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Paradise Grill — The place that’s friendly and affordable

By Staff | Apr 4, 2013

From left, Dave Mello, Michael Carba and Art Ortiz lead the staff at Paradise Grill. PHOTOS BY KAREE CARLUCCI.

KAANAPALI – Warm and friendly, fun and flirtatious, hearty and delicious – welcome to Paradise Grill at the entrance to Kaanapali Beach Resort.

Whether you live in Lahaina or Honokowai, you’ll want to make Paradise Grill your go-to neighborhood restaurant. With affordable prices, friendly servers and hands-on management, this open-air bistro set on the Kaanapali Kai Golf Course greens offers beautiful views, morning and evening, and easily accessed parking.

We dined recently with owner Dave Mello, who is a native of Northern California, and he told us that he always wanted to have a restaurant in Kaanapali. When this two-story, stand-alone location became available, he knew it was the perfect spot for his vision of a family friendly restaurant with affordable prices and casual dining by day or night.

Mello said, “We welcome everyone and serve great food with love and aloha.”

When we had dinner on a Monday evening, the restaurant was buzzing with visitors and locals, and Dave had a friendly greeting for all who passed by the table. We started with a sizzling platter of bite-sized sirloin steak sauted in fresh mushrooms and onions, making a delicious sauce for the tender steak. For a cold appetizer, we munched on succulent, jumbo Paradise Shrimp served with spicy cocktail sauce.

Paradise Grill offers a nice selection of bottled wines. We choose a California Pinot Noir, which was a perfect complement to the variety of entrees that were on the way to our table.

I enjoyed a Grilled Pork Chop, which was perfectly cooked in a tantalizing mix of seasonings, and served with mashed potatoes and grilled, sliced veggies. The generous portion of Ribeye Steak was flame-broiled and topped with a mushroom-onion saut, and the hand-cut, seared Filet Tenderloin was a tribute to its reputation. I have to say that Paradise Grill knows how to do meats! Food & Beverage Manager Michael Carba supervises the kitchen staff and makes sure that the seasoning and temperature are just right on each cut.

We also tried two fresh fish entrees: the panko-crusted Fish and Chips, and a filet of Mahi Mahi, which can be baked, grilled, sauted or blackened, and is served with seasonal grilled veggies and your choice of rice or potatoes, including the signature sweet potato fries.

Dave recommends the house specialty: slow-roasted Baby Back Ribs smothered in a mango-guava sauce, and three kinds of pasta with homemade sauces. As you can tell, the menu is wide and varied, and even includes ten- and 14-inch pies from Round Table Pizza, for which Dave has the Maui franchise.

On hearing the delectable dessert menu, we couldn’t pass up the chance to try two signature items. Portuguese Malasadas filled with haupia cream and drizzled with warm caramel were excellent, but it was Gina’s Brownie that stole the show. The name “brownie” doesn’t do this dessert justice – it’s really a dark chocolate mini-souffle oozing with caramel sauce in the center and served with vanilla ice cream.

The dining experience was complemented by live music in the main dining room with a contemporary Hawaiian singer-guitarist. Music is featured nightly between 6 and 9 p.m.

Paradise Grill also offers dining-friendly specials. On Sundays and Tuesdays at any time during dinner hours, you can dive into a six-ounce Canadian cold water lobster for only $14.99. One of the best times to try the open-air lanai is for breakfast. Between 7 and 8 a.m. daily, you can receive half-off breakfast entrees. If pau hana is your thing, the restaurant features two happy hours: from 4 to 6 p.m. and from 10 p.m. to midnight. Meals are served on the front lanai until 1 a.m., which makes it a perfect stop for visitors arriving late-night.

The other component to the restaurant is Mello’s Bar, which is on the lower level under the staircase. This bar has long been a favorite of hotel and restaurant workers who know it for casual food, cocktails and dancing. It’s open from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. every day, with a bar menu served until 1 a.m.

Mello’s Bar has been recently upgraded with an enclosed patio, two pool tables and four flat screen TVs. It’s great for dancing as well as enjoying good conversation. Live music is featured Monday through Wednesday, a deejay spins tunes Thursday through Saturday, and karaoke happens on Sunday.

General Manager Art Ortiz remarked, “Whether you’re looking for a 19th hole after golf, pau hana after a long day or dining with a view, this is the place that’s friendly and affordable.”

Paradise Grill is open daily from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. for breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night meals. Call 662-3700 or visit www.ParadiseGrillKB.com.