Hard Rock Cafe recently celebrated a quarter-century on Maui, but they aren’t resting on their laurels. 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 you’ll find live music and at least one national show a month, like English Beat on March 5 (see A&E, page 15). What about the food? Well, Hard Rock just rolled out a new menu—with a health-conscious twist.
Basically, they’re taking their bar food to the next level, and upscaling the entrees. What hasn’t changed is the flair and fun surrounding the cafe—memorabilia abounds, and rock music and rock videos feed your ears and eyes. Plus, most of the servers appear to be rock stars themselves; it’s one of the only places that welcomes mohawks, green hair and tattoos.
The new grilled chicken marsala was so good, my husband abandoned the sandwich I ordered for him. The chicken breast is tender and full of flavor from the sauteed portobello and button mushrooms and generously portioned marsala wine sauce. And the ratatouille was delicious enough to fool hubby into eating all his veggies.
The veggie sandwich is a new take on no meat with your bread. They use fresh La Brea bakery ciabatta and add made-in-house roasted garlic spread. It’s then stuffed with a lot of roasted veggies, and I mean a lot: red pepper, portobello, yellow squash, zucchini, grilled red onion, lettuce and tomato, plus balsamic dressing. For full veg effect, it’s served with a side salad.
Their new salad is the anti-Cobb, an original Hard Rock design. “Ninety percent of the veggies are sourced from local growers,” says general manager Kevin Martinez. “All of the fresh herbs are grown locally [plus] some of the squash, lettuce, pineapples and strawberries.” The anti-Cobb is a large-portion, fruit-forward salad topped with chicken breast, dried cranberries, green apple, orange segments, strawberries and mango and a balsamic tangerine dressing.
Among the new starter options, the bruschetta is a must try. The chopped tomato topping, marinated for four hours in balsamic, melds with basil and Parmesan on tasty round bread to create a perfect balance. The lettuce wraps are excellent as well, flavorful and low carb.
Refine your meal with one of the Wines that Rock, a new line of wines inspired by Hard Rock’s love of music. They’ve partnered with Mendocino Wine Co. to create three bottled varietals: Dark Side of the Moon Cab, Forty Licks Merlot and Synchronicity Red blend.
For the sweet tooth-equipped, Hard Rock has changed all their ice creams to Ben and Jerry’s, offering the highest quality filling for sundaes and shakes. Even if you’re stuffed there’s always room for their “bites,” a little cup filled with chocolate mousse, strawberry cheesecake, creme brulee or chocolate peanut butter. The fresh seasonal berries with whipped cream in mint is a classic, relying on Mother Nature’s brilliance of color and flavor.