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“We return on every trip”

Mala - Ocean Tavern
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Ranked #25 of 275 Restaurants in Lahaina
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $21 - $50
Cuisines: American, Seafood
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Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Romantic
Dining options: Late Night, Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, Delivery, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Kapunakea
Description: In 2004 Mark and Judy opened Mala Ocean Tavern, along with their daughters, Ariana and Michelle, a small oceanside tavern serving Mediterranean and Pacific Rim, with some Latino flavored dishes. With their partner Shep Gordon, Mala Wailea was created for the Wailea Beach Marriott Resort, which opened in 2008 and sold in 2016.
Reviewed October 31, 2012

This is our third trip to maui from the west coast and the third time we have made the Mala our first stop on the way to our hotel on Kanapali Beach. It is small with excellent food - my favorite is the mahi mahi cervece with a glass of cold white wine. It is a great place to sit right at water's edge , on the railing, and watch the turtles swim by. The only down side is that the portions leave you wanting more.

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Thank Richard R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,106 - 1,110 of 1,552 reviews

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.

Thank redyoga
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.

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Thank BornToSleep
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.

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Thank slew_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.

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Thank rorokimtor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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