Sitting as close to the ocean without possibly going in the ocean, Mala Ocean Tavern is one of West Maui’s best restaurants that seemingly goes unnoticed. While their Yelp has over 1200 reviews and a 4 star rating, the restaurant is easily one of Maui’s most underrated restaurants that certainly needs more recognition.
But that is just how some people like it, they want to keep Mala as one of Maui’s best kept secrets for oceanfront dining. Although they’re located on Front Street, they are at the very edge just past the Mala boat ramp, hence the name of the restaurant.
The restaurant is right on the water’s edge which can from the right angle create an illusion that the restaurant is floating on the water. However, if you’re most interested in the oceanfront seating, be prepared to go early or wait awhile for the table.
Owner Chef Mark Ellman and his wife Judy bring an extensive background in the restaurant business, with a wide array of expertise in a diverse set of culinary cuisines which include taco chain Maui Tacos, Avalon, Penne Pasta Café, and Down the Hatch.
Mala focuses on upscale Mediterranean and Pacific Rim entrees with a primary emphasis on using the freshest organic ingredients they can get their hands on.
With that said, many claim that it is their burger that is actually the best thing on the menu. They use the best Kobe Beef with bacon, roasted onions, and melted chunks of bleu cheese. It’s heaven on Earth. It’s also not a cheap burger, but it’s worth every penny.
A perfect example of their Mediterranean and Pacific Rim flair is their Asian Seafood Pasta which includes Dungeness Crab, Scallops, Shrimp, Ahi, Clams, Shiitake Mushrooms, Tomatoes, Fresh Mint, Cilantro, Basil, and Parmesan over a bed of Pappardelle pasta in a San Marzano Tomato infusion.
Another favorite by many is their Avalo Seared Ahi Sashimi that features Local #1 Grade Ahi, Yukon Potato Puree, and a Shiitake Mushroom Ginger Sauce.
Restaurant Location & Hours
They are open Daily!
- Brunch/Lunch – 9am to 2pm
- Happy Hour – 2pm to 4:30pm
- Dinner – 4:30pm until 10:00pm
- MALA ‘Til Midnight – 10:00pm ’til Midnigh
- Featuring Late Night Happy Hour Food & Drinks!
- 1307 Lahaina Front Street, Lahaina Hawaii 9676
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