For years, the signature restaurant at Hana’s sole resort languished under ineffectual kitchen management. That has changed with the arrival of Derek Watanabe, formerly the chef de cuisine for Alan Wong’s Pineapple Room. Watanabe’s menu showcases Hana-grown ingredients: The earthy taste of organic pohole fern enlivens salads, while mahimahi caught just offshore is dressed in a savory curry shiitake cream and topped with a pair of caramelized apple bananas. Sweet and starchy breadfruit is the basis of my absolute favorite side dish, ulu croquettes. Breakfasts are elegant affairs here, where you can sip coffee and lazily watch iwa (frigate birds) circle above Kauiki Hill, for which the restaurant is named. Service is friendly but unhurried. Prices are high, even for Maui. But when you’re in Hana, is anything really worth complaining about? The dining room and the lounge next door feature live Hawaiian music and hula dancing throughout the week.
5031 Hana Hwy., Hana
Our Rating Neighborhood Hana Hours Daily 7:30am–9pm Phone 808/248-8211 Prices Breakfast $12–28; lunch $17–$32; dinner main courses $30–$50 Web site Kauiki