Want to Hula at the Grill?

16 03 2010

A Hawaiian jam that will make you want to be there right now…

Hula Grill, Hawaii

Thanks to a glorious American holiday that we like to call, “Spring Break,” I am able to bring brunch to you from an island located on the Pacific Ocean. Get ready. You are about to experience and indulge on the freshness of a Hawaiian brunch edition: Maui style!

After a couple of hours of necessary tanning action at the breath-taking beach located five minutes (walking distance) from our hotel, Danielle and I decided to head over to  Hula Grill, a 1930s plantation home that now caters to thousands of tourists throughout the year.

After so many recommendations, we had to check it out!

Now, those of you who know me are aware of how much I despise tourist traps that deliver poor quality service and mediocre food, leaving a sour taste on one’s experience and a post-traumatic stress on one’s wallet. But, Danielle and I had been hearing about this place for two days from different people. During both of our rides from the airport to the hotel, we had been highly recommended by our very pleasant driver (who probably thought that I had eaten way too much sugar at the airport because of my hundreds of questions and that Danielle was socially awkward for the lack of questions) to go to Hula Grill at least one night out of our entire week cruising in Maui. Staying true to our tendency as “mainlanders” to be a bit untrustworthy of others, we thought that maybe our driver was a secret Hula Grill agent, conspiring against our idealistic views hoping for a better world. Ok, too similar to a James Bond movie….? I get it. But, you never know.

Yet, on Saturday, as we were embracing the relaxed Hawaiian lifestyle while enjoying a beautiful night at the jacuzzi, we met a couple from Pennsylvania who had been to Hula Grill and would not stop raving about the food. Finally, we decided that it was time to put this place to the test, and what better occasion than right after the beach just when you feel that you have had enough sun and are craving something fresh and delicious—and in this case maybe even straight out from the sea!

Step into Hula Grill and you definitely think that you have just stepped into a big beach house with an area full of tables sitting right on top of beach sand in the front porch of the restaurant. As we waited at the host-stand to be seated, two or three waiters who passed by where we were standing told us, “Someone will be with you shortly.” Yes, it did get repetitive, but talk about some attentive quality service!

Of course, when you are in Maui, you want to eat outdoors! And, we could not resist the offer to sit at the elevated seating area in the outdoors known as “the stage” at night because of the live shows that take place at the restaurant where beautiful Hawaiian music is serenaded thanks to the sweet sounds of the ukuleles (which Danielle purchased and let me play!). Our side-to-side view of the ocean from the beach front porch made for a picture-perfect moment! Ahhh! How I miss paradise!

sea view and great service! Maui, Hawaii

Foccacia Chicken Sandwich- Danielle's Choice

But, let’s get back to the food. Danielle had her mind set on the Foccacia Chicken Sandwich, a unique version of your typical grilled chicken sandwich with a hint of macadamia nut pesto, mozzarella, provolone and jack cheese served with crispy fries. I have to say that macadamia nuts add a delicious taste to anything and everything in Hawaiian foods (including frozen yogurts at Yogurtland in Whaler’s Village right by the hotel…I would know, right?). My sidekick agreed that the mac nut pesto added a nice crunch to the overall sandwich, making it a delicious brunch treat right after the beach.

I wanted to try the freshness of the sea and settled for the Fish Sandwich. A 5oz grilled fresh Hawaiian Ahi topped with jalapeno aioli and pickles served on a whole wheat bun covered with crunchy sunflower and sesame seeds. This choice also came with a macadamia nut slaw, and since you already know my opinion on mac nuts, much detail is not necessary. I do have to say, however, that I am not a fan of pickles at all! But, one bite of this burger, and those pickles definitely added a great taste to the burger. The ahi was cooked medium-rare, but I added some salt and pepper to give it a bit more of an edge and flavor to make it unquestionably delicious.

Fish Sandwich right out of the Sea! -My choice

If you come to Hawaii, I also recommend to try some of the very creative appetizers which they call Pupus on the island.

Most importantly, get rid of your watch. Time definitely moves slower in Hawaii, allowing you to genuinely enjoy and embrace the small pleasures in life.

Signing out, one brunch at a time.


Hula Grill
2435 Kaanapali Pkwy
Ste A3
Lahaina, HI 96761
(808) 667-6636



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