Rating: *how we rate restaurants
In a nutshell: Pacific Rim cuisine on the water.
Minuses: Elbow-to-elbow seating and wait-time for reservation seating
Sound-bite: [Conversations with/of your neighbors!]
This small, simple tavern right on the ocean has exemplary waitstaff with award-winning food to match. The price tag is pushing the envelope a bit considering decor and cramped seating. Consistency also isn’t quite 100% (maybe because they’re sooooo busy?) I rated it at 4.5 stars – and really they could have 5 if they were willing to seat a few less tables and get the minuses dialed in a bit better.
Mark Ellman, owner and chef, owns and has run several other Maui restaurants. He is also one of the originators of Pacific Rim cuisine – so he definitely knows his stuff. Organic, healthy and natural ingredients are mainstays. Ellman’s creations are the stuff that explode and evolve on your palate, often inspiring eye-closing and savoring every bite. Seriously, it can be that good.
The waitstaff is also absolutely excellent: friendly, knowledgable, attentive but not intrusive; everything you would expect in the finest of dining establishments. Great views and sea breezes; you need reservations here. If you want a table outside definitely call well ahead – and you still may have to wait for that table to free up (we did last time we visited.)
Other Reviews: *ordered by accuracy
View Mala Ocean Tavern in a larger map