Jawz started out as a taco stand just outside of Makena’s Big Beach, and that’s still our favorite place to get their food. If you go to their sit-down restaurant in North Kihei, you’ll find a slightly more refined grill on their fish and a huge salsa bar with salsas ranging from sweet to heat, diced onions, pickled carrots, sour cream, wasabi Asian sauce, and many other yummy toppings. The burritos and tacos themselves are sold to you barely dressed, so take advantage of the bar.
We like the fish (they also have steak, pork, chicken, and shrimp), but don’t think this is the place to get inexpensive ahi, because when you shred and grill ahi it just tastes like canned tuna. Get the ono or the mahi mahi instead. The tacos come with cilantro-pesto rice, which is a little odd, but does add interesting texture. Fresh-squeezed lemonade is rare on Maui, because lemons can be extremely expensive here. While Jawz has a huge vat of fresh lemonade, it’s anemic (we suspect a cost control issue). They also make a pretty good margarita and sell Mexican beers. The Happy Hour specials (Monday — Saturday from 3 to 6pm and all day Sunday) make an inexpensive meal even cheaper, while the large tables and surfing movies on the televisions make this is a pleasant place for a quick lunch or dinner.
There are now two trucks in Makena, one parked before the big red pu’u (volcanic cinder cone) and one parked across the first entrance to Makena State Beach Park. Only one has the giant shark fin on top, but both serve the same tacos, plus smoothies and shave ice.
Address: 1279 S. Kihei Rd., Kihei, South Maui
Location: Azeka Mauka Marketplace
Meals: Lunch, Dinner
Hours: Daily 11am-9pm
Address: Makena Alanui Rd., Makena, South Maui
Location: By entrance to Makena State Beach Park
Hours: Daily 10am-4:30pm