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That's Not Alright, Mama

DISCLAIMER:  This review is meant to be a bit tongue-in-cheek.  I apologize in advance if it comes off heavy-handed.  It was not meant that way, you know?   Yr Fthfl Blggr has carefully edited the original posting so as to be more sensitive and less direct.

Yr Fthfl Blggr
May 30, 2010

One of the most famiss restaurants, at least one the touristas flock to, on Maui, is Mama's Fish House.

I went dere. Hey, it's a tough job writing this blog, but who else would do it?

Mama's is right on the beach at Paui, off the Hana Highway, on the north shore, east of Kahalui. That probably means nothing to you, but I just wrote it to make it sound like I knew something. I don't, but reading that you might think I do.

If you know what I mean.

Anyway, I encourage you to search for "Mama's Fish House, Maui" and see what people have to say about it. "Best meal I had on Maui," and "best ever."

I will say I'm glad I went. The scenery is amazing and the food is not too bad.  But to say it's the "greatest ever," well, that is a far reach for me. More on that later.

If you were to think of "restaurant on the beach in Maui," I think this would be the very definition. Nice beach on a little cove with palm trees. It really is paradise.

If you get to Maui, you at least have to drive up and see the place.

In my humble opinion, I think it's one step away from being a tourist trap.

Mama's Fish House is located in this unbelievable place. You would think the architects could come up with something, well...Hawaiian or tropical for the exterior design. But noooooooo. They went for the TGI Fridays/Chili's look. There is nothing vaguely original about the architecture.

Inside, it's like a million (well, maybe 999,999) other tropical-themed restaurants. It's nice and all, but it's not...special. Nothing sets it apart.

I mean, they have little carved Tiki statues everywhere. It's SO tacky! Sure, it's Hawaii, but it looks like they're copying the clones.

I'm sure I will get a lot of hate mail for all of this.

But, in the spirit of Bill Bryson, somebody has to point these things out.

And at the prices they charge, you'd think the atmosphere would be a little upscale. I realize it isn't NYC, but it's one of the most expensive places on Maui, for crying out loud.

But on the other hand, it was packed when we were there on a Thursday night, so what the heck do I know?

You might be able to tell from the pictures that it was early evening. We had hoped to see the sunset but it was not to be.

This had all started with a lot of promise, btw. One person in our party of seven at our table, had said her friends had described their meal at Mama's as "the best ever."

I, on the other hand, was a tad disappointed.  I suppose after all that build-up, there is only one place you can go.


One nice touch on the menu that underscores how fresh the fishies are is that they indicate who caught dem and where. I liked that.

Not sure if you can read the snippet of the menu I put here on the left. Just lookit them prices. I had the Mahi Mahi stuffed with lobster, crab, Maui onion and baked in a macadamia nut crust.

It sounds pretty amazing, but I was, as I said earlier, a tad disappointed. Maybe my expectations were so high that it could only be a let down. A fifty-two dollah let down! I think part of the issue was I should have just gotten a simple grilled fish. All that stuffing stuff took away from the fish itself.

We had a couple of appetizers, including these crab cakes. They were good, and the presentation was nice, but I've had better in Maryland at low-budget places.

Mebbe dey should let Yr Fthfl Blggr in de kitchen, yes? I tchow dem how to cook de crab!

Here, fishy fish, I know you're in dere somewhere.

Nice looking, and it wasn't bad, but was more like a $20 fishy imho.

The asparaguses were nice though. I liked them.

One thing I must mention is the service. It was mediocre. We had great service most everywhere else on Maui, but at Mama's the server seemed a bit put out that she had a table of seven (we were civilized, really) and she clearly didn't like us asking questions about the menu.


In-ex-cusable in a restaurant charging these prices.

The actual highlight of the meal was dessert. We shared this c-c-crazy ice cream/chocolate/baked shell thingy. Amazing and creative presentation (just look at dat!) and it tasted even better.

So, on my first (and last?) trip to Mama's I say: rather overpriced for whatcha get in terms of food, but it IS a once-in-a-lifetime experience.


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