Alaloa – Ritz Lobby Bar

Ritz Lobby Ritz Lobby

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.

As one of those who mourned the loss of the familiar, I’m now reveling in the change. The reformed Alaloa Lobby Bar has since become one of my favorite hang-outs in West Maui. Besides the renewed vigor the new space seems to instigate, the food inspires in equal measure. There are at least a dozen things on the attention-grabbing menu that call to me on any given night – an uncommon thing as I’m more apt to order the old favorites at most other restaurants. Having tried just about everything on Alaleo’s menu, I would partake in most again.

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?

Ritz Carlton Lobby Bar, Kapalua, Maui, HI

Ritz Carlton Lobby Bar, Kapalua, Maui, HI

One Ritz-Carlton Drive,
Kapalua, Hawaii 96761 USA
Phone: (808) 669-6200
Fax: (808) 669-1566

Banyan Tree (Ritz-Carlton Kapalua) on Urbanspoon

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