Maui, United States
I met Bonnie on Maui last year and immediately liked her. She is extremely opinionated and that is the type of person I like to talk about Hawaiian food, especially as she runs a Maui food tour. Originally from New York, Bonnie has lived on the island for a decades and while the island tends to mellow people out I often wonder what she was like before she arrived because no one would ever call her mellow.
This is what I like about her, she never minces words. You always know exactly what she thinks. This is why I was so excited to meet up with her for a night of eating.
Main Street Bistro
We started off at Main Street Bistro for a Lilikoi Lip Balm martini and I met her friend Tom who had worked with David Paul in Lahaina for years and finally decided to open up for himself. The Bistro has been open for eight years and is really popular with locals at lunch and first Fridays. We had a grilled poblano pepper stuffed with white stone ground cheese grits and it was heavenly.
Tiffany’s Bar and Grill
This is definitely a local’s place and funny enough I had been here today for lunch with a friend. Apparently if you go right after work it’s impossible to get a seat. Earlier I tried the mochiko chicken, bibimbap and shared the Vietnamese crepe with Bonnie.
No one would find this place unless specifically looking for it. It was here I learned that what a “Korean Bar” means strip club as I could not figure out why the restaurant next door had naked women on television. But the neighbours don’t stop the locals from coming for the bento box or tempura green beans.
Home Maid Bakery
Last year Bonnie insisted I could not eat spam musubi for the first time without her and we didn’t meet up so I didn’t try it! Next door to Tokyo Tei, I have to agree the musubi is pretty good and I heard the sweets are good but you know how I feel about sweets.
While Bonnie offers tours to everyone through Tour da Food the really incredible thing she does is the Cuisine Confidential service where she gives you a detailed questionnaire about your preferences and for $20 she will send you a list of restaurants and markets to visit. She won’t recommend the big names as you can find that information anywhere.