I love the perfect crunchy pickle that lives on the plate next to the sandwich. Are you with me? My positive lunch experience at Mango Grill & Bar was sealed when my dining companion gave me her pickle and I relished two instead of one.
But back to the beginning. If you’re looking for a charming yet mellow place for lunch, swing by Mango Grill & Bar at the head of Ka’anapali Parkway. Seeing that Mango Grill is named after the most luscious fruit on earth, I assumed it would be wonderful, ipso facto. This goes along with my childish belief that anything named after one of my passions better represent! I was not disappointed.
It was a bit of a mission to get in, as the main entrance is under construction and you have to navigate your way around the back and up the stairs to the open-aired lanai. The upside of this? A 20 percent discount on over half the menu. I’ll take that any day.
The atmosphere inside is great, with the bar as the nucleus of the restaurant, numerous TVs scattered around and tables arranged along the rail overlooking the 1st and 18th holes of Ka’anapali South golf course. It almost feels like an upscale tree house, not totally inside, but not totally outside. Yet you’re on the precipice of all the golf action milling below, with a great view of the manicured courses, lakes and fountains, and Ka’anapali’s signature posh hotels.
There are comfy wicker-cushioned chairs and barstools, glass furniture, lau hala tablemats and a blend of sports bar and Hawaiian decor. Fans keep the island breeze circulating and create a nice fresh habitat.
Sunburnt golfers relax by the bar in their loud, tropical, collared togs and relive their moments of glory. They throw back hard-earned suds after the rigors of riding up hills in a cart, directing their caddies around and a morning’s worth of exhaustive drives and puts.
The lunch menu included a dozen appetizers, a bunch of diverse salads, fish/beef/chicken/veggie sandwiches and grilled meat plate lunches. Everything fell reasonably between $5 and $13 before kama’aina rates.
By our waiter’s third visit I had settled on the grilled mahi mahi sandwich, which was a filet of mahi dipped in egg wash, cooked golden brown and served on a soft bun. It came on a big sunny-yellow plate with a salsa salad of mango, pineapple, tomato and onion (or fries), and the aforementioned delightful pickle.
The sandwich was delectable, the delicate flaky white fish going down very smoothly. As we chowed our matching sandwiches, we discussed how judicious it would be to abscond with a golf cart and cruise around Ka’anapali. Deciding against it, we polished off our lunch and I marveled at how I am becoming a seafood lover one fish sandwich at a time.
We lamented that we were too stuffed for the mango cobbler on the dessert menu, which had my taste buds tingling with excitement. That, plus an impressive breakfast menu of omelets, pancakes, French toast and pastries gives me cause to make a return visit to Mango.
The dinner menu is strewn with every local fish imaginable—mahi mahi, ono, swordfish, ahi, opakapaka, opah, onaga, uku—plus lobster, shrimp, scallops, crab legs, steak, chicken, pork, turkey, ribs, vegetables. Did I miss anything? Oh, and everything comes with homemade mango bread. Now that’s a thorough theme. MTW