I should know this. I really should know this. No matter how early I would like us to leave and get our day started, I'm really a firm believer that our party of six, with 4 young ones, requires an Act of Congress to get us all in one vehicle. On a day like today, I got up at 6:00 am, and Nancy got up around 6:30 am. With the whole breakfast prep, showers, change of clothing ritual, and the never ending packing of food and extra clothing for the day, we were lucky we got out of the condo by 9:30am. So back to my reality check, on average, we need a good 2-3 hours to get our full day started. What's funny is...after those 2-3 hours of preparation, guess what? There's still a thing or two that we end up forgetting. Who else is with me? Aaaahhh!!! Such is life, and honestly, that's all okay.
Heading West with no major agenda (except foodie agenda)
The last time we were on the West side of Maui was back in 2005. I remember staying at the Sheraton near Black Rock and had the most wonderful time. So, I was hoping to revisit the area, show Ethan and Madison where they stayed before. But first, at 10am, we've already built an appetite. We looked at our options and decided on Star Noodle on Kupuohi St.
Local Auntie...and many others
During our visit at Sam Sato's, the local Auntie suggested Star Noodle. Prior to our trip, I did my own research, and it was also highly suggested by many Tripadvisor regulars in the Maui Forum. Another good friend, Fletcher, urged me to try Star Noodle as well. So what's the big deal? I really had no idea until the day that we flew from LA to Maui. Sheldon Simeon was featured in Hawaiian Airlines' magazine, from his humble beginnings, to his recent claim to fame, Bravo's Top Chef reality TV show. Here's his profile...click here.
As we made our way towards Lahaina, we found out that Star Noodle opens at 10:30am. We decided to go right when they first opened at 10:30am, and we were so glad we did. I was expecting Star Noodle to be in the heart of touristy Lahaina harbor area. But it wasn't. It was located on the mountain side, more in a business district/industrial area. Hmmmmm. As we approached the parking lot, Star Noodle was a bigger establishment than I first imagined. When we walked in at 10:30, we were the 1st party who
were seated. First impression, it's a sit-down restaurant....very new in appearance, clean, trendy. Within 15-20 minutes (close to 11am), the restaurant was already 3/4 full (it probably had a capacity for about 100 guests). The waitress gave us a breakdown as to how the menu was divided, and every time she described a menu item, my mouth salivated. It also didn't help that in the middle of her going over the items, another waitress delivered a sizzling rib eye plate across from where we were seated. Uggghhh!!! Fine, we better order...so we did.
Hapa Ramen (Rich Pork Broth, Roast Pork, Poached Egg, Choi Sum, Kamaboko, Bamboo Shoots, Mayu, Spicy Aka Miso)
Star Udon (Rich Pork Broth, Roast Pork, Scallions)
Yakitori (Chicken, Teriyaki Glaze, Scallion, Sesame Seeds), and for dessert,
|Steamed Pork Bun aka Pork Bao|
Malasadas (with Chocolate and Butterscotch Caramel Sauces and Peanuts). I played it safe with the Hapa Ramen. I'm really a "spicy" ramen kind of guy, and should have opted for the Hot N Sour Ramen. Nevertheless, I enjoyed this ramen and I availed of the chili sauce that was on the table. The pork buns were also very good, I added a bit of horseradish and chili, and that sealed the deal. Ethan had the Star Udon, he didn't complain, and that's a good thing. The other kiddies had the chicken yakitori. They wanted more, so we ordered more....that's a testament that it was good. The malasadas were served with skewers and we drizzled the sauce and sprinkled peanuts prior to eating. I think I just drooled! LOL!!!
East Coast Meets West Coast - Maui Style
|Meeting up with Karen and Lloyd - Kaanapali Beach (Hula Grill)|
One of my dear colleagues from work, Karen, and her husband, Lloyd, are vacationing on Maui. They arrived last night. Karen and I managed to stay in touch despite the distance (Maryland and California). Earlier this week, she sent me a Facebook message about their vacation, and if all of us were near each other, then a meeting was in order. While we were at Star Noodle, she and Lloyd were about to have lunch at Hula Grill (Whalers Village). Directly after lunch, we met up with Karen and Lloyd at Hula Grill. It was so great to see them. When Karen visited California, she didn't get the chance to meet my family, and of course, it had to be on the island of Maui where our families would eventually meet. So great to see you, Karen and Lloyd, enjoy your vacation.
Icy Kaanapali Beach
|Caitlin and Evan with Mommy|
After meeting up with Karen and Lloyd, it was time to hit the ocean. For nearly 3 hours, we spent the early part of the afternoon at Kaanapali. We didn't boogie board, didn't snorkel, didn't jump at Black Rock - we just swam, and we let the waves pull and push us in and out of the shore.
All of us got in the water. Madison was also able to respond to her friend's ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Prior to the challenge, we made sure the Madison knew the reason for the cause, and that it wasn't all about getting drenched with ice cold water. I'm glad that we took that time and she understood.For the challenge, we only had access to two sand beach buckets. I took the buckets to the nearest bar, and the bartender gladly gave me ice for the challenge. Here's her video response to the challenge - click here.
|Mommy and Evan|
|Local Boys Shave Ice - Lahaina|
|Nachos from Maui Tacos|
We spent the rest of the afternoon in Lahaina. We had a short break and ate Nachos at Maui Tacos (as recommended by Auntie from Sam Sato's). What was different? Well, I'm from California and I'm quite picky when it comes to Mexican food. When we got to the area where Maui Tacos was located, there's a sign that said "It's Mexican with Mauitude!" The nachos was yummy. It was all in the cheese! Then when I dipped the chips in Pineapple Salsa, hell broke loose! It was crazy good. I've never had this salsa before. Zagat did the right thing by making this a Zagat-rated eatery.
After Maui Tacos, we also walked
around the Outlet (because living close to a Factory Outlet in California was simply not enough hahahahaha). We live within 5-10 minutes away from the Camarillo Factory Outlet :-) We also managed to stroll around Front Street, watched another majestic sunset, and finally, we, the local boys, had some shave ice again from Local Boys. It was just another one of those easy, laid back evenings.
|Sunset in Lahaina|
Tamura's Fine Wine
|In my possession, 3 precious Poke orders|
It's not what you think. One of the Tripadvisor's (Kathryn) in the Maui Forum suggested Tamura's Fine Wine and Liquor for their poke. Really? Poke from a liquor store? So I looked up the address....Kupuohi St....hey, that's where Star Noodle restaurant is located. So I called Tamura's, around 8:40pm and asked if they were still open (YES), and if they still had poke (another YES). But the guy said they were about to close, and I told him I was on my way. So I circled around Kupuohi St. and naturally, I found Star Noodle, but I couldn't find Tamura's. Then off to my left was a guy standing, waving at my vehicle...I rolled down my window, and he said, "You looking for Tamura's?" Perfect!!! I was led in. Again, I was expecting a little mini-mart, you know, a little store. But this one compares to a BevMo in California....lots of drinks, and when I walked in, to the left was the deli section, and there they were waving at me...POKE. It was a Poke Circus...probably 8-10 choices. But I zeroed in on 3 pokes....Kimchee Tako (Octopus), Fresh
Ahi Hot Shoyu, and Wasabi King Crab. I couldn't wait to eat them, but I decided to wait, I mean, WAIT till we got back to Kihei (a 30+ minutes drive). Thank you for this recommendation. We ate the Kimchee Tako tonight.....perfectly chewy octopus with the kimchee spice. The rest of the pokes are happily sitting the in the fridge and will be consumed tomorrow.
|Kimchee Tako (Octopus)|
That was our Day Six....tiring....we were gone from home (the condo) the whole day......another day that's now embedded in my blogging memory. I'm now getting ready to go to bed.....exhausted, yet fulfilled. Mahalo and good night!