After a recent feast at Cascades that just floored us from start to finish, I realized that I really do need to visit its hotel waaaay more often.
Located lobby level of the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa in Kaanapali, Cascades rocks with fresh seafood, fun sushi chefs and oceanfront ambience.
"I've always been very proud of Cascades and I feel that in so many ways it embodies the true aloha spirit both in service and the pride and the quality of food that the culinary team produces," says the hotel's Executive Chef Matt Smith.
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo
Cascades Head Sushi Chef Jay Ledee showcases sashimi platters that he and his expert staff prepared as pupu for a local birthday bash in the popular oceanfront restaurant.
Cirque Polynesia photo
Cirque Polynesia recently reached its 100th show at the Hyatt Kaanapali. Check out the dinner-show package with a meal at ‘Umalu.
"We are very fortunate to have both Gevin Utrillo and Jay Ledee heading the culinary team in Cascades. We are also very excited about opening a new chapter to Cascades with an upcoming renovation, which I am sure will bring the entire experience to a brand new level."
As Ledee delighted us with crisp lotus root from Upcountry topped with a delicate ahi poke, crunchy Big Island pohole fern shoots and fresh sashimi with real wasabi root, he told us about the limited kamaaina menu with 25 percent off.
"It's limited, but it has it all," says Ledee, who leads a team of three other sushi chefs. "We offer everything from blackened ahi rolls to s.w.a.t. rolls with spicy tuna, avocado and cucumber on the inside to fresh salmon, green onion, sesame seed with ponzu on the outside. We also have a hot and crunchy shrimp tempura roll."
Hyatt Kaanapali at a glance:
Cascades Grille & Sushi Bar: Open Thursday to Monday. Lounge opens at 4:30 with $5 martinis and other specialty cocktails until 6:30 p.m. Sushi is served starting at 5:30 p.m. and dinner at 6 p.m. Kamaaina get 25 percent off from limited menu. Early-bird special for all is three-course meal for $43.
Cirque Polynesia: Enjoy aerial acrobatics and more. Show only is 7 p.m. Monday to Friday. Cost is $65 to $75; dinner show starts at 5:15 p.m. at 'Umalu restaurant. Cost is $99 to $119. Kamaaina get 20 percent off. Call 667-4540.
Hookipa: Book your holiday party for Dec. 12 in Grand Ballroom for $65 per person and you get full buffet, live music, games, door prizes, parking and discounted rooms.
For reservations: Call 661-1234.
In addition, Cascades Grille & Sushi Bar offers an early-bird special from 6 to 7 p.m. for everybody - and that means visitors as well as non-sushi eaters.
The three-course special is $43 per person and it's really a $72 value. The first course choices are miso soup, Kauai corn bisque, Kula Caesar or Cascades salad. The entree choices range from hibachi-style snapper to 10-ounce rib-eye. And you may top it off with pie or cheesecake.
But Cascades is just one small component of the larger picture that is the Hyatt. And, the staff dialed me in so that I could share all of its happenings with you.
For one thing, Cirque Polynesia recently celebrated its 100th show at the Hyatt. The prices have been reduced to make it more viewer friendly, and you may see the back-to-back performances separately or as part of a dinner package.
"Cirque Polynesia is a wonderful addition to Maui's entertainment scene, and Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa is proud to host this unique show," says the hotel's General Manager Michael Jokovich.
"The ideal night out for all ages, Cirque's dinner-show package combines the exciting performance with a memorable evening of inspired modern Hawaiian cuisine at 'Umalu, our chic poolside restaurant, which recently celebrated its one-year anniversary with a fun Oktoberfest, island style."
The dinner-show meal at 'Umalu features three courses. Entree choices are mahimahi, prime rib and sesame-orange chicken stir fry. Dessert is lilikoi-mango cheesecake and soft drinks are also included.
"Since the birth of 'Umalu as our newest restaurant, we could not be more proud of the success so far," says Executive Chef Smith. "It has always been very important to showcase all of the incredible products that the island has to offer and ensure that the Maui community remains as much a part of the restaurant as the restaurant is part of the Maui community."
Other new Hyatt happenings include Spa Moana's mini sampler treatments that range from wikiwiki pedicures to refresher facials to foot massages.
The oceanfront spa also features a patio, where groups of ladies, say, in a wedding party, may book pupu and cocktails before their treatments.
The Hyatt is also gearing up for Maui's largest "office party" from 6 to 10 p.m. Dec. 12 in the Grand Ballroom.
Basically, all you have to do is book your company's holiday party for that evening and join other local businesses for a big night of fun that includes buffet dinner, music by Jimmy Mac & the Kool Cats, games, door prizes, optional photo memento and validated parking. The ballroom will be decorated and the hotel will offer special room rates for those who wish to stay over.
Last but not least, the Hyatt will set the stage for Thanksgiving in Cascades, 'Umalu and the Sunset Terrace Luau. Diestal Farms organic and sustainable turkey from Sonoma will be featured. Cascades will do a special prix fixe menu for $46 per person and 'Umalu will present a lavish buffet for $45 per person.
"We have a very dedicated group of people here at the resort, and I have always felt that when you do have a dedicated team focused on common goals, it is amazing what can be accomplished," says Chef Smith.