Maui Business

UHMC’s “Class Act” Chosen as Best Hawaii Restaurant

October 17, 2012, 10:20 AM HST
* Updated October 17, 1:19 PM
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MCA Student putting finishing touches on Leis Class Act Restaurant dishes. Photo courtesy of UHMC.

By Sonia Isotov

The Leis Family Class Act restaurant, run by the University of Hawaii’s Maui College’s Maui Culinary Academy (MCA), has been rated number one on the Open Table Diners “Best Overall Restaurants Hawaii” list.

Open Table Reservations is a nationwide online restaurant booking service used by millions of diners.

Two other Maui restaurants made the top 10 “Best Overall Restaurants Hawaii” list: Mama’s Fish House (2) and Merriman’s Kapalua (6).

“Leis Class Act is a real, five-star restaurant where students learn under fire what it takes to succeed as a culinary professional. We challenge them with menu items that most have never tasted, and can be hard to pronounce,” said Chris Speere, the coordinator of external programs at MCA, in a written statement.

Maui Culinary Academy students. File photo by Wendy Osher.


“So it’s a thrill for their success to be reflected in the real opinions of Open Table diners.


“It’s also a testament to the dedication and passion for student learning demonstrated by Juli Umetsu, Teresa Shurilla and Craig Omori who lead the MCA’s efforts in the Leis Family Class Act Restaurant,” continued Speere.

The fine-dining restaurant can seat up to 75 patrons and has a ocean view of Kahului Harbor. At the center of this living classroom is the Exhibition Kitchen, where diners can watch up-and-coming chefs prepare cuisine.

The restaurant is open Wednesdays and Fridays with seating starting at 11:30 a.m. Reservations can be made through Open Table, or by phone at (808) 984-3280.


A special upcoming event will feature “Street Eats: Dishes Inspired by International Street Vendors” on Nov. 15th from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

More information about the program can be found at, or call the Leis Family Class Act to make reservations at (808) 984-3367.

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