18 February 2009

Saturday brunch at Mala Ocean Tavern, Lahaina Maui

As you’ll read in the following two posts, I recently attended a conference on Maui. I didn’t really expect to get out to eat too often since most of the meals were provided for the conference. Mostly I got out for lunches.

One of my coworkers attending the same conference had come a few days early for some vacation time with his wife. I was chatting with him during the conference and he told me that they’d discovered a restaurant in Lahaina that was, in his words, a Hawaiian version of Café Barbette in Minneapolis. “Cool,” I thought. “Too bad I won’t be able to try it.”

Well, after the conference ended, my flight home wasn’t until mid-afternoon. So it turned out that I’d have time for a brunch before driving to the airport. I checked with a colleague who was riding with me to the airport, and she was agreeable to a stop in Lahaina for brunch on the way to the airport.

The restaurant is Mala Ocean Tavern. As the name suggests, it’s right on the ocean with a beautiful view of the island of Lanai across the channel. On Saturday and Sunday they have a brunch menu. We arrived before noon and there were plenty of open tables.

The menu offers a lot of specialty cocktails. We declined all of them. Instead, we ordered salty dogs. (It’s not too decadent to have a cocktail with brunch on a Saturday in Hawaii, just before you leave to come home, is it?) I had one of the daily specials, a smoked salmon tartine. The greens on the plate were fresh, moist, and tender. The smoked salmon was delicious. It was topped with a small amount of red onion and shredded eggs. It was great.

My colleague had the ‘Mala Benny,’ the restaurant’s version of eggs Benedict. It consisted of poached eggs served on multi-grain bread and topped with Hollandaise with a patty of hashed brown potatoes on the side. Diners who choose this can have lamb sausage, Prosciutto, mushrooms, or fresh fish of the day. My colleague had the fish. She said it was great.

It was a very pleasant brunch. I’m happy my coworker recommended it.

No comments: