Hula Grill | Lahaina, Maui, HI
Hula Grill in Lahaina was positioned right on the beach, allowing us to enjoy the wonderful sights and sounds while tasting some of the most delicious dishes on the island.
The service at Hula Grill was on point. Everyone was friendly and very attentive. Water glass was always at least half full and if not, within seconds, they’re at your table refilling. It was super impressive.
On to the food:
VIRGIN PINA COLADA
Pretty standard combination of coconut and pineapple (we also requested half a banana), but done well. They were smooth and didn’t have huge crunchy chunks of ice, so they were a nice tropical addition to our meal (FYI we got seconds!).
ROSEMARY BREAD (complimentary) served with olive oil and hot/sweet/sour dipping sauce
The bread comes in a tin box, warm and ready for you to devour. It’s more of a foccacia than a baguette kind of texture, and you can see (and smell) the little bits of chopped rosemary in the dough.
Personally, I liked the bread better plain but my husband loved mixing the olive oil with the sweet/spicy/sour sauce to make a sort of vinaigrette for his bread. Either way- this was a hit!
CHARRED SHORT RIB | Soy tamarind glaze, Waipoli Farms watercress, Kapalua jicama, crispy Maui onions
I thought this dish was just OK, personally. I guess when I think short rib I think braised meat, falling apart, and doused in a thick, stick to your ribs sauce. For me, the meat wasn’t that juicy. It was somewhere in between dry and deliciously moist. The tamarind glaze was OK too, a little too sweet for my taste but hey, we still finished the plate! I think there are definitely better options for a starter on this menu, so you can probably skip this one.
SEAFOOD CARBONARA PASTA | Fresh fish, lobster, shrimp, scallop, house-smoked Duroc bacon, ballerine pasta
Delicious! We really enjoyed this dish, but on the flip side, boy was it a gut buster! It’s pretty heavy so I think it’s best shared between two people and be sure to get a main dish that’s a bit lighter to offset this one. The seafood was fresh, the veggies perfectly cooked, and the pasta was perfection. The sauce, of course, was creamy and a little smoky from the bacon. On a side note, we couldn’t finish the whole thing so we brought it home. Just a little advice from me to you…. don’t. Just eat this dish here, enjoy, and if you can’t finish it, leave the leftovers! All the fat congealed in the fridge and you saw just how much butter and oil you truly ingested… which takes all the fun out of eating.
CRAB STUFFED & MACADAMIA NUT CRUSTED MAHI MAHI | “Hapa” rice, Maui Gold pineapple slaw, lemon Beurre blanc
At first when we saw the description, we thought it was a bit of a copycat dish of Mama’s Fish House’s version. Maybe it is, but we really did enjoy it. The lemon beurre blanc wasn’t too acidic for my husband’s taste, the fish was crunchy on the outside but flaky on the inside, the rice and the crust on the fish had a nice nuttiness, and the pineapple slaw was the bow on top. My only complaint would be that if you call it a pineapple slaw you need to have more than 3 slivers of pineapple in it! More pineapple and way less cabbage, please.
KIMO’S ORIGINAL HULA PIE® | Chocolate cookie crust, macadamia nut ice cream, hot fudge, toasted mac nuts, whipped cream
So apparently this dessert is kind of what this restaurant is famous for. It is HUGE. It is a GIANT slice of macadamia nut ice cream that you can split with at least 3 people. I never tried macadamia nut ice cream before this but I am officially a fan!! It’s basically vanilla with chunks of macadamia hidden inside.
The cookie crust was oreo flavored, the hot fudge was warm and not overly sweet, and the toasted mac nuts were crunchy and oh so Hawaiian. This is a case where the dessert is definitely more than just the sum of its parts! I would definitely recommend this if you’re traveling with a group of friends, or maybe just a hungry husband like I did.
We’d definitely come back to Hula Grill to experience other dishes. You should visit if you haven’t already!