Our initial impressions of Kai Wailea – despite our high hopes – were that it was not delivering on the promise of its sister location in Honolulu. The service was slow and there was a server who struck us and several of our foodie friends as quite literally nuts.
The food? It was good: fresh sushi arranged in creative and surprising ways. But somehow what works in the big city where there are many sushi places to choose from, doesn’t work as well here. It seemed forced. And combined with the service, and the prices, not a good value.
That’s why we were so surprised when we paid a return visit to refresh-our-opinion for the new edition of the guide. The food was simpler, more straightforward, and didn’t look Dr. Seuss had made it. It was incredibly fresh and delicious. And we got a fixed price meal for two for only $120, for five courses. Miso soup, a sushi sampler, a tempura platter and robata-yaki, an entree, and dessert (pineapple sorbet). And the service? Our server was friendly, quick, and knowledgeable. A return visit for lunch won us over: we’ve been waiting for someone to do a good sushi lunch on Maui. We have more to say, of course … but for now, we’re recommending Kai Wailea in general, and certainly for their excellent deal of a fixed price meal for two at $120.
Kai Wailea, The Shops at Wailea, Maui, Call 808-875-1955