Mala Ocean Tavern

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Mala Tavern

Mala Ocean Tavern

Rating: ★★★★½ *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!]

Location:   1307 Front St., Lahaina, HI 96761
Phone:   808-667-9394
Menus:   Regular Menu
Lunch Menu
Happy Hour
Drink Menu
Wine List
Hours:   Daily 11am - 9:30pm ; (Sat & Sun 9am)
Price:   Expensive
Credit Cards:   Yes
Views:   Ocean & Sunset
Outdoor Seating:   Yes
Entertainment:   No
Serves Alcohol:   Yes
Reservations:   Strongly Suggested

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

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