The coconut wireless has been buzzing the last couple of months about Five Palms Beach Grill in Kihei and all of its recent improvements.
Happy hour has become so popular, owner Simon Vojdani put in a second row of seating in the bar to accommodate all the people who flock there daily from 3 to 6 p.m. for half-price pupu and sushi.
"Tourists and locals alike are drawn to our beautiful bar with hardwoods throughout and the incredible view, situated right upon Keawakapu Beach," says General Manager Shawn Wynne, formerly of the Four Seasons Resort Maui. "This is complemented by the drink specials we offer daily from 2 to 6 p.m., including our famous $4.50 mai tais, margaritas and draft beer specials."
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo
Executive Chef James Furnish showcases the crab cakes and the kalua pork spring rolls, which are both offered at half-price during happy hour.
Popular pupu include crisp calamari strips, peel-and-eat edamame (soybeans), coriander-seared ahi tuna, Chinese- style barbecue ribs with mango-and-lime salsa, and coconut- crusted tiger prawns.
Apparently during the day, Five Palms is now the place to see and be seen in South Maui without having to pay what Wynne calls "Wailea prices," adding, "the once hidden gem of South Maui is no longer hidden."
"Last Tuesday, the afternoon breeze rolled in off the ocean as the whales frolicked in the bay, and it was the most remarkable view of any restaurant on the islands, perhaps anywhere in the world."
Diners revel in lunch dishes such as the lobster B.L.T., piled high and served on warm focaccia with thick pieces of applewood-smoked bacon and avocado; and chicken curry salad of hydroponic Maui greens and Upcountry avocado, all lightly dressed in a shallot vinaigrette.
The biggest dilemma most people have when dining there during the day is whether or not to have breakfast or lunch as both are served all day.
"Personally, I love having to wrestle with the choice of a lobster B.L.T. sandwich or a crab cake Benedict at 1 in the afternoon," say Wynne.
Five Palms is also open for dinner and Executive Chef James Furnish likes to make the rounds, to get feedback and ensure everyone enjoys their meals.
"He's a charming and obviously talented young man with a multicolored culinary background before landing here on Maui five years ago," says Wynne.
One way to top off your Five Palms experience is with the Haleakala Mud Pie, a towering slice of Lappert's vanilla and Kona coffee ice cream with fudge and mac-nut-flavored Oreo cookie-crumb crust.
For more details, call Five Palms at 879-2607.