Overlooking idyllic Kuau Cove on Maui’s North Shore, this island institution is the realization of a South Pacific fantasy. Though pricey, a meal at Mama’s is a complete experience. Recapture the grace of early Hawaii when feasts lasted for days beneath the swaying palms. Wander through the landscaped grounds down to the restaurant, where smiling servers wear Polynesian prints and flowers behind their ears. The dining room features curved lauhala-lined ceilings, lavish arrangements of tropical flowers, and windows open wide to let the ocean breeze in. Start your repast with the coconut ceviche or the marvelous beef Polynesian—a garlicky mix of seared-steak morsels, tomatoes, and onion served in a papaya half. The menu lists the names of the anglers who reeled in the day’s catch; you can order ono “caught by Keith Nakamura along the 40-fathom ledge near Hana” or deepwater ahi seared with coconut and lime. As a finale, the Tahitian Pearl dessert is almost too stunning to eat: a shiny chocolate ganache sphere filled with lilikoi crème, set in an edible pastry clamshell. Everything is perfect, from the refreshing, umbrella-topped cocktails to the almond-scented hand towels passed out before dessert. As a parting shot, squares of creamy coconut haupia are delivered with your bill.
Mama’s Fish House
799 Poho Place, just off the Hana Hwy., Kuau
Our Rating Neighborhood Kuau Hours Daily 11am–3pm and 4:15–9pm (last seating) Phone 808/579-8488 Prices Main courses: $26–$48 lunch; $28–$62 dinner Cuisine Type Seafood Web site Mama’s Fish House Other Reservations recommended for lunch, required for dinner
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.