Monday, March 31, 2008

Maui 2008: Pacific O

Located in a cute little shopping area of Lahaina, Pacific O is situated on a beautiful beach, serving up Contemporary Pacific cuisine created with fresh fish from the nearby harbor and produce from their own O'o farm in Kula. (not all produce are from the farm, but nearly 100% of their salad greens and herbs are now from the farm) The O'o farm is shared with I'O (sister restaurant next door).

Ordered Items:

Tropical Ceviche Du JourAn island blend of fresh seafood, citrus juices, herbs and produce - the fish was fresh, but marinade was just sour with not much other flavor...almost a bit bland. Plaintain chips were ok.

Pasta Ele’ Ele’
Blackened fresh fish served over whole wheat spaghetti toassed with cilantro pesto, organic green papaya, fennel and a mango creme Fraiche - very fresh and moist fish, temperture just right. It was also blackened perfectly with a nice and crisp top. Pasta had good flavor, but it was very rich, thick, and greasy. It was a very heavy lunch.

Special: Seared, sesame crusted, sashimi-grade Ahi over arugula, topped with seaweed salad-
I felt this dish was so much more refreshing, yet not lacking in flavor. All the ingredients were very fresh, and I also enjoyed the small topping of seaweed salad.

The location is nice -- we enjoyed people-watching under the sun, and walking around the area after lunch, especially since there were additional busy stores down the street. The ingredients were very fresh , bread was soft, dishes were creative, and presentation was one of the best. But for the price they charge, I'm not sure it was exceptional enough. I probably won't return again.

Pacific ‘O
505 Front Street, Suite 114
Lahaina, HI

As a quick note... Having nothing to do before whale-watching, we went into Ma'alaea Grill for a snack/drink. The restaurant looked old, and the waitress gave us pressure about ordering food. She also suckered us into getting the ridiculously huge beers that we didn't end up finishing. We tried their clam chowder which wasn't bad, but it was VERY thick, stuffed with potatoes. In all fairness, we didn't go for a meal...but honestly, I'd never want to go back here again:

Ma’alaea Grill
(in Maui Ocean Center mall)
300 Maalaea Road
Maalaea, HI 96793


One more review for our dinner the same day... we ran out of batteries on our camera (from all the attempts of capturing a whale), so we couldn't take any photos.

Waterfront at Ma’alaea
50 Hauoli Street
Maalaea, Maui, Hawaii 96793

Tucked behind a condominium, this restaurant had the most amount of fresh fish on their menu! Essentially, you pick out a fish of the day, and a way you'd like them to prepare it (pretty big list for both, and they also recommend certain style of preparation for certain type of fish).

The fish was fresh and delicious, but the sauces were too thick, creamy and rich.

Hubby chose the ‘monchong’ cooked a’la meuniere, and I chose ‘opakapaka’ cooked en bastille. My style was very interesting... shredded, crisped potatoes wrapped around the fish. It was good..but again, sauce was so heavy that it overwhelmed the natural flavor of the fish.

The bread service wasn't impressive at all... but the appetizers were probably the stars in comparison. We ordered fresh raw oysters that were super-fresh! We also shared steamed clams in a delicious wine/butter sauce. Those were definitely our highlights.

This restaurant is also oceanfront, so sitting outside was nice. The restaurant inside looked a bit outdated, and the wait staff seemed a bit older and a bit cheesy with lame jokes.

I'm not certain whether or not I'd return (after all, I do love fresh fish, and they had a big variety, some of which I've never heard of). If I do return, I'd ask for sauces on the side, and choose the lightest preparation method possible.

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