Saturday, October 20, 2012

Maui - Hali'imaile General Store

Who would have thought it? Just off the main road to the volcano, on a street overlooking pineapple fields and the ocean, is a truly excellent fusion restaurant: Hali'imaile General Store.

Hali'imaile General Store
An informal place in a house built in the 1920s as the general store serving a pineapple plantation, this restaurant has been winning awards since it opened 25 years ago.

At the suggestion of the concierge at our hotel, we started with the Sashimi Napoleon, constructed of smoked salmon, ahi tartare and ahi sashimi, separated by fried wontons as the pastry element, accompanied by a wonderful wasabi vinaigrette.

Sashimi Napoleon at Hali'imaile General Store
J followed up with the red veal burger, a perfectly cooked burger with a delicate layer of brie, caramelized onions, local tomatoes and greens and a delightful avocado aioli, accompanied with well-seasoned fries. I had a Cubawaiian sandwich, the restaurant's innovative take on a classic, made with roasted local pork, Black Forest ham, Swiss cheese, pickled pineapple and an excellent wasabi barbecue aioli, also accompanied with their excellent fries. The innovations made sense and both sandwiches were real winners.

Fusion food is the hallmark of Hawaiian food these days. It can be clichéd, but when devised and executed with care and subtlety, it can be quite wonderful, as it was at Hali'imaile General Store.

Bobby Jay

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