24, Oct 2008
Hali’imaile General Store (Maui)

Hali’imaile General Store is considered one of Maui’s best restaurants, and we were really looking forward to my birthday dinner there. I was mentally writing this review off and on for a while, but I’ve gotten tired of it in my head even before I wrote it down. so let me just say: every dish we tried had at least one ingredient too many in it. some had several. E’s beet and goat cheese salad, for example, was ruined by a gooey dressing which had no place in such a simple, pleasing salad. my tuna sashimi experiment, which involved a sort of cracker/flatbread, some wasabi spread, plus cabbage, sprouts, tobiko, and some kind of mayonnaise, would have been good with just a few of those elements (sashimi on handmade crackers with tobiko, for example, would have been fine) but as it was all the stuff in there just completely overwhelmed the sashimi. and what’s the point of serving someone sashimi if they, you know, can’t even taste it?
The one thing I will give them total props for was the shrimp tempura appetizer (with “a trio of dipping sauces: truffle honey, spicy miso and sweet soy tobiko aioli”). This was like some great finger food, and I mean that in the best possible way; E and I have great love and respect for a well-done snack. all three dips were good, and the dish came with popcorn, a straight-up unabashed admission of the dish’s close proximity to the dreaded realm of, like, all-U-can-eat popcorn shrimp at red lobster. very good.
but overall, totally overrated.

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