Maui eats: Mala Ocean Tavern

While on Maui, my friend Julie Yoneyama took me to her favorite restaurant: Mala Ocean Tavern. Many of you who know Maui’s restaurant scene will remember Mark Ellman, who previously owned Avalon. He opened his latest restaurant on the water near Mala Wharf, a spot that’s got a hip vibe but is casual enough that we wore shorts and slippers to dinner.

The menu offerings are so creative and sophisticated, you almost forget that it’s good for you. Ellman offers a selection of small plates, organic when possible, using whole grains, no preservatives, no hydrogenated oils, and everything in proportion. Imagine that!

Here’s what we had that night. If you go, keep an eye out for Julie!

Mala Ocean Tavern

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There are tables, but we preferred to sit at Mala’s bar so we could talk story with the bartenders, who also made nice recommendations on drinks. If you go, though, be prepared to sit where you can if you don’t have reservations, as they are constantly crowded.

Mala Ocean Tavern
1307 Front St.