Eat Me: Monkeypod Kitchen in Wailea
By Kristin Hashimoto
Last time we discussed the merits of the mixologists at Monkeypod Kitchen by Merriman. This time, let’s focus on the food. Unsurprisingly, that same dedication to flavor and freshness is exhibited in the food at Monkeypod.
In addition to the regular tables dispersed on the somewhat slippery wood floor, seating runs the perimeter of the kitchen, so lookie-loos can have a lunch or dinner show with their meal. Cooks hand toss pie dough for some of their wood fired pizzas, and prep cooks amaze with their knife skills. The turnover is high, and the crowds come in waves. The noise level is distracting, so quiet conversation might be better spent outdoors, or at a less busy hour. Late night cocktails and some appetizers would better suit an intimate discussion or two.
If you’re stopping by for lunch or late appetizers, try to hit the happy hour. From 3:00 p.m. to 5:30, and 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., Monkeypod offers appetizers at 50 percent off. Pizzas are only $7.
For appetizers, give the crispy rock shrimp and calamari with the pineapple jalapeno vinaigrette, and the garlic truffle oil fries, a try. Also, don’t miss out on their Proletariat, a pizza for meat eaters. A crisp crust is delicately sauced and holds pepperoni, sausage, green bell peppers, Mozzarella cheese and olives. The Hamakua Mushroom pizza with truffle oil is also a fungi-licious choice. Here’s a tip: save room for dessert. Homemade pies really hit the sweet spot. Chocolate, strawberry and banana cream pies will call to you.
The Monkeypod Kitchen is located in the Wailea Gateway Place, and is open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. For more details and full menus, visit www.monkeypodkitchen.com. Also, check out MauiNow.com’s drink review at Monkeypod, in the food section.