I recently had the privilege of spending Christmas with my family on the beautiful Hawaiian island of Maui. Since we recently started the millennial travelers I found this to be the perfect opportunity to seek out some local restaurants on the island. We were staying at the Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas for this trip, which is a short 10 minute drive from the town of Lahaina. For anyone who hasn’t been, Lahaina is a small town on the western coast of Hawaii with views of the ocean on one side and the West Maui Mountains on the other. Any conversation about Lahaina is surely to include Front Street. From what I can tell this is the most famous street in Lahaina, running down the coast line with shops, restaurants, museums, and endless history. And as one would guess, the majority of the restaurants have a great view of the Pacific Ocean and the neighboring island of Lanai. Along this street is where my dad and I came across Koa’s Seaside Grill.
We were looking for a place open for breakfast and naturally wanted a place with a view. We wanted to take advantage of the situation and eat breakfast with a view of Lanai and the Pacific Ocean. After taking a quick glance at the menu posted outside the restaurant we decided it would be a great local option to try for breakfast (little did we know, we would enjoy it so much we would be returning the next day).
Koa’s Seaside Grill serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The lunch options looked excellent as well but we were not able to order any of them as their posted lunch time starts at 11 am. Also, from what I could tell the upper balcony was not open during breakfast but this didn’t really cause much of an inconvenience as we only needed to wait 15 minutes before being seated at a table right on the water.
The entrance to Koa’s was very unique, to say the least. I have been to restaurants before that had gift shops attached for customers to buy related apparel (Bubba Gump comes to mind) but Koa’s has a jewelry store and a souvenir shop located in the entrance hallway to the restaurant. As well as a place to book excursions. It seemed a little tacky but it was an easy way to kill 15 minutes and I wouldn’t let this deter me or anyone from venturing back to try the restaurant.
Above is the view looking back into the restaurant from the hostess stand past the shops in the entry way. Since we were on Maui around Christmas time they had decorations up all around the restaurant. The lower level wasn’t very big but it sure had a million dollar view, although it is hard to tell in this photo since there was a glare coming in.
The restaurant has a tropical feel with wood paneling and great views. The layout seemed very well thought out as pretty much every table had an excellent view. Our table was right along the railing but as you can see in the above photo the tables farther back are high top with bar stool chairs, allowing these diners to see over the guests near the railing and enjoy the view. Also of note, they had several mirrors hanging around the restaurant which allowed people to take in the great views from even more angles.
From our table we could watch the boats anchored offshore with Lanai as the backdrop while we waited for our food. This photo doesn’t do it justice, but there was a massive yacht anchored out probably 300 yards that everyone in the restaurant seemed to be buzzing about. Unfortunately we couldn’t get any closer, or even figure out the name, but maybe next time if we get lucky we’ll find out more 🙂
Turning around there were more views from our breakfast table, this time looking out the side of the restaurant. Kimo’s is the restaurant balcony on the right that can be seen in the photo. Another place I heard great things about but didn’t get the chance to try. Maybe next time!
While at breakfast the second morning I was with my dad and girlfriend. We each tried a Mimosa while waiting for our breakfast to arrive. They were very refreshing and came with 4 juice options: Orange Juice, Passion Fruit, Mango, and Lilikoi. I tried the Lilikoi and it came as a thick syrup but I would have to say my favorite combination was the passion fruit option. My dad prefered the orange juice while my girlfriend really enjoyed the mango.
Now onto the highly important topic of how was the food. Pictured above is the Loco Moco, which cost $16. It is a Hawaiian classic that comes with 2 eggs over easy (I requested over medium and this wasn’t an issue), a hamburger patty, and gravy all on a bed of white rice. I found it to be delicious and the gravy had great flavor and consistency.
Disclaimer: when the food arrived it smelled so good I started eating right away and forgot to take a picture before ruining the presentation. At least I did better than the day before when I didn’t take a picture at all. More on that first meal below.
The first time we went my dad and I both ordered the “Two eggs your way” breakfast combo for $13. I went with the Portuguese Sausage while my dad had the Bacon. Then as you would guess, it came with 2 eggs prepared anyway you would like. Additionally it had potatoes and your chose of toast. The toast options were; Sourdough, Wheat, Rye, English Muffin, or Gluten free for an extra dollar. I picked the wheat while my dad had the sourdough. We were both extremely satisfied with our meal (so much so we returned the next day with anyone we could get to come along). The Portuguese Sausage was fantastic and my dad is on the record for saying it was some of the best bacon he has ever had.
My girlfriend, who didn’t come along for the first trip, ordered the “Caramelized Leek and Goat Cheese Omelette”, which cost $14. This came with a side of potatoes and chose of toast as well, she picked the english muffin. I didn’t have any of it but from what she said it was very good. She did say though, if she were to return she would do the create your own omelette option to try something different.
Disclaimer: she also had the same issue of being too excited upon the arrival of her food to remember we needed to take a picture beforehand. But that can’t be a bad thing if the food just smelled that good, right?
This time around my dad ordered the “Macadamia Nut Pancakes” for $14. However, instead of getting them the traditional way they are found on the menu, he requested 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream. This all started back on his honeymoon when he came to Hawaii for the first time and they served him macadamia nut pancakes with vanilla ice cream and warm syrup. He doesn’t order it often but whenever he comes back to Hawaii he likes to order it at least one time as a way to reminisce. And simply because he says it is absolutely delicious. Both seem like pretty good reasons to me. This time was no different as he was very satisfied with the quality at Koa’s pancakes. The biggest issue he had involved them forgetting to bring the syrup with the food and it took a while for him to get a waiters attention so they could bring it over. But this is also the reason we got a picture of the 2 pancakes and 2 scoops of ice cream before he started eating. Small wins. So if you just so happen to be getting bored of your normal pancakes then we have a great new variation for you to try.
I would give Koa’s Seaside Grill a very strong 4/5 rating. I was completely satisfied with both meals, clearly as we returned the very next day. I was not a huge fan of the tacky entry way with the souvenir shop, and the service could have been slightly more attentive. I totally understand the restaurant can get very busy as it seemed like a popular spot for breakfast and I wouldn’t let any of this stop me from returning. I highly recommend including Koa’s Seaside Grill on your list of breakfast destinations if you happen to be in the area and it certainly wouldn’t hurt to inquire ahead of time about reservations. The prices seemed very reasonable given the location and I know I will be returning the next time I am on Maui. If anyone else has eaten here for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, I would love to hear your thoughts as well. Until next time!