30 Meals Under $30
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$25.94! Kalua pig plate ($10.95), Chinese chicken salad ($8.99), side of teriyaki beef sticks ($3.75) and a fruit punch ($2.25).
Da Kitchen is notorious for plates so full that even a famished sumo wrestler would have issues finishing the meal. The kālua pig plate could easily feed two, though admittedly, it’s hard to give up even a bite of the lightly smoked and perfectly salted meat, which is so soft it practically melts in your mouth. The Chinese Chicken Salad is refreshing, balanced with greens, tender chicken and crisp wonton chips. Be sure to specify the teri beef sticks as appetizers, or you’ll never get to them. Wash it all down with an extra-large fruit punch. Tip: ask for the “to-go” glass, which is made of durable plastic. It will hold up for the week it’ll take to finish the drink. Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. 425 Koloa Street Suite 104, Kahului, (808) 871-7782, da-kitchen.com.
Max World Bistro
$29! Kona Kine Crab Cakes ($8) and steak ($21).
You will never have a more difficult time choosing something to eat. The heart of this eclectic restaurant is, “Comfort food from around the world,” which couldn’t have been worded better. Case in point? Two 100-percent real-crab cakes enhanced with a delicious blend of spices and coconut (yes, coconut) for a fraction of what the imitation, breadcrumb-filled competitors cost. The steak is the famed Maui Cattle Co.’s New York cut, grilled to order and topped with tobacco onions and a delicious Montpellier butter. Think garlic and capers, with a hint of anof anchovy. Dee-lish! Tuesday through Sunday, 5 to 9:30 p.m. 810 Kokomo Road, Haiku, (808) 575-2629, maxworldbistro.wordpress.com.
$26.95 for two people! Matsu Gozen Combo dinner.
Matsu Gozen is the most popular dish at this small establishment, where locals and visitors alike with good reason covet reservations: authentic Japanese food at a fair price. The value lies in the diversity and quality of the grinds, which includes shrimp tempura, maguro, hamachi and salmon sashimi; three different sushi (California roll, maguro [tuna] and a light hamachi and shrimp delight); a steaming bowl of rice; miso soup that’s perfection; and blanched nanohana, a leafy green similar to spinach, but more exotic. Maybe it’s just the name. Tuesday through Thursday, 5:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, until midnight. Sunday until 11 p.m. 1280 South Kihei Road, Kīhei, (808) 874-0990.