OLOWALU - The quaint village resting under the shady grove of majestic monkeypod trees on your way into or out of Lahaina offers a convenient road stop for fresh fruit, snacks, ice and comfort food at its finest. Leoda's Kitchen and Pie Shop, famous for its sweet and savory pies, is now open for breakfast daily.
Going on a day trip? Heading to the other side? Ready for a healthy, hearty breakfast that you don't have to cook? Leoda's is the place you'll want to visit in Olowalu. Opening at 7 a.m. everyday, Leoda's has already attracted a following of local workers and visitors. Patrons can choose from something as simple as a fresh-baked muffin and coffee to a sit-down hot breakfast.
Farm-fresh ingredients and healthy choices are the restaurant's specialty in addition to its buttery baked breads and light, flaky pie crusts.
Leoda’s Seared Ahi Benedict is a must for breakfast.
I sampled the Farm Frittata, a beautifully layered dish made with Launiupoko farm eggs, sliced potatoes, cheddar cheese, spinach and tomatoes, and garnished with creme fraiche. I couldn't resist the Parfait, which comes in a ceramic latte mug filled with house-made yogurt, crunchy granola, strawberries and bananas drizzled with island honey.
Chef Marcus Whisenant, who arrived here in March from California, has created some elegant dishes that are poised to be big sellers.
Coconut French Toast made from Leoda's baked bread is crusted in freshly shaved coconut and grilled. It's served with a rich coconut creme Anglaise and seasonal fruit like Kula strawberries and Maui pineapple.
Seared Ahi Benedict is a feast for the palate with poached eggs, fresh sashimi-grade tuna (seared the way you like it), local avocado, watercress and basil pesto served with traditional Hollandaise sauce and sauted breakfast potatoes. Benedict lovers will also appreciate the Duroc ham version on rye, which includes the chef's spicy apricot-tomato jam, or the veggie patty version with garden sprouts.
Restaurant Manager Rosie Robbins remarked, "When you're tasting fresh food, it makes all the difference. We offer comfort food at its finest."
A simple Bacon & Egg Sandwich is enhanced with butter lettuce, tomatoes and sprouts over applewood bacon, local eggs and melted cheese. The hand-held specialties are wonderful to grab-and-go. A pastry crust pocket is deep-fried and filled with spinach cream cheese and scrambled eggs, and bacon can be added.
If you're going on a road trip, call ahead and ask them to prepare an eco-friendly cooler bag with house-made savory biscuits, flavored muffins, hand-helds or sandwiches. Any of the items from Leoda's full menu can be prepared on request.
"We can customize your order or provide a half-portion or sides for kids. We'll take care of you," said Rosie.
Maui Oma roasted coffee is provided in thermoses on a center console with mugs, sugar and cream, so you can pour your own and come back for refills. Teas, fruit juices and flavored sodas are also available.
Chef Marcus offered, "You can get a sandwich, burger or one of our pies, too. We set up for both breakfast and lunch each morning, since our bake shop is operating around the clock."
The bake shop provides fresh bread loaves that are displayed on the counter. Choose from multi whole grain, rye, hapa (whole wheat/white) or butter white.
If you stop by Leoda's after 4 p.m., you'll find nightly specials on the board for dinner like homemade meat loaf, mac-n-cheese, and buttermilk battered fried chicken. Of course, salads with farm-to-table greens and vegetables are also available. The staff lists local farms that provide produce to the restaurant on a chalkboard, so you know exactly where your food was grown.
Leoda's has that winning combination of the freshest food and friendliest service. Check it out for breakfast and come back for dinner. It's open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. For take-out orders, call 662-3600. Visit Leodas.com for menus and bakery items.