Lu Lu’s Kihei
1941 S. Kihei Rd., Kihei
In case you haven’t noticed, Lu Lu’s Kihei is making a lot of changes. With new owners and management, the retro surf-themed restaurant is mixing up its menu—breakfast is now served seven days a week—and its entertainment lineup. “I added my own touches here and there,” says Chef Tracy Edelhertz, the maestro behind the culinary revamp.
The restaurant is in the south corner of Kihei Kalama Village above the Tattoo Co. You can either take the elevator or head up the stairs to the dining room; however you get there, you’ll encounter amazing ocean views. Lu Lu’s is essentially a big open veranda, spacious and tiki-infused. There’s plenty of seating at the bar as well, which features multiple big-screen TVs. A stage for entertainment and pool tables round out the mauka end.
The breakfast menu is loaded with options. You can get scrambles, omelets, biscuits and sausage, eggs benedict, five different sandwiches, rice bowls, loco moco and pancakes with mango, banana and strawberry. There are three different vegetarian offerings, including an Indian breakfast burrito that may be the only one of its kind on-island. For the budget-conscious, the Sunshine breakfast starts at $4.99 and comes with two eggs, hash browns or rice and toast or pancakes. Most breakfast dishes are under $10.
My recent dinner with the family was a blast. The poke was excellent, with a wasabi edamame puree at the base and ahi and onion salad and crisp wonton chips to bring it all together. It’s a new take on a familiar dish and went great with the on-tap Stella Artois. I also loved the crab hush puppies, again a new twist on the familiar. It’s served with a housemade mango chutney that you really shouldn’t miss. There are tons of salad options, but the standouts are the goat cheese and island-style salads, both featuring strawberries and miso dressing.
For dinner we went with Maui Cattle Co. burgers. The new Paniolo features mango BBQ sauce, bacon, onion rings and bleu cheese—rich, tender and juicy. Lu Lu’s is known for its burgers, and has kept favorites like the Magnum—cheddar, bacon and guacamole—but added new options like the sampler sliders and a “burger challenge”—32 oz. of meat, toppings as you like, eat it in 10 minutes or less and dinner is on Lu Lu’s. (They’ve have had seven “winners” so far, one woman and six dudes.)
Chef Tracy warned us early to save room for dessert because she makes it herself. In fact, her cheesecake-making skills have won her honors since culinary school. I tried the Lilikoi and it was fantastic; the cheesecake is made in traditional New York style and the topping is tangy, complementing the cake. You can get also the familiar strawberry cheesecake, or homemade brownie a la mode, all for $4.99.
We happened to be at the restaurant on karaoke night, and my four-year-old daughter turned out to be a natural on the mic, singing two songs (yes, they had the ABC song and Twinkle, Twinkle in their songbook). Another family’s little ones got in the action and did a quartet. It might not have been pitch-perfect, but it sure was entertaining, and a testament to the family-friendly vibe. Keiki karaoke was great, but next time I think I’ll catch a Friday-Saturday sunset hula show. – Jen Russo, MauiTime
Got a hot food scoop? Contact Jen Russo at 808-280-3386 or fax to 808-244-0446