Lulu’s – Lahaina
Remember the first time you tasted alcohol? The first sip at age twelve seems ghastly and then, wonder of wonders, you find yourself enjoying the shocking potion as you come of age.
So it was when I tried Lulu’s Hawaiian Superman cocktail. The potent concoction of Hawaiian Chili water and gin comes with a word of caution printed on the menu. But you’re a he-man, you like it hot, so you ignore the warning and order the drink along with Calamari Dynamite and a kalua pork quesadillas. You settle back under the glow of the tiki torch, take your first sip, and suddenly wonder who in the world came up with the idea of hot Hawaiian chili water as a cocktail! Not to be wasteful, you take another sip and before the meal is over, you’re snagged. The adrenaline and dopamine release from that first hit lingers long after in the reptilian area of your brain. Next time out, you’ll order it again.
In case you aren’t up for fire-breathing, Lulu’s presents a slew of other ingenious tropical drinks. You’ll find clever touches like Li Hing Mui rimming the margarita, a dash of chili water in the luscious Cane Fire concoction, and mai tais topped with sea foam, served in a Maui Gold pineapple shell.
At their new location in Lahaina’s Cannery Mall, the only difficulty you’ll encounter at Lulu’s is distilling their extensive Hawaii-centric menu. Select pupus include Ahi and Tahitian Poke, Bo Diddley Squidley, Marlin Macho Nachos, shuckers, shooters and sliders – all under $10. The Maui Wowie salad with fresh rock shrimp, grilled avocado and feta was nearly as satisfying as my companion’s award winning burger at $9.95. My favorite dish of the evening was the grilled steak pupu with carmelized Maui onions and peppers – hot, sweet, mouth-watering and cooked to perfection.
I don’t easily fall for dining gimmicks or touristy menus, but Lulu’s had me hooked with the first encounter. I can’t wait to return and eventually try everything on the menu.
Lulu’s Has Deals!
5-6 p.m. 50% off all food!
Monday’s are Service Industry Night – show an I.D. and get 50% your entire bill.