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“Location, location, location is what you pay for.” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Ma'la - An Ocean Tavern

Ma'la - An Ocean Tavern
1307 Front St, Lahaina, Maui, HI 96761-1725
808-667-9394
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Ranked #35 of 238 Restaurants in Lahaina
Price range: $31 - $50
Cuisines: American, Seafood
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Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Local cuisine
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night, Dessert
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Kapunakea
Hong Kong, China
Top Contributor
85 reviews 85 reviews
51 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
“Location, location, location is what you pay for.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 6, 2012

We went here with a local resident who knows the place from when it was a shack so I went to share that memory. The interior has improved from that visual. We were in the area in the evening and it was packed and loud which isn't our thing. We ended up sitting at a raised table near the door which was a little awkward. The sun had already set but there is a limited view anyway. The waiter did make an effort and was nice but difficult to flag down. I ordered the smaller sized salad which worked out great for me. My meal was pretty much the same thing I'd get at one of the local health food stores at 3x the price. I felt it was pricey for the experience but this area does seem to be lots of tourists as it is right down the street from big hotels. On a positive note they did have healthy options (edamame, tofu) for vegetarians/vegans but you have to ask and manipulate the menu a bit to have a salad meal.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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921 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
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English first
NC
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Best food on the Island!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2012

This is our second time to eat here. We found this place on our last trip. The prices are a bit high but the food, service and view make up for it.

  • Visited October 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canyon Lake, Texas
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
73 helpful votes 73 helpful votes
“Just order Water”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2012

We went here for lunch - the service was non existent - the prices were very high - and the cost of a mixed drink was beyond ridiculous. This is not a fancy place - just a few steps above a dive. I can not recommend this establishment to anyone.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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Tulsa, Oklahoma
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Our biggest disappointment on Maui”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 2, 2012

It was my husband's birthday so we thought we'd go somewhere extra special and made reservations at Mala - instead, we would have had a much more enjoyable meal at one of the local dives.
It's a tiny place and we were packed in like sardines - some reviewers raved about their view, but seeing a sea of strangers' heads packed 2 feet apart does not make for a very elegant setting, especially for the prices they charge. Apparently there's an ocean out there somewhere, but we never saw it. Our waiter was unfriendly and very impatient - he obviously had better people to wait on than us. Drinks were good but very overpriced. Meals run between $20-49 dollars and everything costs extra - no appetizers, salad or sides for that price. I had the "adult mac n cheese" - it was good, but I can make it just as good at home for a lot less than $20. My husband got the fish sandwich for $25 - he said it was just OK, the one he got at the fish market earlier in the week was much better and cost half that price.
I'm not a cheapskate by any means - I am fully willing to pay high prices for decent food if the atmosphere and service are extraordinary - but this place wasn't even close. Stick to the cheap joints on Maui - you'll get better food, a more pleasant atmosphere and still have money left for gelato or shave ice for dessert at the end of the night!

  • Visited September 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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Sherman Oaks, CA
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
76 helpful votes 76 helpful votes
“Less than Mediocre”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2012

Unfortunately, when we ate at Ma'la Ocean Tavern, the food was just not good at all. We mostly ordered seafood, & most of it was way overcooked & very lacking in flavor. The calamari was rubbery & inedible. Our sever seemed well intentioned, but she was not knowledgeable or all that helpful. This is a fairly pricey place, which made us even more dissatisfied.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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