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“Great locals spot”

Mala - Ocean Tavern
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Ranked #42 of 278 Restaurants in Lahaina
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $21 - $50
Cuisines: American, Seafood
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Breakfast, Lunch, 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 November 7, 2013

This is not a glamorous place for tourists. They did not spend too much money on decorations to look pretty. Rather they spend the money on good talented chefs and wait staff.

It shows. Make sure to order the poke brushetta ap. It was very good. In addition the whole cooked Opakapaka (sp) was awesome!

Did I mention that we were right on the water and watched a wonderful sunset? Simply excellent.

We will be back.

Thank JP3CHICAGO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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909 - 913 of 1,591 reviews

Reviewed November 7, 2013

We went to Ma La on our first night in Maui and were extremely disappointed. The food was flavorless. We got sat inside- wasn't even asked if we'd like to wait for an outside table. Our service wasn't friendly. We asked him if the bread pudding dessert was good and he said "yes". But it was the worst bread pudding I have ever had. It wasn't sweet. It was just terrible. The food is pricey for what you get. This place is totally banking on the view and outside seating, not the food! There are so many great restaurants on Front St in Maui, I don't suggest wasting your time and money at Ma La.

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Thank Amanda D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 6, 2013

We went here with high expectations, as we read so many fabulous reviews of this place on TripAdvisor, Maui Revealed, etc. Maybe we are just food snobs because we've been to a lot of great places and we live in a city with amazing restaurants, but we were totally underwhelmed with the quality of the food, especially considering how utterly expensive it is.

First of all, I don't know what it is about Maui but it seems like no one can make a decent, authentic Trader Vics/Don the Beachcomber Mai Tai on the island. Everyone makes this orange/pineapple juice rum thing and calls it a Mai Tai. Yuck! And at $13 it's not worth it! Just get a beer or a glass of wine from their abysmal, overly priced wine list. Just don't get the rosé because it tastes like White Zin. Bleh!

Now for the food. My salad was the spring mix I get from Vons/Safeway, plus some shredded (yes, I said shredded, like you find at a cafeteria) carrots and blue cheese crumbles. Yawn. Nothing I couldn't have made for $15 less. The fish I had was decent but not worth the price for a tiny piece of it. My husband had the stir fry that was drowning in so much sauce you couldn't even taste the fish. And at $37! What??? I think people just assume it must be a good place because it's so expensive.

Plus, I hate it when restaurants stick you so close to the next table that you can't help but overhear their conversation and vice versa. I think the couple next to us was getting annoyed by our complaining to each other about how awful everything was because apparently they were having the best meal ever, so go figure. To each his own and obviously many people like this place, but it just wasn't for us.

We also went for the sunset, which was also meh because it set over the island of Lanai and not over the water. Halfway through dinner I noticed a picnic bench next to the restaurant and I wished we had just watched the sunset from there instead of paying $100 for overpriced, mediocre food and terrible drinks (and we were getting off cheap!). Maui, so far we are not impressed with your food or drink selections!

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1  Thank sfla2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 6, 2013

This place doesn't look like much from the street, but as soon as you go through the front door the ocean view and ambiance tell you this is a special place. The staff is friendly and welcoming.

We sat right on the water and the first thing we saw was a pretty good-sized turtle about 15-20 feet away in the water! There were all told four or five turtles in close feeding on seaweed. That was a very entertaining and unexpected treat for us.

I got a spicy fish stir-fry that was as advertised: spicy! And delicious, with very fresh fish and vegetables. My wife had a small chinese chicken salad that was plenty big enough and excellent.

Our wait person Diane was very well-versed on the menu and was a great help in sorting out a final selection, because everything on the menu looked terrific. This is the kind of place that has a neighborhood feel with an gourmet menu. If this place is filled up, try next door which is their sister restaurant, Honu. We ate there a few nights later and found it excellent as well.

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Thank jwhallgren
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 4, 2013 via mobile

We were so pleased that we found this place... So good!!! The Ahi Bruschetta is amazing! The drinks were great. A beautiful view. Friendly service. A true gem of a restaurant.

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Thank Stephie8205
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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