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“Gem of a restaurant in Lahaina.”

Mala - Ocean Tavern
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Ranked #29 of 274 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: Breakfast, Dinner, Late Night, 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 September 15, 2007

I'm so glad we found this restaurant while we were in Lahaina! If we had found it sooner, we might have eaten there more than just one time. As other reviewers have mentioned, this place is a little further away from the part of town where the shops and most of the restaurants are located. It's on the north end of front street, but worth the drive!

We ended up eating inside because it was busy and we didn't feel like waiting for an outside table (plus it was dark), so we skipped the ocean view but the food made it fantastic anyway.

They brought out a great salsa and dip in a bowl with chips at the beginning. The dip was really wonderful and different. We ordered the quartet that had the falafel, eggplant dip (babaganoush?), hummus and I can't remember what else, but it was fabulous. We also ordered ceviche, which is one of our favorite dishes. It was also one of the ceviches we've ever had.

I liked that we were able to order just enough food to fill up. The food is great on Maui, but sometimes the portions are too big for me. For that reason, I love restaurants like this where you can easily order only the amount of food you feel like eating. And the quality of the food at Ma'la cannot be beat!

3  Thank Traveler-Kaye
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,464 - 1,468 of 1,510 reviews

Reviewed July 5, 2007

We almost drove by this unassuming place on Front Street before my wife suggested we go in. It's at the north end of Front Street, away from the crowds and craziness of downtown Lahaina.

Had Sunday brunch there, excellent eggs, fresh fruit, and terrific grilled bread.

For our last night on Maui, had a terrific dinner, wife had the beef ribs, I had the Kobe burger, and we were honored to sit next to one of the most famous rock drummers ever. He was gracious enough to chat through dinner, and made this a very special evening.

Highly recommended!

1  Thank nbseer1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 14, 2007

For Maui, where fresh veggies are tough to find and other choices are
spread out across the island, this restaurant is outstanding. Just go
and you'll know what we mean. No reservations accepted, so plan on waiting a bit, maybe, or sit at the bar. Sunset is outstanding, but plan on getting there at least an hour ahead of time and linger over your great dinner.

The wok fried Thai Whole Snapper for Two is very well done!

2  Thank sactown_travels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 19, 2007

After polling many locals about where to go for breakfast, we were told that this was the best choice. We drove by it the night before and saw what looked like a "dive bar" from the outside. It wasn't without a lot of apprehension that we went to visit Ma'la the next morning. What we found inside was a very cozy, casual restaurant that served up large plates of food that were tasty and cooked well.

My husband and I had a running joke during our stay on Maui that every meal was a minimum charge of $35 for the two of us. Ma'la was the pleasant exception to the rule. We ate and left fully satisfied for less than $30 and on Maui, especially in Lahaina, that is something to brag about!

And the locals do hang there so expect a very casual, laid back restaurant that has Meditteranean influences and tasty food for reasonable prices. Turn off the highway at the Safeway in Lahaina and go to the end where it runs into Front Street and there it is. Enjoy!

4  Thank Karin1234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 10, 2007

I've been to Ma'la 3 times: twice for breakfast and once for lunch. Everything I've had has been wonderful, but my 2 favorite things were the Kobe burger (worth the price) and the coffee. I am a coffee snob, and I was impressed all 3 times I had it. Sit outside if you have the choice, it might be worth a little wait to do so.

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

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