Hana (Maui) Hawaii doesn’t have a lot of restaurants, but you can find some good food. And if you are in Hana for more than a couple of days, you will find yourself revisiting some places, as we did.
The Preserve and Ka’uiki Dining Room at the Travassa Hotel. These are two sections of the same restaurant: Same menus and same prices, but slightly different deck-style seating areas. The primary difference is that one requires reservations and and the other does not! Don’t ask us to explain why. The menu consists primarily of fresh, locally-caught fish (their specialty) and Maui beef. Both dining rooms offer lovely ocean views during the day and views of subtlety-lit grounds at night from their open-air decks. We enjoyed all our dinners at what are generally viewed as the best restaurants on the eastern side of the island, and two of only three that are open for dinner.
Our first dinner, at the Preserve, consisted of grilled marlin with sweet potato mash, asparagus and beet relish and a large, 12-oz rib eye with mashed potatoes, mixed grilled vegetables and mustard-port sauce. And just coming off the Hana Highway, we had a desperate need for wine: 2015 Adelsheim Pinot Noir with the marlin and 2012 Marietta Springs cab with the steak. Our second was at the Dining Room.
Our second, at the Dining Room, consisted of one appetizer and one entrée. After sending back the salty and stringy ahi poke, we had a large serving of ultra-fresh, high-quality ahi sushi. We followed this with an even better, and much more complex and interesting “Chef’s Perogitive”; pan-roasted striped marlin with bacon-mashed potatoes topped with wilted spinach. This with a 2015 Duckhorn Savignon Blanc.
Hana Ranch Restaurant, which is also owned by Travassa and also has a deck overlooking the ocean, is a more casual, not to speak of less expensive restaurant. We also had two meals here. Lunch consisted of a slow-roasted Kalua pork sandwich with Hawaiian BBQ sauce and fries, along with a furikake (dried seaweed)-crusted Ahi sandwich with pineapple slaw and fries. Both quite good, along with a Maui Brewing Company Big Swell IPA.
Dinner consisted of two large, filliing, but very enjoyable casual dishes:: Grilled pork ribs with Hawaiian BBQ sauce and fries and a and huge ½-lb Hana burger with cheddar, lettuce and tomatoe and a side of onion rings that we would have preferred somewhat more lightly fried. We had a bottle of very young, 2015 Chappellet Cabernet with our dinner.
Pranee’s Thai. This popular food truck serves what is supposed to be the best Thai food in town. (Believe it or not, it isn’t the only Thai food truck in town!). We had two dishes: Red Curry Chicken with bamboo, white rice and salad, and Pad Thai with both shrimp and chicken. Both were very good. And that doesn’t even count the decadent triple chocolate macadamia nut brownie they were offering from a local baker.
Da Fish Shack is a food truck that offers the largest selection of fresh seafood in town; multiple types of fish sandwiches and tacos, Poke, fish and chips, coconut shrimp, shrimp Po’ Boys and more. Since it is closed on weekend and for dinner, we were able to eat only one lunch there. Do to a rare communications snafu, we ended up ordering two preparations of Ono: one a sandwich on a bun with slaw; and another BLT with avocado. We enjoyed both although we would have ordered the Ono BLT with either of two daily specials, had we seen the specials before we ordered.