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Maui Marvels!

Posted Feb 13 2013 5:11pm

This last week, the husband and I stole away to Maui for some much needed us time. The sun and sand of Wailea were just what the doctor ordered, but the food was what took us by surprise. The last time we were in Maui was ten years ago and I'm happy to report that the vegan offerings are more plentiful and more delicious than ever before. Even the high end resorts are getting onboard

That's the menu at The Fairmont's KO Restaurant , and their offerings were so off the charts that we ate there twice during our stay. The watercress salad was a highlight

Filled with local greens and roasted pears, it was the vanilla vinaigrette that really wowed me. And check out this huge grilled veggie platter


Edamame hummus was the star here but the veggies were  fresh and local and prepared well. Other dishes we loved here were veggie fried rice with tempeh and an amazing vegetable coconut curry. I didn't grab shots of either of those, but I did capture Ko's vegan chocolate cake

My hubby has no sweet tooth whatsoever, but he devoured this cake and went on and on about it all night. I have to admit that I'm not a cake lover and I, too, loved every moist morsel of this one. Ko also has low sugar, macrobiotic, and raw menus. Fantastic stuff for an omni restaurant, for sure. But wait, there's more!

You may know Tommy Bahama for their casual wear and fragrance line, but in Wailea they also have a restaurant  with tasty vegan offerings like this roasted vegetable plate. I enjoyed the variety (quinoa!) on my plate while my love inhaled his pasta with tomatoes and capers and other goodies. Not bad for a eatery within (ok, next door to) a clothing store.


Just down the road from our hotel was the eclectic Monkeypod Kitchen , and their extremely tasty  salads and this Vegan Portuguese Soup. Full of the goodness of beans and veggies and a mouth-watering blend of spices, it was one of my favorite lunches on the island.

Across the street from Monkeypod is Manoli's Pizza Company , creators of those cheese-free beauties you see above. Yes, that top one is kale. Kale, on pizza. And the gods (ok, just me?) rejoiced! The bottom is their Mediterranean pie, which is basically a Greek salad on pizza. The drizzle of balsamic really makes this one a winner.

In Kihei, you will find Joy's Place , which has quite a few vegan options. My favorite was the Indocrunch Wrap, which is full of peanut-sauced tempeh and veggies and wrapped in lettuce and rice paper. Joy's also has  a case if raw offerings like chocolate truffles and nut burgers. Plus all the folks who work there are super friendly. Always a plus. While we're out of Wailea a bit, let's check some offerings in other parts of the island, shall we?

In Paia, we loved Moana Cafe and Bakery . Their salads are filling and full of so much local and organic produce it's pretty incredible. I mean, it was all just so pretty, and you do eat with your eyes first, right? Luckily your eyes and stomach will agree: YUM!

We had our favorite meal of the trip in Lahaina. Off the main drag, Mala Ocean Tavern  (left in the panorama) is a place full of the Aloha spirit.  Right on the water and perfect for sunset dining, the atmosphere is uber relaxed but the service is attentive as all get out. Before your butts hit the seat, menus and chips with salsa and edamame hummus will be on your table. When you're ravenous from jumping waves, this is much appreciated. But then the real deal arrives and things just get better:

That's Mala's quartet, only it was a trio for the vegans as our double baba gannoush is normally raita. No complaints here though as this was some flavorful stuff! Still, nothing beats the GadoGado salad I had
Ain't  she a beaut? I love a salad of mixed temperatures, and the crisp cool greens with the warm red rice (on the bottom) and sesame tofu was the perfect combination. The sesame ginger dressing brought the whole thing together and left me in food bliss. The husband really loved his Balinese tofu stir fry too. If our hotel had been closer we would have been to Mala multiple times for sure. I already look forward to a sunset there sometime in the future. It is a uniquely wonderful spot. Speaking of unique:

Back in Wailea is Kai Waliea . I can't recommend this overpriced and underwhelming restaurant but we did have this very interesting veggie roll with strawberries. I'm still not sure how I feel about it honestly. More palate-confusing than pleasing, I'm glad I tried it, but still. With so many veg options in the vicinity, no need to head to Kai yourself  to try this. Just put some berries on store bought sushi and you get the idea.

Lastly, the place to go on your way in or out of town is definitely Down to Earth near the airport. This all vegetarian health food store is brimming with vegan options - from a well-stocked salad bar to soups and cooked entrees.  The deli is even ready to make you vegan meat sandwiches with sides of numerous pre-made kale or potato or pasta salads. We stopped on the way home to grab some food for the plane and were definitely getting jealous stares from other passengers.

It was a lovely and scrumptious trip but I'm always happy to come home to SF. Stay tuned for vegan eats by the bay soon!





















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