When the Ritz lobby bar reopened just in time for the Mercedes Golf Tournament in January, 2008, it created quite a stir. The transformation had been so dramatic it took a while for those in love with the “old Ritz” to adjust. Not everyone liked it.
Gone were the cushy, well-worn sofas and other remnants of the formerly gracious plantation era décor, replaced by a modernistic, edgy space the centerpiece of which was the recreation of a lava flow threatening dramatically beyond the lighted onyx bar. If the old lobby bar lulled patrons into a highly soporific state, the new space seems intended to inspire energy, much in keeping with Kapalua’s overall renaissance.
Take the House Salad with beets, pecans, blue cheese and tender greens from Kapalua Farms, or the Cobb Salad when you’re in the bacon and avocado mood. Main course option might be the Filet Sandwich or Pork Potstickers or even the superb Tropical Shrimp cocktail is big and satisfying enough to stand in for an entree.
When visiting with a group, consider starting the night with one of the best kept secrets (and great deals) on Maui – the thin crust pizza, made as you like for only $16! While you wait, slip in an order for the Rainbow Roll, or the Crab and Fontina Cheese dip which are fun to eat and easy to share.
What I like most about the Alaloa bar menu is the variety of items likely to become crowd pleasing classics. Whether you’re in the mood for Italian (pizza), Chinese (duck spring rolls!), island fare (ahi poke), Japanese (sushi rolls) or good old American style meat and potatos (luscious burgers and fried onions!) you can have it here, along with oft intriguing nightly specials.
When one considers all that comes with such a delightful dining experience — an elegant, hip, see-and-be-seen ambiance, spirited live music, great food, a winning menu, and impeccable service for which the Ritz is well-known — the pricing is also appealing. For instance, last night we enjoyed a satisfying repast for two for under $50 (drinks extra.)
Is it any wonder Alaloa has won over so many former skeptics in such a short amount of time?
One Ritz-Carlton Drive,
Kapalua, Hawaii 96761 USA
Phone: (808) 669-6200
Fax: (808) 669-1566