Often regarded as one of the best restaurants on Maui, I am inclined to admit that (in my humble opinion) Kaana Kitchen is one of the best restaurants in Hawaii. Located within the stunning Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort, this contemporary open-kitchen, dining experience boasts farm fresh ingredients with worldly-inspired cooking techniques and diverse bold flavors.
Largely influenced by the Hawaiian method of gathering and foraging from the mountains to the sea, Kaana Kitchen is mainly based on the simple concept of sharing. Guests are encouraged to share moments, memories, aromas, tastes and of course food. Portion sizes are small to large and the menu selections are categorized by: “Upcountry Farm,” “Kaana Classics,” “Kona Cold,” “Big Eye Ahi,” and the “Butcher’s Block.”
At the helm, Maui natives, Executive Chef Isaac Bancaco and Sous Chef Jonathan Pasion collaborate and construct (with the help of their talented culinary team) diverse creations with Polynesian, European, Asian and classic influences.
At first glance the menu is a unique and takes some familiarization to navigate as it’s not presented in your typical appetizers and entrees format. Have your waiter guide you and offer some recommendations to decipher what is a starter portion from a sharable main dish. The price points are mid-range to fine dining, but the quality is superb and the service is a mixture of friendly yet attentive and elegant.
Ultimately, since it’s inception in 2013, Kaana Kitchen has garnered it’s fair share of awards, global recognition and accolades but remains true to its roots. If you’re craving an outstanding meal be sure to add Kaana Kitchen to your list — you won’t be disappointed.
Here’s a look as some of the classic standouts and a few of the new dishes (photographs depict a tasting portion so I could taste everything):
Overall, this was an outstanding meal. I was craving something that would really satiate my need for a wonderful experience. This really hit the spot. As far as desserts go the ice cream sundae was a standout. In the end dinner, was wonderful and I can’t wait to go back.
Andaz Maui at Wailea
3550 Wailea Alanui Drive
Kihei, Hawaii 96753
Olena is Executive Editor, Food & Lifestyle at MAUIWatch. The founder of Olena Heu Communications, a social media, digital
marketing, consulting and freelance writing company, Olena holds a BA
and MA in Communication and Speech from Hawaii Pacific University.
An adjunct professor, lecturer and motivational speaker Olena is also an award winning journalist, writer, photographer and avid traveler.