mai Tais, My Friends, My Happy Place

We recently visited Maui, staying at the Kaanapali Beach Hotel. I have been here several times and it is my favorite place to stay on Maui. IMO its location cannot be beat – best stretch of beach in front of the hotel and you are walking distance to great restaurants and shopping. We love it there!

We also love Mai Tais – I mean, this drink just screams Hawaii! Fresh juice, dark rum, and a whole lot of deliciousness. We drank a few Mai Tais and ate some great food, and in this blog post I want to share with you some of the places we loved.

And travel buddies Sharon and Randy were with us too!

Best Mai Tai goes to – Mama’s Fish House! Let’s be honest – this restaurant could be “best of” just about everything. The location is beautiful, the fish is fresh, and the Mai Tais were phenomenal! That being said, it is really hard to get a reservation here. We started trying over two months out from our trip, and luckily they had a lunch reservation open up. If you are a foodie, this restaurant should be on your “bucket list”.

The Mai Tai was a little tarter than the others we drank on our trip, and not too sweet. It was a perfect complement to Mama’s Curry.

Mama’s Curry

Tim ordered the Antarctic Toothfish, and Randy had the Bouillabaisse – everything was so good, and the service was wonderful.

Antarctic Toothfish

The most interesting Mai Tai goes to Monkeypod and Merriman’s. Pete Merriman is the chef of both restaurants, so the Mai Tai is the same. Monkeypod is a more casual place to eat, with pizza, sandwiches, salads, and fresh fish entrees, and Merriman’s is an upscale restaurant with a fantastic view.

What makes this Mai Tai unique is the honey-lilikoi foam that floats on top. This is really good!

Monkeypod is located in Whalers Village, close to our hotel. They do not take reservations, and it was pretty easy to get a table. We all agreed the food was good, and the Mai Tai excellent.

Mahi Mahi Fish Sandwich
Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi Mahi
Fish and Chips

Dinner at Merriman’s was amazing – and got our vote for best meal on the trip. It is a prix fixe menu, and of course the daily offerings change. You get to choose an appetizer, entree, and dessert. I don’t have enough words in my vocabulary to explain how wonderful this dining experience was!

Tako A L’Escargot, Filet Mignon, Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi Mahi, Rosemary Roasted Rack of Lamb, Lilikoi Pot De Creme, Chocolate Lava Cake, Pineapple Macadamia Nut Bread Pudding – this is the kind of meal you dream about!

Tako A L’Escargot (Octopus)
Rosemary Roasted Rack of Lamb
Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi Mahi
Filet Mignon
Lilikoi Pot De Creme
Pineapple Macadamia Nut Bread Pudding
Chocolate Lava Cake

Another favorite Mai Tai was the first one we had when we arrived – we walked down to Whalers Village and got a table at Leilani’s Beach Bar. The fresh pineapple juice was so good! It was very delicious, and almost won as Best Mai Tai (of our group LOL).

Leilani’s Beach Bar is a very casual beach side restaurant. They do not have a big menu, but after a day in the sun all you really need are fish tacos and Mai Tais, am I right?

Leilani’s upstairs restaurant is another story – a full-scale restaurant with many food and drink offerings. I ordered the 1944, a Mai Tai made like the original. It was not as sweet as the fresh squeezed Mai Tai, but very good! I personally preferred the fresh squeezed Mai Tai.

For dinner we had the Herb Roasted Mong Chong, and it was really good!

Herb Roasted Mong Chong

We can’t forget the restaurant at the Kaanapali Beach Hotel – Hui Hui. The hotel recently went through a major renovation and built this beach-front restaurant. It was wonderful! The cocktails are great and the bartenders and servers couldn’t be nicer – what more do you need? The Mai Tai made here is also very good, and if I had not had the previous Mai Tais I would have thought it was the best LOL! The setting, the sun, the food … it’s paradise!

Hand Line Ahi
Banana Bread Ice Cream Sandwich

Last on our list for Mai Tais is Roy’s. We went to Roy’s on what we thought was going to be Sharon and Randy’s last night in Maui (luckily it wasn’t, but that’s another story). So we had tasted a lot of Mai Tais before going there. Although their Mai Tai may not have been my favorite, their food is outstanding! I may travel back to Maui just to go there and have the Misoyaki Butterfish! The beef short ribs were also excellent.

Look how big the calamari is!
Misoyaki Butterfish
Honey Mustard Glazed Beef Short Rib

And of course there are other places for you to get an abundance of Mai Tais – the Old Lahaina Luau will serve you as many as you can drink, and so will Trilogy. And they aren’t bad – in fact, sitting in the sun, contemplating how you can live on Maui, they taste pretty good!

Published by dtyrrell12014

Recently retired amateur cook, aspiring wino, and novice world traveler.

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