Mala Ocean Tavern

4.8
454 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Seafood
Open daily for brunch, lunch, happy hour, dinner, & late night! Award-winning for "Best Oceanfront Dining" & for our exceptional service. Mala Ocean Tavern offers oceanfront dining, delicious culinary cocktails, excellent wine selection, and exceptional cuisine... all with a relaxed Maui feel.

Intimate and casually chic overlooking historic Mala Wharf... MALA is the perfect stop on Front Street to have brunch/lunch with friends or dinner with the whole family. MALA 'TIL MIDNIGHT (Starting 2/1/19) features Late Night Happy Hour with Food & Drinks from 10p-12a.

There are views from every seat indoor & outdoor at MALA & many of our guests request ocean front or patio seating. We can NOT guarantee patio seating, but we do note the request and will do our best to accommodate every guest. If your heart is set on sitting on the patio, please know that you might have to wait past your reservation time to have your preferred seating. We do first come first serve for all seating.
What 454 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.8based on recent ratings
4.8
food
4.8
service
4.7
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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R
San Francisco
42 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Very nice servers and cozy atmosphere with great Oceanside views. We had to wait nearly a half hour for our table due to the sunset viewing guests not relinquishing their tables so we waited at the bar where we met some lovely local ladies who gave us some good touring tips. The maitre’d personally apologized and the bartender extended a goodwill gesture of two complimentary glasses of Champagne. Our server was very sweet; food was delicious. Only two faux pas: flat Diet Coke and forgetting to bring my husband’s coffee WITH his dessert. All in all, a pleasant dining experience I’d be delighted to do again!

OT
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We watched the sunset from our table and had the most delicious food on Maui!! Recommend to everyone!!

OT
Hawaii
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

A hidden gem. The outside doesn’t look like much, but the view from inside is fantastic. We sat near the open air window to watch a gorgeous sunset and spotted several turtles.

The waiter and waitstaff made us feel like VIP’s. The food was top notch, portions were generous, and the cost was reasonable for Maui. In fact, for the amount of food, I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the bill.

This is our 4th visit to Maui and our first visit to Mala. We have been to several restaurants, and Mala is now one of our favorites.

Thank you for a fantastic dining experience!

C
1 review
Dined on August 13, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 1

Lost our reservation, then still had to wait another 30 minutes to sit. Once seated had to ask for menus and water. Food took over an hour and the kids were starving. One even fell asleep before the food got there.
Most of the servers even avoided our table, had to beg to get a second round of drinks.
Food was decent but not worth what we had paid and waited for.

SF
1 review
Dined on August 13, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 4

We had very high expectations after reading the many positive reviews, but out experience left a lot to be desired. Maybe the brunch is good, but dinner felt like a rip off.
The restaurant did not appear to be overly busy, but service was slow and, surprisingly, inattentive. The appetizers appeared quickly and were very good -- we had the grilled brussel sprouts and the lamb meatballs. But, after that it was easily 30+ minutes for the main courses to arrive and aside from the waiter dropping by our table 2-3 minutes before the food arrived, no one said anything or addressed the delay.
Once served, it was hit and miss. We ordered the Sashimi, the seafood pasta and the stir fry. Those who had the Sashimi and seafood pasta liked their dishes, but at $43 and $46 respectively no one felt that the food justified the prices. They were "good", but not great. And, the stir fry was a disaster. Imagine a large bowl of fried rice, meat and vegetables mixed together in an overly spicy sauce that drowned out any individual taste or texture. The waiter checked in on us once -- to confirm that we received our orders, but did not inquire further. Given that my kids did not want me to return the stir fry (too embarrassing!) and at 30+ minutes returning food meant not eating for another half hour we ate what we were given and dealt with the $36 price tag for bad fried rice.
The general consensus, even from those who liked their dishes, was that Mala Ocean Tavern took advantage that we were tourists in Maui and they could just "get away" with charging us $42 per main course. We at at Mixed Plate next door for a far superior meal and less money. We also at at Japengo where service was attentive and the food sublime making the similarly high price feel worthwhile.

OT
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on August 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fabulous place with great food and attentive service. Highly recommended.

AG
1 review
Dined on August 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went here for our anniversary and were lucky to get a patio seat to see the sunset. The ahi bruschetta was our favorite!

MM
1 review
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Staff was welcoming, informative and from front desk to waitress to bus staff all provided excellent customer service. The food was excellent, view awesome, and teriffic sunset. Terrific experience all around.

OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Beautiful view

H
Hawaii
13 reviews
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always amazing!

l
Tampa
28 reviews
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

What a fantastic restaurant. The food was amazing. We tried two fish dishes that were amazing, the tuna bruschetta with the combination of flavors is must. The service couldn't have been better. John was very attentive and helpful. We'll be going back this trip

TF
1 review
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We have been to Maui many times but had not been to Malas.. I read an article In a food magazine , recommending the whole tempura fried fish !! The appetizers salads yummy ! Amazing !! it was fantastic !! can’t wait to take more people there with us next time .. staff was full of recommendations , very friendly , Great wine and beverages , The menu was full of such wonderful things, we will definitely go back there next trip to try some of their other dishes 😊🌴

MF
Seattle
5 reviews
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We really struggled to find good food in Maui. This was our fifth trip there, so we've looked hard. Frida's Honu, and Mala are right next to each other and share valet parking. Honestly, all three are worth visiting, which we did.

Our server was very cordial and helpful. The coconut prawns were awesome, my filet rivaled the Beach House on Kaua'i (which says a lot) and the whiskey sour was superb (how could you go wrong with adding Maui honey?). Our table was right on the beach - I still can't understand how I didn't get wet? It was a fantastic experience to end our trip - my wife is gluten-free and loved her chicken too. We'll go back the next time we're on Maui.

JM
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious good, friendly efficient service, great happy hour, in the water with high quality ingredients and lots of choices. Favorite on Maui!

HB
1 review
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of the best restaurants with the freshest ingredients and you get a beautiful view. We have been for dinner and brunch, both outstanding.

OT
Seattle
1 review
Dined on August 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was amazing, we had a table with the best view in the restaurant. Food and service water great.

OT
Austin
1 review
Dined on August 7, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Great time w/ family of 4! We really enjoyed ourselves, the atmosphere was excellent! Service was just as excellent, from host, to waiter & the water/plate pickup fella!

Good time!

DM
Hampshire
2 reviews
Dined on August 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent food and good service - really enjoyed it.

NC
Des Moines
2 reviews
Dined on August 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food in a great location. Busy, but worth a stop.

LF
Hawaii
3 reviews
Dined on August 5, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

We ordered drinks appetizers and main course. Seating in a small table for 2 very closed to others . Drinks and appetizer came and one minute later our entrees came. Needless to say we had no room for the plates . Food was mediocre and not tasty.

B
Denver
114 reviews
Dined on August 5, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

This was our second trip to Mala and our first since the restaurant changed hands. We are happy to report that Mala is still a very good restaurant. This restaurant sits right on the water so there are excellent ocean views from most tables. The food and service are very good. We recommend the fish stew and ceviche appetizers and the watermelon salad. The wine list is good and prices are fair for Hawaii. The only reason Mala did not get five stars on this visit is that the opakapaka entrée was slightly over cooked and the banana bread dessert was too moist. However these were minor issues and should not deter one from eating here.

TK
1 review
Dined on August 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The gentleman who was at the hostess stand and doing his rounds at the restaurant checking in with people asking how we were and making sure our experience was smooth and enjoyable. My apologies I cannot remember his name. He was tall handsome, young Caucasian with eyeglasses. My date and I ate on Mon Aug.5th at 5:45pm if that helps to identify him.

Also our server Aaron was incredible...very articulate, precise and thorough and warm. Great service from all sections of the restaurant. Food and service was wonderful

C
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on August 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious food and the view of the ocean is awesome. Everything from appetizers to the main course was delicious.

d
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on August 4, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Some excellent unforgettable dishes and some that needed help
For that reason I think the value is not there for a premium priced restaurant
Would come back for the octopus

M
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on August 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic food and service .. so many amazing dishes .. can’t wait to come back

TC
Toronto
16 reviews
Dined on August 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing view, food and service! We had a wonderful brunch and was one of our most memorable meals in Maui!!

OT
Hawaii
2 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

As always, a top drawer experience! Mahalos Mala

l
San Francisco
33 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Someone told me they closed several years ago, delighted to find them open with inspired food. And one of the most incredible settings on the planet. Well worth your time to go to - excellent fish.

C
Denver
3 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We are celebrating our 20th anniversary on Maui and one of the valet’s recommended Mala for dinner. It was incredible! They gave us the best seat in the house to watch the beautiful sunset, brought over complimentary champagne and apps, and treated us like gold the whole time checking in on us. Every dish was so flavorful and perfectly prepared. We will definitely come back. Thanks!

LB
1 review
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We loved everything! Mahalo! We will be back in the future. ❤️

TJ
San Francisco
21 reviews
Dined on August 1, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Always good food and cocktails. Wine list was also very good. Server was good but unfriendly. Not sure if he was just a bit over-worked.

k
Orange County
2 reviews
Dined on July 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful food, excellent server Mike, all the staff was most friendly and greeted us and made a sweet fuss over my mother's 90th birthday. View was spectacular!

OT
Phoenix
1 review
Dined on July 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We have been here many times, but the last two times have been exceptional. Our waiters Jon and Michael were knowledgeable and attentive with a laid back cool vibe. The food was amazing as usual and the setting hard to replicate.

TT
Chicago
124 reviews
Dined on July 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is a must experience restaurant. Excellent in every way- and only in Maui can you have a meal this close to the tide! We love Mala.

OT
Seattle
2 reviews
Dined on July 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food is AMAZING!!! Beautiful atmosphere and the staff are awesome !! Can’t say enough about this place !! We recommend it to all our friends visiting Maui

BZ
San Diego
12 reviews
Dined on July 28, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 5

Overall it was ok but certainly not amazing. The sequencing of the meal and what came out when was off - even though we didn’t end up ordering entrees and only did apps, salads and flatbreads. Also this establishment certainly needs to train staff to inform the diner before it is going to charge for things that seem like they should be included such as some extra balsamic on a salad with balsamic (as opposed to sliding a $6 charge on the bill completely unannounced) or refills on lemonade at $2 per (no issue but would be good to tell the customer in advance).

S
1 review
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Dishes were exquisitely prepared and portions generous. Truly oceanside dining. Secret Garden cocktail is my favorite. Amazing aloha from everyone

CW
1 review
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Really don't want to give a good review. But I selfish and don't want to wait for a table next time.

AG
1 review
Dined on July 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

By far one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. We had to wait a little extra to get a table outside. We waited at the bar and had a couple drinks and an appetizer. The bartender recommended his favorite dishes and answered some questions we had. What great service! Then we were seated outside with an incredible view. The food was fantastic! We had scallops and an artichoke crusted sea bass. For the starter we had the seared ahi bruschetta. So delicious. Thank you for a great experience!

RL
1 review
Dined on July 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Beautiful at sunset. Great service. Got free wine because we are on our honeymoon. Very friendly and personal. Amazing fish !!!!!!

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