The first four days had been pretty busy, with us on the go, so the girls requested a “chill beach day” for Friday. We had reservations for a luau that evening, so the plan was to hit up the beach, then head back to the house to shower and get ready for dinner. We started out at Sunrise Café for breakfast. This is a little hole in the wall place on Front Street just past the library. The place looks like it’s been constructed of scrap pieces over the years, as it’s kind of patched together, but it has character. It’s pretty small and they only have 3 employees, so don’t expect fast service. However, we didn’t get there until after 10, so folks were starting to clear out and our wait wasn’t nearly as bad as we anticipated. My husband ordered the Loco Moco, I had the lox bagel with a side of potatoes, and the girls each ordered pancakes and waffles. The food was good, but not stellar in any sense of the imagination. The “potatoes” I ordered ended up being a hash brown patty like you’d get at McDonalds. And Sydney swore her pancakes were the frozen microwave kind. “I ate enough of those as a kid. I know what they taste like.” My bagel was actually pretty good and had sprouts and tomatoes on it. It was tasty and healthy.
After breakfast we headed to the beach. This time we went to Ka’anapali Beach. Ka’anapali is the resort area on the north end of Lahaina. The beach was much bigger than Kapalua and had plenty of free parking, as well as nice restrooms. If you are deciding between the two, go to Ka’anapali. Same as the other beaches, we brought our own chairs, as there isn’t chair service on the beach. I also suggest bringing a cooler of drinks because unless you are staying at one of the resorts, there really wasn’t anywhere within walking distance to purchase drinks.
After a couple hours soaking up the sun, we decided to get shave ice (here, it’s “shave” ice, not “shaved” ice!). Since we own and operate a shaved ice business in Georgia, my husband and daughters are connoisseurs of the stuff. We make New Orleans style snoballs at our business, which use a different type of machine than the Hawaiian shave ice. But, for the most part they are basically the same thing, just made and served a little differently. Ululani’s is the most popular place for shave ice here. They have several locations all over the island. We went to their location on Front Street. There is always a long line at this place, but don’t let that scare you; it’s worth the wait. And, honestly, it moves pretty fast. I had the Citrus Squeeze, which was pink lemonade, lemon, and lime. It was very refreshing after our day at the beach! My husband had mango and it was so good – it tasted like fresh fruit.
For our evening dining and entertainment, I made reservations at The Feast at Lele Luau. Supposedly the “best” luau is Old Lahaina Luau, but that sells out in advance very quickly and I couldn’t get tickets for they days I wanted. I chose Feast at Lele based on reviews, and also because it offered table service for the meal – no buffet line to stand in! Be prepared: the luaus, no matter where you book, are expensive. I spent over $500 for four tickets, plus tip. Plus photo.
When you check in, you are greeted with a welcome cocktail (a maitai, of course) and a fresh flower lei, then escorted to your table by a hostess. There are photographers on the beach who will take your photo, which you can then purchase at the end of the show. You are also welcome to take your own photos if you wish, but it was nice to have someone take a good family photo for us.
To start, they serve freshly made banana and sweet potato chips with a delicious tropical salsa. My daughter liked the salsa so much, she kept the bowl for all of the courses, so she could add it to her food. This is a five-course meal, featuring foods from Hawaii, New Zealand, Tahiti, and Samoa, followed by dessert. The dancing and entertainment throughout the evening goes along the same themes with traditional dances and music from the four areas. I think my favorite foods were the kalua pork served in the first course and the ceviche served during the third course (Tahiti). But all of the food was very good. I will say, however, there wasn’t much to choose from for vegetarians, and I don’t know if they make any special accommodations or not.
The full menu is available on their website. Drinks are included, and they have decent list of cocktails and some wines. The servers were AMAZING. They turned around drink orders very quickly and served the food with a smile. They were also good at explaining what each item was when they brought it to your table. Even though the entire evening is prepaid when you make your reservation, they still bring you a check at the end so you know the appropriate amount to tip, because gratuity is not included in the price.
After the luau, we returned to the house with bellies very full for a quick 3 hour nap. We had to be up to catch our tour bus at 2:00 a.m.!