Lahaina, HI 96761
Payment Options: Visa, Mastercard
Parking: Street, Parking Lot
Price Range:$ (0-10)
Services: Walk-Ins Welcome, Good For Groups, Take Out, Catering, Waiter Service
Specialties: Lunch, Dinner, Drinks
From chicken soup to pho, every culture lays claim to a noodle based elixir infused with mythical healing properties, which helps to explain why Star has developed such a following after being open only a week. The luminary of this dining show is obvious, but noodles aren’t the only standout on the menu and the food is not the only attraction.
The restaurant burst onto the Lahaina dining scene after having generated a conspicuous pre-opening buzz witnessed by fans posting notes of anticipation on Facebook while folks in the streets of West Maui ballyhooed Star’s coming.
And lo and behold, Star finally flung open its doors on February 5th. The anticipation appears to have been with merit. The décor is hip and urbane, much more inviting than one would expect based on the location at the top of the Emerald Plaza business park in Lahaina. The menu features the best noodle dishes from around the world as interpreted by the Chefs Craig Masuda and Sheldon Simeon. By incorporating Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese, Thai, and local Hawaiian influences the team has developed a unique if not rousing dining experience.
Star serves two versions of both Ramen and Udon, the ubiquitous go-to dinner featuring meats and veggies swimming in rich, satisfying broth. Less expected are Lahaina Fried Soup, a version of Chow Funn with doubly fat noodles; Buckwheat Soba, with daikon and wasabi heat thrown in for dash; and Singapore Noodles, a classic mixture of chicken, shrimp and egg served on vermicelli served with citrus zest for authenticity. Pad Thai rounds out the choices, its translucent, slightly slithery rice noodles teamed perfectly with shrimp, chicken, peanuts, egg and garlic chives.
For me the “Star” in the name refers to the other side of the menu – the appetizers. Here one finds robust and haute offerings such as the addictive Pohole Fern Salad Appetizer (Hana Fiddle Head Ferns, Ebi, Kombu and Maui Onions) or Roasted Mushrooms, selected locally and sautéed for maximum flavor. Our party jumped on the Brussels Sprouts, the oft maligned vegetable transformed by Star’s chef into a garden delicacy with bacon, napa cabbage and kimchee puree. Table mates raved about the Ahi Avo, done up with olive oil, sambal, and usukuchi.
At Star you’ll find what is surely the island’s best Spicy Namasu, prepared with an exacting balance of sweetness, spice and tang but it was the Vietnamese mainstay, the Crepe Appetizer, that stole the show. A wickedly fresh assortment of herbs and beans sprouts shares the plate with a paper thin egg-based pancake. Diners roll their own, wrapping all the ingredients into a lettuce leaf. Think of lettuce wraps with the extra crepe layer inside.
Satisfying, healthy and well-prepared, Star Noodle is certain to be a favorite of just about everyone — from the ladies who lunch, to nutrition minded hipsters, to those just searching for a little comfort in a bowl. The large relaxed bar will surely attract crowds of regulars appreciative of the large selection of sakes, creative sake cocktails such as XRated Saketini, Asian beers, and even Oroyu Sushi White Wine blend, ideal for those times when you seek that other sort of comfort.