Main Street Bistro is a lunch and light dinner restaurant in Wailuku, and we recommend that you stop in on your way to or from Iao Valley. Chef Owner Tom Selman is well known on Maui for making straightforward dishes — crab cakes, roast beef sandwiches, potato macaroni salad, fried chicken — with a precise hand and careful flavors.
We hear a jangle in the restaurant from the happy clinking of knives and forks and the lively chatter of locals who live and work on Main Street in Wailuku. The rather haphazard decor — big Hawaiian prints, cane chairs, local art, and the exhibition “kitchen” (read: grill) is definitely designed — or not — for those who come for the food, not the ambience. It’s clean and the tall ceilings let in a lot of natural light, so we forgive that we have to take a key attached to a large wooden spoon into the office building next door to find a bathroom.
Try the roasted beet salad. The beets are tender and sweet, the onion a little pickled from the light, refreshing pear vinaigrette, and the candied cashews add crunch. We also like the straightforward grilled steak salad, with slices of beef laid on peppery arugula and topped with bleu cheese. The fried chicken is called “southern” but we find the batter not quite as crispy as that implies. It is, however, tender, juicy, and despite the rather flat breading, better than any of the katsu we’ve had on the island. If you’re offered mashed potatoes with your meal, they’re prepared in our favorite style: skin still on, handmade, chunky, well-seasoned, tender not mushy. The crab cakes come on a toasted bun or on a salad, and they are well made and have a tangy, delicious remoulade. We love the onion rings, which are razor thin and tangle on the plate.
Service is efficient, kind, and neighborly, and you can see Chef Tom working away every day of the week. The restaurant is closed after 7pm and on weekends, but sometimes stays open a little late for First Fridays, the townwide art celebration on the first Friday of each month.
Address: 2051 Main St., Wailuku, Central Maui
Meals: Lunch, Dinner
Hours: M-F 11am-7pm