Mama's Fish House
799 Poho Place
Paia, Hawaii 96779
Third installment of my culinary tour of Maui.
This was one of the two recommendations that I received most when I asked people what restaurants were not to be missed in Maui. It was a good hour drive from our villa, and I was kind of kicking myself for making reservations that far away and expecting something awesome...no good can come of that. Right?
Anyhow, when you pull into the driveway there is valet parking. Nice touch for a little island joint. Turns out this wasn't your average island joint. There is an inn as well as the restaurant, and there is a nice beach area to hang out on while you wait for your table.
This was the hostess area. Neat stuff.
Pretty table setting...which they mostly removed once they saw who was dining there.
I don't remember exactly what this was, but I remember it was tasty. I tried pulling up their drink menu online, but no dice.
This was a Lava Flow. Pina Colada with pureed strawberries. Nice touch. This beverage is not unique to the restaurant, but it is neat to look at.
Cheryl had the ubiquitous Mai Tai. From the second we got on the Alaska Airlines flight from SeaTac people had been throwing these at us. This was the best of the trip. No overly-sweet crapola flowing here.
They started us out with a freshly baked loaf of bread, still warm. Always a good way to get the ball rolling.
The amuse' was a tomato bisque. Nice kick to it.
Fairly quickly after that we were served our appetizers. This was a seared black pepper tuna. They don't get much fresher.
Same with the Tuna Sashimi entree that Alex had. It was getting dark at our table by this time so the light balance is a little off in the picture, but it was the reddest tuna I'd ever seen. The pickled veg was obviously home-made and very nice as well.
Hamachi Sautéed with Hamakua mushrooms, garlic butter, white wine and capers Hawaiian Snapper caught by Stanley Bascar in deep sea reefs off Lana’i. Seriously. They tell you who caught the fish. The kitchen has a way with fish at Mama's. It was the second best piece of fish I've ever had. The first being at Roberto Donna's now-closed Galileo III.
Mahimahi Stuffed with lobster and crab and baked in a macadamia nut crust Caught along the north shore of Maui towards Hana by Mike Holley. Mike and Cheryl both got this dish. Once again, excellent execution.
Kuau Chocolate Pie
Baked in a caramel cookie crust Not too shabby for an ending. The kids inhaled it but I did get a bite.
Liliko’i Crème Brulèe
I don't know about you, but I'm a purist when it comes to creme brulee. I don't want fruit on it. Theirs was good, but mine's better.
So, the scoop is, if you go to Maui don't miss this place. The prices look nutty, but the check was less than $400 and we all ate well. If you have one or two cocktail instead of an expensive bottle of wine you'll get out cheap. My recommendation is to catch this on your way to or from the airport as it's pretty close to there. Whichever way you roll, don't miss it. It's a classic.