Moana Bakery & Café is adjacent to the Mana Foods parking lot, and it’s worth heading over for a meal or at least an espresso and pastry to go.
We’ll start with the pastries, which are excellent. The apple strudel is filled with more apples than anything else, and the crust flakes off under the slightest pressure from your fingers. That is a satisfying event on an island with so few pastry shops. You can also get a cherry strudel — fresh made — and a coconut empanada, which is a kind of turnover filled with a luscious coconut filling.
Breakfast is wonderful here, and it’s our favorite place to stop on the way down from sunrise at Haleakala Crater or the way out on the Road to Hana. The burritos are hearty and filling and the eggs Benedict — including several vegetarian versions — are well-made. We like the guava mimosas and the spicy bloody Mary’s.
The barista and bartenders know what they’re doing — when you can get their attention. Prices are a little spendy, but at least the quality of the food and the portions match them.
All ingredients are as fresh and local as possible, and at dinner, the lively kitchen sends out many fresh fish dishes, an excellent rack of lamb, and many vegetarian dishes: spicy Thai noodles, pesto pasta, etc. There’s eclectic live entertainment (call for the schedule, or you might get stuck with an amateur open mic night when you were hoping for sultry jazz) and local art on the walls. The restaurant rambles from the big front windows to a rather dark exhibition kitchen, and if you have a big party you won’t feel too crowded. Service is Paia style — which means very cute, but equally (if not more so) slow.
Address: 71 Baldwin Ave., Paia, North Shore
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snacks & Treats
Hours: Daily 8am-9pm; Su-M 4pm – till closing
Parking: Lot, Street