Oh, Mama. How you call to me across the Pacific ocean breezes all year long before I can no longer resist and must make the trek back to you and your seafood masterpieces.
Located in Paia, the restaurant is adjunct to the Inn at Mama’s and is right on the beach. After valet parking, you take a beautiful walk on a lush pathway to the restaurant on the beach. Mama’s Fish House has become an institution on the Valley Isle of Hawaii and has become known as one of the top restaurants in the U.S. Established by the Christienson family in the 1950’s, wooden shutters from this converted beach villa are open wide to perfect views where you can watch windsurfers in the distance. The decor is Gatsby-does-Polynesia and is rich in color and beautiful artwork. Whether you let your eyes wander through the beautiful rooms or your feet along the surf, the views alone make the trip worthwhile.
But the food. Oh, the food. The menu is printed daily and lists the name of the fisherman who reeled in the featured catch of the day. There are staples that are absolute musts as well – South Pacific Blue Prawns with Taha‘a Island vanilla will have you closing your eyes and trying not to moan. My husband says he found enlightenment when eating the Beef Polynesian – seared tenderloin in a grilled Hana papaya. I had to call him away from the light.
Now, the prices are steep…but if you are going to have a knockout meal that will stay in your memories for years, save up and do it. You’ll feel like you were on an episode of Fantasy Island hoping that Herve Villechaize won’t be announcing the plane to take you away. Aloha!