Rita’s: Kihei’s new steak ‘n lobster concept

Move over Lulu’s Kihei. Now Rita’s has taken the top restaurant spot upstairs at Kihei Kalama Village.

“Rita’s was born from a passion of mine,” says owner Steve Warsh. “From blending food, taking care of people, laughter and Maui. Since I was a young man, I would go to restaurants to have fun, and the more fun I had, the more it cost. So I’m trying to make it affordable for everyone.”

You’ll find lobster every which way – in salad with Louie dressing; tucked into mac ‘n’ cheese; whole as an entree or as a meal add on; and in lobster cakes.

Steaks are huge and range from prime rib to porterhouse to filet mignon to tomahawk bone-in ribeyes.

“At some places, you pay a premium for things that are not,” he continues. “It’s quite another thing to serve a great meal at a fair price, and that’s what I’m trying to do here. Treat locals with respect, and give them a good deal for the money.”

Warsh says that he flys in Portland, Maine, lobsters three times a week. And, that all of his steaks are prime.

“I had a restaurant owner come in here and say, ‘No way are your steaks prime at the prices you charge.’ I took him into the kitchen and showed him the receipt, and he couldn’t believe his eyes!”

All of the steaks are aged and cut in house. Choose from sauces such as Bernaise, garlic or Forestiere.

“We also cut our own fish, make our own salad dressings and mayonnaise, and bake our own breads and desserts, and we don’t use any preservatives.”

Rita’s is open for lunch and dinner from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Fridays. On the weekends, it opens at 7 a.m. for brunch and stays open until 10 p.m.

The large rectangular bar is generally full during happy hour from 3 to 6 p.m. daily. The thatched ceilings and colorful murals make it a fun place to hang. The rest of the restaurant is casual and open air and affords some ocean and tree-top views along with nice sunsets.

During happy hour, we run specials such as filet mignon tacos and lobster bisque,” says Warsh. “Not your typical fried food you normally find in a bar.”

Desserts include apple crisp and banana cream pie. Coffee comes with sugar cubes, chocolate shavings, and cinnamon

For more details, call Rita’s at 214-5788.