Every town has that perfect spot for weekend lunch; in Lahaina, that place is Mala Ocean Tavern. Opened in 2005, by Mark and Judy Ellman, right off the bat Mala’s was the undisputed best place to linger with friends on a long afternoon while sipping a refreshing drink.
Sharing a table on the open-air lanai is best; from there you can watch the sea turtles engage in their underwater paddling contests, moving close to shore, then back out to sea with the waxing and waning surf. Order a custom muddled mojito, one of Mala’s specialties, and soon you’ll also be going with the flow, which is what dining with friends should be about. Also highly recommended is the Spanish style sangria, crafted of red wine, soda, fresh fruits and a secret ingredient as invigorating as it is delicious.
Start with something for everyone (you wouldn’t want to rush) such as the stir-fry Brussels sprouts, edamame guacamole or the Mediterranean Quartet (a platter of feta cheese, hummus, olives, and babaganoush served with the island’s tastiest grilled pita). Although you’ll be tempted by a fantastic selection of healthy, vegetarian, and unique flavor options (such as lamb raita or gado gado salad) don’t overlook the standard burger and fries. At Mala the burger is delicacy in a bun, a hand formed Kobe beef graced with caramelized onions and your choice of cheese. The accompanying fries are sprinkled with fairy dust in the form of truffle oil and taste-bud stimulating spices. Aloha Friday never tasted so good!