There’s a restaurant proverb that (like all proverbs) is almost always true: the better the view, the worse the food. The proverb holds at Son’z, the fine restaurant at the Hyatt. A sweeping staircase brings you down to one of the most romantic places on Maui: a waterfall-fed pond dotted with elegant white swans. Protected from the beach-walk-gawkers, this is a beautiful spot for an intimate evening. If we could eat the view, we would, happily, and it would be delicious.
Unfortunately, we can’t. We must rely on what’s coming out of the kitchen. The menu is similar to that of sister restaurants Sarento’s on the Beach and Nick’s Fishmarket, including the strained descriptions, overly friendly handwriting font, and extremely high dollar amounts next to each item. The overly complicated recipes result in plates that always look very colorful (all of the primary and many of the secondary colors are represented), but never blow us away with taste (strange, how so many ingredients result in so little flavor).
Our overwrought imaginations come up with all sorts of scenarios to explain why the service, which is very attentive, strikes us as panicked. Is there someone in the kitchen holding a gun to their heads? Do they all have nails sticking up through the soles of their shoes? We have a bias against service that is obtrusive. Don’t refill our glass of water between each sip, and don’t ask us more than once how we like the “flavors.” (Especially when we don’t.) And if you can’t make an honest recommendation, find a way to guide us besides repeating what’s listed on the menu.
If you are staying in Ka’anapali and want to eat a romantic dinner without driving into Lahaina or out to Kapalua, we recommend heading upstairs to Japengo or to the pool for ‘Umalu.
Address: 200 Nohea Kai Dr., Ka’anapali, West Maui
Location: at The Maui Hyatt hotel near the swan pond
Hours: Su-Th 5pm-10pm; Fr-Sa 5pm-10:30pm; Bar until 12am