The view from Plantation House is unlike any other on the island. The restaurant sits high above sea level in the middle of the Kapalua golf course, which rolls down to the ocean with sky-high, ramrod-straight ironwood trees marching down the volcano beside it. You can see Molokai’s dramatic shape rising out of the Pacific, and often dramatic shafts of light piercing dramatically dark clouds, and even a dramatic rainbow or two. It’s very … dramatic, and best seen from a table close to the front of the restaurant, preferably at a window. (Ladies, bring a wrap, it can be chilly in the breeze.)
We wish the food matched the superlative views … but it doesn’t always. We stay away from most of the “from the land” entrées and focus on the fish, which are where the chef excels. Your waiter will inform you what the fishermen reeled in and you select from five preparations. Our favorite is the Mediterranean. A filet is coated with a crust of sweet Maui onions and spicy, hearty mustard, served over more Maui onions that have been roasted until the sugar is completely caramelized, and a light and fluffy couscous. To cut this joyful sweetness, a fried caper sauce is ladled over the top. The spicy, peppery sauce pulls out the flavors of the fish — which otherwise would be smothered in this crust — and the fried capers give a satisfying crisp texture.
We also like the pistachio-crusted preparation with spinach, but we feel the Roy’s or Pineapple Grill’s version is better. The wine list is very good, and the drinks are well-prepared if a tad unimaginative (don’t forget, this is the golf course’s restaurant).
We like the breakfasts, which are reasonably priced given the million dollar views. Good options include the eggs Benedict, the spinach and cheese omelet, and the sweet French toast. Service can be all over the place and has ranged from barely there to totally engaged and friendly. A large seating area in the middle of the restaurant is elevated by a few steps, making Plantation House good for group meals (wedding rehearsal dinners, family celebrations) where the large menu can please many at once.
Address: 2000 Plantation Club Dr., Lahaina, West Maui
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Hours: Daily 8am-9pm