2435 Kaanapali Pkwy
Lahaina, HI 96761-1980
Cuisine: Plantation Style Regional/American
Hours: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
“A little bit Sansei, a little bit DK Steak House…a little bit Cheesecake Factory” … a lot of good food.
DK Kodama made his biggest splash presenting us with amazing sushi ala Sansei. Subsequently, he opened several other Sansei restaurants after his first in Kapalua was such a success. From there he created an Eurasian tapas restaurant, a steakhouse, an Italian-style wine bar, a build-your-own burger joint, and now Cane and Taro in Whaler’s Village just beyond Hula Grill. It’s fitting he ventured into the new plantation themed family style outlet at this stage of his career. Seems to us he’s bringing all his interests back under one roof and we like it!
The results remind me of potluck parties popular in Hawaii, where everyone brings their “best” prepared dish to share. The table typically swells with everything from Krispy Kreme donuts on one end, to chow funn on the other and everything imaginable in between. On such share tables there is no theme beyond “things we all like to eat.” Everyone leaves happy because everything tasted so good, in spite of the many disparate flavors.
Cane and Taro’s menu includes many favored items from DK Restaurant’s other menus along with some entirely new and different dishes unique to Cane and Taro. Fans of Sansei will be happy to know the Panko Crusted Ahi, Mango Crab Rolls, Shrimp Dynamite and Ahi Carpaccio can be had here. For those who would rather go hungry than eat raw fish, at Cane and Taro they can opt for a super burger and fries, something unheard of in a sushi parlor. If you are in the mood for Italian – there are pastas, salads and for lighter appetites, various “to share” dishes as well as half portions offered for most salads and entrees. Prices are reasonable by Hawaii standards.
We visited for lunch and decided to try a few items unique to Cane and Taro, starting with the Eggrolls served Spring Roll style. Three crispy fried eggrolls served with fresh lettuce leaves, shredded carrot and daikon, and cold noodles allow diners to roll it to their liking, sauced with tangy, spicy dipping sauce. Thumbs up! Next was the Stir Fry Fish Cobb Salad. The fish seemed more marinated than stir fried and the “cobb” elements of the salad were lost with a high concentration of lettuce and dressing. Although the dish wasn’t exactly what we’d envisioned, it was tasty. Our boldest taste test was the Kalbi Beef Tacos. Being fans of both Kalbi Beef and tacos, we were surprised by the result of mixing two otherwise familiar flavors into one dish. Suffice to say, next time we will order the more familiar Ahi Poke Tacos although I’d venture to guess very adventurous diners might acquire a taste for Kalbi Tacos.
Regardless of a few order missteps during our maiden voyage to Cane and Taro, we would return to try additional menu items, and there are plenty from which to chose! The most appealing aspect of the restaurant is the wide variety offered, the pricing, the flexibility and extremely pleasant surroundings. Service was stellar; unhurried but attentive. The restaurant is spacious with great views of the ocean from a freshly restyled open-air interior. We predict it will enjoy a long run at this location.