Kula Bistro: Kula’s Not So Hidden Gem
If you’re Upcountry, there aren’t many choices for quality food at decent prices. Kula Bistro has risen to the forefront of top Upcountry restaurants and it is quite possibly the best one.
Sitting on the magical slopes of Haleakala in peaceful Upcountry Maui, Kula Bistro specializes in local, fresh, and flavorful Italian cuisine. The restaurant sits across from the historic Morihara Store in Kula with a dedicated full time parking lot and street parking available as it can get pretty busy.
Kula on an occasional misty and foggy day
Owner and Head Chef Luciano Zanon decided to begin his venture in 2012 and “Everybody was telling me I’m crazy. ‘Don’t do it, Luciano, you’re gonna lose a lot of money, just don’t do it. I was looking for something for keeping me busy, but I never realized how big Kula Bistro got. It got big, really big.”
Since its inception, Kula Bistro has been a successful and thriving restaurant with almost 60 seats and lines out the door nightly. Zanon believes it’s the fresh ingredients, consistent quality, and excellent service responsible for Kula Bistro’s tremendous triumph. Staff turnover is virtually nonexistent, with many longtime employees who are proud to be part of the team.
Scallop brushetta, special: fried shrimp, Luciano special, calamari steak appetizer
Known as one of Maui’s most inspired chefs, Chef Zanon, was honing is masterful skills from a young age, working in a small family owned trattoria in Venice, Italy. With a lifelong passion and enthusiasm for inventive cooking, Luciano came out of retirement to open Kula Bistro. His background ranges from operating the award-winning Tiffany Luigi’s Pasta & Pizzeria, consulting for over thirty years in recipe development, and establishing two high-end catering companies: Luciano’s Catering Company, a distinguished private jet caterer (sold in 20060); Bella Venezia Catering, current catering company creating unique and unforgettable cuisine for special events and clientele.
The bistro’s homey interior
Chef Zanon and his wife Chantal followed their dream of offering expertly prepared food in an affordable, comfortable venue, and Kula Bistro does just that. The restaurant’s alluring atmosphere captures the essence of a traditional Italian trattoria. Sporting a diverse variety of choices, crafted using the highest quality, fresh local ingredients, Kula Bistro is an excellent choice when Upcountry. Heck, I know some people who make the journey to Kula just for the Bistro!
P.S., they’re also BYOB with no corkage fee.
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