Tropica, the beachfront dinner restaurant at The Westin in Ka’anapali, features giant thatched umbrellas, a central koi pond, and a beautiful “wall of water” fountain at the back of the somewhat cavernous, open-air restaurant. If the Hawaiiana theme, slightly too loud (but good) live music, and vacationers passing close to your table don’t bother you, we recommend Tropica’s menu for fresh, local ingredients prepared with care. The prices are high, yes, but Ka’anapali is overpriced in general, and this is one of the better options in the resort area.
The wide-ranging menu features many very good appetizers, thin crust pizzas, several salads, and well-composed fish dishes, steaks, and meats. Wine suggestions are listed with every item. We like to share several appetizers (portions are smaller than they should be) and add a salad or pizza to make a full meal. We enjoy the New Caledonia Prawns — the sweet, tender shrimp meat is respected and not overcooked, and the uni butter that surrounds each large prawn adds a briny flavor with a decadent texture. The roasted lamb loin with light and creamy polenta is perfectly satisfying. We also appreciate the organic chicken: braised in lavender (though we couldn’t taste it) and finished with a sweet shoyu sauce and a medley of Asian vegetables. Many of the entrées incorporate novel sauces or spices, which we approve of, but in general we find their application too timid (something that can happen at resorts, where chefs have to cater to customers who might only be eating at their restaurant because they’re staying at the hotel).
If you must stay in Ka’anapali for dinner, this is among your best options; otherwise head to Japengo.
Address: 2365 Ka’anapali Pkwy., Ka’anapali, West Maui
Location: Westin Ka’anapali
Hours: W-Su 4:30pm-9:30pm