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New Restaurant Alert: Tails Up Maui Serves Island Fresh Fish

Tails Up Maui is an ocean and farm to table concept that has been in the making for the past couple of years. As the brain child of Chimo Shipp and Chef Brian Etheredge, this restaurant has been on my radar for quite some time. After all, Tails Up Maui is a collaboration between one of Maui’s most talented chefs and the founder of a burgeoning, local seafood enterprise.

Tails Up Maui --- Fresh Catch over Kale and Quinoa Salad
Blackened Fresh Catch over Kale and Quinoa Salad w/Miso Sesame Dressing…a lunch I’d enjoy multiple times a week!

Let’s just say that this combo seemed destined to be a hit! And dear reader, after thoroughly enjoying a couple of lunches during their Grand Opening week in March 2023, I can vouch they are serving some outstanding food. Next time you are in the Wailuku, Waiehu, or Kahului area, I highly recommend you enjoy yourself a visit.

Meet the Visionaries – Chef Brian Etheredge

Before stepping foot in the door, know that I am a fan of the man leading the kitchen and overall culinary experience—Head Chef Brian Etheredge. After delving into the world of elite restaurants following graduation from the Culinary Institute of America, he arrived in Maui in 1998 where he opened the award-winning restaurant Capische? at Hotel Wailea (now The Restaurant at Hotel Wailea). A family regular of ours for years, I have to say that Capische? was one of my favorite Maui restaurants from the moment I first stepped foot inside.

Tails Up Maui --- Fish Taco Platter
The Fish Taco Platter is how a taco should be, simply prepared with fresh ingredients, every bite

Since establishing his culinary roots on Maui, Chef Etheredge has been working with the same local farmers for more than 2 decades and had recently evolved into the owner of an exceptional private chef service. Over the years his experience and expertise have led to numerous accolades, such as Restaurant of the Year, Most Romantic Restaurant and a coveted Maui Chef of the Year award by Maui Magazine. Icing on the cake is that Brian is also a commercial fisherman, who himself has a stellar ability and knowledge to handpick the best quality seafood for an exceptional dining experience.

Chimo Shipp — Fresh Fish Maui

Snapper Sashimi, extra buttery and complimentary of the house to celebrate their Grand Opening.

Also heading the team, spurring the creation of, and fostering the culture at Tails Up Maui is Chimo Shipp. Chimo is a local, long time fisherman and founder of Fresh Fish Maui—one of the premier sources of fresh, daily caught seafood on Maui. Chimo has shown incredible talent of knowing how to consistently catch fish as well as connecting and establishing relationships with our island’s numerous angling talent.

This Tuna Melt Panini might just blow your mind, fresh ahi with a subtle hint of pickled ginger…truly an optimized sandwich!

Since they opened, Fresh Fish Maui has provided the residents of Maui with the freshest, largest variety of local fish possible. They take pride in using sustainable fishing methods so our precious fisheries can be preserved for future generations.

Tails Up Maui --- Lemongrass Green Tea and Lilikoi Lemonade

Lunch at Tails Up Maui — Grand Opening Week

The anticipation and excitement surrounding the opening of a new restaurant that you have been eagerly awaiting can be electrifying. Especially here on Maui! Oh yes, our island community loves a new eating establishment. You might have seen the lines of literally hundreds of people for some popular mainland chains just in this past year. As they say variety is the spice of life, and I believe there can’t be enough great kitchens to support.

Tails Up Maui --- Main Menu

I was lucky enough to dine here during their Grand Opening week in late March 2023, and it lived up to all the hype in my mind! The restaurant itself is on Waiehu Beach Road, just blocks from the ocean, in a cozy renovated space in the Paukukalo neighborhood. Previously the brick and mortar location for Fresh Fish Maui, the interior has now been redesigned with beautiful wooden tables and stunning Gyotaku fish prints.

Tails Up Maui --- Pupu and Poke Menu

My party was warmly greeted by the team behind the counter. They expertly guided us through the menu. Honestly everything sounded amazing—and by the look of our fellow diners, was just as delicious. Deciding for a shareable lunch, we ordered the Seafood Tacos, Locally Caught Tuna Melt, as well as a Kale and Quinoa w/fresh catch salad (this time with perfectly prepared blackened Ono). The house made drinks also sounded like perfect pairings, so we opted for a lilikoi lemonade and lemongrass green tea.

Along with our order, the team generously offered up a complimentary pupu of edamame and shrimp cocktail with guava/horseradish dipping sauce. Both were enjoyed as we waited for the stars of the show and chatted with the friendly staff about the exciting future planned for Tails Up. Our dishes came out shortly thereafter, and they were both outstanding. The salad came with a generous portion of perfectly cooked fish, and was accompanied by loads of avocado and house made mushroom bacon, tied together with a delicious sesame miso dressing. A pescatarians delight!

Tails Up Maui Sign

Now, as a self-described fish taco connoisseur, I am always in search of these hand hold delicacies. After one bite of the trio served at Tails Up, and I can safely say these are some of the best on Island! The sterling quality of the fish is the star, as it is simply prepared and not masked by heavy toppings. Topped with a refreshing cabbage slaw, Hawaiian chili pepper jam, mango salsa, and filled in warm corn tortillas, I will be recommending these to friends and family, near and far.

Daily Fresh Catch

As mentioned above, I wholeheartedly believe there can never be enough good dining options on Maui. With our island’s natural resources, we should have a variety of amazing restaurants to enjoy. And after just one lunch, I can’t wait to go back. If you happen to reading this post at publish time (March 31, 2023, week 1 of Grand Opening) you should have even more incentive to try this new establishment. For this Friday, March 31 and Saturday, April 1 the first 50 customers will receive a free sashimi pupu platter. We hope to see you soon at Tails Up Maui!

Contact a Maui Real Estate Specialist

Hawaiian Honu, aka Green Sea Turtle, resting at Tavares Bay, Kuau, Maui, Hawaii

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Dano Sayles R(B)


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