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“Not as good as Avalon Restaurant” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Ma'la - An Ocean Tavern

Ma'la - An Ocean Tavern
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Ranked #30 of 262 Restaurants in Lahaina
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $21 - $50
Cuisines: American, Seafood
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Kids, Families with children, Scenic view, Romantic, Special occasions
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Brunch, Accepts American Express, Accepts Discover, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Off-Street Parking, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Street Parking, Takeout, Television, Valet Parking, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Kapunakea
Description: we sit on the waters edge at Mala Wharf serving Mediterranean and Asian Cuisine
Benicia, California
Level Contributor
125 reviews
78 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
“Not as good as Avalon Restaurant”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 29, 2012

Mark Ellman's Avalon Restaurant used to be my favorite Maui restaurant, and sadly it closed years ago. I was excited to try Ma'la Ocean Tavern, but ended up disappointed. The location is outstanding, right on the water, and the sunset view is amazing. The food is good but not great. I had the gado gado, which just doesn't compare to Avalon's--it was rather tasteless. All in all, just not a place we will visit again.

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
Thank redyoga
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,390 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
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  • Japanese first
  • Polish first
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English first
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
28 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“Best meal we had in Hawaii”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 28, 2012

We made an online booking for this restaurant having heard great things about it. It's about a 2 minute walk from the Cannery Mall, and at first glance it honestly looks little more than a shack. Thankfully it's a lot different inside, although I suppose it is erring more towards shabby chic. Because we'd made a reservation, we were given priority for an outside table over other people who were waiting without reservations (but we still had to wait 10 minutes: even at 7 on a mid-week evening it was hugely popular).

The outside terrace is lovely if a little cramped, however the atmosphere is so good & relaxed that everyone was chatting to the people at the tables next to theirs. The staff were friendly, calm, relaxed & efficient, and I liked that they treated those dressed in shorts & flip flops exactly the same as they treated those with shirt & tie. It was lovely to listen to the waves crash on the shore as we ate.

Lots to choose from on the menu, and yes it's quite expensive but personally for this sort of restaurant & quality food I would say it's well worth it (and if you can afford to vacation in Hawaii then you can afford this restaurant). Huge wine list - the couple at the table next to us had found on the wine list a fairly rare/hard-to-get-hold-of but favourite wine of theirs that was cheaper than they could buy it in a shop on the US mainland.

All in all this was the best evening out we had in three weeks in Hawaii - great food, great atmosphere, great staff: would have gone back if it wasn't the last night of our holiday when we ate there.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank BornToSleep
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kihei, Hawaii
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Excellent experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 26, 2012

We were referred by the Westin Hotel for simple but memorable experience. It was beyond expectation with the waterfront patio over splashing waves 5 feet away and tasty meal to match. Right after sunset which was epic, the patio awning was opened revealing open aired patio...perfect. The food was tasty, servings were actually quite large and the service was prompt, patient and friendly. The prices were a bit high, but the region caters to tourists so they were competitive. It was nice to see a good amount of locals in the restaurant.

  • Visited October 2012
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank slew_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver
Level Contributor
34 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Turtles and Mai Tais”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 22, 2012

I took my mother-in-law to Ma'la Ocean Tavern on the recommendation of a friend, who told us that if you sit on the patio, you can see sea turtles right up close. Well, she was not wrong - we spent our whole meal watching for turtle heads and fins poking up near the rocks as the turtles came close to shore for an evening snack.

Our own evening snack at Ma'la was quite good - we enjoyed the mai tais very much and the calamari starter with the deep fried sage leaves was pretty good. We both had burgers - I had the Ahi Tuna Burger, which I enjoyed and my MIL said the fish sandwich was no slouch. The frites were really excellent. I had the root beer float for dessert, which was probably my favourite course - local root beer, ice cream, whip cream, macadamia nuts and caramel. HELLO. My MIL had the chocolate lava cake and raved about it all the way home.

Honestly, I'd say the meal we had was "good" not "amazing" but the service was stellar and the setting can't be beat. I'd definitely try this place again the next time we're in Maui.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank rorokimtor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Butte, Montana
Level Contributor
33 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Food with a view!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 18, 2012

Yumm! When visiting Maui, my hubby and I always make it a point to have at least one meal at Mala. This year we certainly were not disappointed. We ate lunch here and had so much difficulty making our decisions as to what to eat. I had the Mahi Cevicci and savored positively every morsel. It was served with more homemade chips than I wanted to eat, but there was a nice little bit of greens on the side. I ate the mahi with the greens and I couldn't have been happier. Additionally, we shared a very yummy salad. My hubby had a lovely fish sandwich. We left feeling completely content. Be sure to make this a must-go-to place on your next visit. Oh... by the way, Mala is so close to the ocean that you may be slightly splashed as the waves wash upon the rocks. Fun and delish!

  • Visited October 2012
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Love2Travel59701
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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