Not sure if you noticed lately, but Hard Rock Cafe is stepping it up. After celebrating 25 years on Maui they aren’t resting on their laurels. Their newest “See the Show” campaign is really rocking our rock, and talking the talk. The most recent addition to their dining room is a drum kit and band equipment that sits on stage ready for action. Almost every night at the Lahaina spot you’ll find live music organically happening, and at least one national show a month, like English Beat on March x. What about the food? Well Hard Rock just rolled out a new menu to their 134 cafe’s in 52 countries.
What is different? Most of the new menu items have a health conscious twist, and many of the dishes involve new veggie options. Its taking their bar food to the next level, and on top of that upscaling the sides of veggies that you get with entrees. What hasn’t changed is the flair and fun surrounding their cafe, memorabilia abounds, and rock music and rock videos feed your ears, and most of the hard rock servers appear to be rock stars themselves. Its one of the only places i see that welcomes and employs individuals with mohawks, green hair and tattoos on their servers and i have to commend that.
The new entree grilled chicken marsala was so good, my husband abandoned the sandwich I ordered him in lieu of polishing off this dish. The chicken breast was tender and full of flavor from the sauteed portobello and button mushrooms and marsala wine sauce generously portioned over it. The ratatouille was delicious enough to fool him into eating all his veggies. I asked Kevin Martinez, General Manager, what his secret was to the ratatouille, “Its fresh zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant, red and yellow peppers and red onions. All veggies are seasoned with our special blend of spices and olive oil. They go into a 550 degree broiler and grill until there are distinct char mark on the vegetables. We then cool and dice them and add tomatoes and fresh chopped oregano, garlic, and parsley.” It was a fantastic side dish, combining cooked veggies, raw veggies and fresh herbs.
The veggie sandwich is a new take on no meat with your bread. They use fresh La Brea bakery ciabatta and put a roasted garlic spread made in house on it. Then its stuffed with lots of roasted veggies, I mean lots too, red pepper, portobello, yellow squash, zucchini, grilled red onion, and lettuce and tomato and balsamic dressing. For full veg effect it is served with a side salad.
Their new salad is the anti cobb, and it is original Hard Rock design. Martinez says, “the lettuce is a 50/50 blend of romaine and iceberg cut fresh daily. Ninety percent of the veggies are sourced from local growers. All of the fresh herbs are grown locally and some of the squash, lettuce, pineapples and strawberries.” The anti-cobb is a fruit forward salad in large portion. It dishes a huge platter of greens topped with chicken breast, dried cranberries, green apple, orange segments, strawberries, and mango, topped with a balsamic tangerine dressing.
I really loved the new bruschetta, part of their new starters. Its lovely, and I have not been a fan of this before. The chopped tomato topping is marinates for 4 hours in balsamic. The combination of basil, roman and parmesan on tasty round bread was in perfect balance. I would order this anytime. The lettuce wraps were great too, a variety dipping sauce and each vegetable had its own marinate or flavor profiles. Lettuce wraps are a perfect way to avoid carbs too.
Refine your meal with one of the Wines that Rock and new line of wines inspired by Hard Rock’s love of music. They have partnered with Mendocino Wine company to create three bottled varietals, Dark Side of the Moon cab, Forty LIcks merlot and synchronicity red blend.
For the sweet side of rock, they have changed all their ice creams to Ben and Jerry’s offering the highest quality filling for your sundaes and shakes. There is always room for their little “bites” of dessert, they come in a little cup filled with chocolate mouse, strawberry cheesecake, creme brulee or chocolate peanut butter. The fresh seasonal berries with whipped cream in mint is a classic dessert, relying on mother nature’s brilliance of color and flavor.
Hard Rock Cafe
900 Front St.
Lahaina, Maui 96761
Mon – Sun 11:00AM – 10:00PM
(Bar open until 12:00AM)