Teppanyaki is just plain fun, dontcha think? (James does — he begs Molly to visit Kobe at least once a quarter.) Japanese chefs juggle knives and throw fire while they prep, sear, and serve your meal tableside … it is Food Theater (and everyone gets a front row seat at the U-shaped tables). Kobe is one of the only teppanyaki places on Maui, and we’re glad they’re here, because it’s pretty darn good food, and a pretty darn good show. (Just don’t sit upstairs, where the ventilation is less than adequate.) Visitors flock here, but so do more than a few locals, who appreciate the large quantities of food and the good fried rice (made in front of you, of course).
We particularly like the scallops, which we’ve always had perfectly cooked. The steak is a good cut, especially when we upgrade to the filet. The seasonal opakapaka (Hawaiian pink snapper) is tender and takes well to the super-hot grill. Keep in mind that they’re not using the very best oils or brandies, and set your expectations accordingly. We skip dessert and head to Ululani’s Shave Ice or Ono Gelato for after dinner treats. Reservations for the teppanyaki are recommended, but you can also get sushi at Oku’s sushi bar — a restaurant within the restaurant.
Bonus: it’s open until almost midnight, so bar-hoppers can sate their night owl cravings with straightforward, fairly decent sushi. If you’ve got kids — or, ahem, a guy who’s a kid at heart — we recommend Kobe.
Address: 136 Dickenson St., Lahaina, West Maui
Meals: Dinner, Late-Night
Hours: Daily 5:30pm-10pm; Sushi Bar until 11:30pm
Parking: Lot, Street