Posts Tagged ‘paia’

We read online that Mama’s Fish House was one of the best restaurants on the island of Maui. We’ve visited Maui a number of times now, but had yet to check this place out, mostly due to the cost. On our latest trip we were heading home along the Hana Highway and trying to decide on where to go for dinner. We didn’t have a reservation, but since it wasn’t quite 5pm we figured it might not be too busy yet. So we figured we would check it out while we were in the area. Since we didn’t have a reservation they didn’t have a spot in the main dining area (with the amazing ocean-view), but they did have a spot in the bar area which was fine with us.

The service was amazing! The valet staff entered our name into a computer, and by the time we got to the waitress station they were expecting us and had our table ready. Our waitress was fantastic, attentive, and friendly. Never let our water glass get empty.

There is an amazing beach right out front of the restaurant… what a view:
Beach at Mama's Fish House

We went over the drink menu, but after the long drive decided to stick with some pop. Shauna went with the iced tea, and Dan asked for a Root Beer. (Maui travel tip for pop drinkers… always order the root beer as many restaurants stock a brand of local Maui made root beer that is fantastic).The menu looked amazing! We had looked at the menu online so already knew what we wanted for an entree, but we decided to try the Papa’s Sashimi Trio Appetizer first – which consisted of Ono with calamansi citrus and Molokai pink sea salt, Ahi with ponzu, red sisho, and kukui nut salt, and Onaga with charred pineapple, pomegranate, and Hawaii Island black sea salt.

Papa's Sashimi Trio Appetizer

The entree we both decided on ahead of time was the Mahimahi caught along the north shore by Eric Nakamura, stuffed with lobster and crab, baked in a macadamia nut crust. It was also topped with asparagus and a small lobster tail. It was one of the most delicious entree’s we have eaten – fantastic!

Stuffed Mahimahi - Mama's Fish House

As we were finishing up our dinner the most fantastic looking dessert was delivered to the table across from us. The entire section stopped eating to have a look. The guy at the table next to theirs even asked to take a photo of it. So of course we had to order one for ourselves – it’s big enough to share. It was the Polynesian Black Pearl – a lilikoi chocolate mouse in a pastry seashell. It was amazing, just like everything else.

The Black Pearl - Mama's Fish House

Everything was so good that we actually considered making a reservation for a return visit a few days later, but weren’t sure what we would be doing just yet so decided to hold off. We ended up not being able to make it back up, but will definitely be back on our next trip.

View of the oceanfront dining portion of the restaurant:
Mama's Fish House

Beach at Mama's Fish House

Well worth the money at least once in your trip! Just remember to make reservations in advance!


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The day after we drove the Hana Highway, we decided to head back to Paia to see what we had missed. It was tempting to stop at Paia the first time we passed through, but we wanted to do as much exploring around Hana as we could.

Of course we had to stop at Maui Coffee Roasters as we passed through Kahului.

We could not find a parking spot in the big public parking lot near the west end of Paia, so we decided to head for Ho’okipa Beach first. It is considered to be one of the best windsurfing beaches in the world, and a great place for taking photos.
20090410_740There was a surprising lack of windsurfers the day we were here. Conditions were obviously better for surfing, because there was plenty of them out there. I found a great site for checking out the ocean conditions, although we didn’t look at it on this day since we did not plan to surf or to swim. But it has aerial photos, beach descriptions, hazard ratings, and of course surf conditions. It is definitely worth checking out before heading to the ocean for the day.

Our stop at Ho’okipa Beach made for one of my favorite photos of the entire trip… Surfing with the turtles at Ho’okipa Beach:


From there we went back to Paia to check it out better. We were able to find a parking spot this time. We ended up having lunch at the Paia Fish Market. They are one of the top rated restaurants in Paia according to TripAdvisor, and get the coveted Ono rating from Maui Revealed. We arrived right at lunch time and were surprised by how busy they were. But we figured they had to be good based upon the lineup.

Once we got inside we were surprised at the variety on the menu. They make fish in all sorts of dishes: pasta, tacos, fajitas, quesadillas, burgers, and of course grilled and deep fried. You can also get some of their dishes in chicken as well, for those who aren’t into fish. We went with the fish and chips for lunch, and were very happy with our meal.

Fish'n'Chips at Paia Fishmarket Restaurant, Maui

Our plan to explore around Paia on a separate day from driving the Hana Highway worked out quite well for us. We were able to explore what we wanted around Hana, as I have discussed in a previous post. And then we went back to Paia the next day to check it out without feeling rushed to get back on the road. It made both days much more enjoyable.

After we explored around Paia, we went up to Makawao. It was another interesting town with lots of shops. But by the time we got there, we were about ready for the beach again. So we didn’t look around too much. It was back to the Maui Banyan and Kamaole II Beach.

If you would like to look at Shauna’s photos for the Paia Fish Market you can see them on her Maui Photo Set.

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