Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto’s poolside restaurant is sedate and spare, directing all of the attention to the culinary fireworks. The immaculate kitchen houses a space-age freezer full of fish bought at auction, and a rice polisher that ensures that every grain is perfect. The tasting menu starts with Morimoto-san’s signature appetizer, the toro tartare. Balanced on ice, it’s edible artwork. A tilted rectangle offers up a delectable smear of minced Kindai bluefin tuna, accented by colorful stripes of condiments: black nori paste, wasabi, crème fraîche, Maui onion, and tiny yellow rice crackers. A chilled Japanese mountain peach serves as a palate cleanser. The chef’s tribute to Maui features locally caught opakapaka (pink snapper) in Thai curry with pohole fern, plump mussels, and sushi rice, topped with grilled bananas that balance the curry’s heat. Everything is indulgent here: A chawanmushi (Japanese custard) is flavored with foie gras and topped with slivered duck breast; spicy Spanish octopus comes in Morimoto’s angry sauce; and an amazing crispy, salty, fatty seared pork is amplified by sweet poha berry and applesauce. For dessert, the resourceful pastry chef uses leftover rice shavings to create an earthy panna cotta paired with miso butterscotch ice cream and crowned with a wee wasabi sprout. The decadent lunch features flatbreads, sushi, Asian-inspired sandwiches, and many of the items served at dinner.
At the Andaz Maui, 3550 Wailea Alanui Dr.
Our Rating Neighborhood Wailea Hours Daily 11:30am–9pm Phone 808/573-1234 Prices Main courses $18–$39 lunch, $36–$150 dinner Cuisine Type Japanese/Peruvian Web site Morimoto Maui