On our recent trip to Maui, my wife Jun and I realized that it is a deceptively large island with multiple regions having different micro-climates at the same time. Our stay was mostly in Kihei/Wailea area in the southern part of the island as we had to attend our friend’s wedding there, but there are other sides of Maui definitely worth exploring. On the west side stands the neighborhood of Lahaina where we got to see a fun luau festival, and there are a couple of stand-out beaches in Ka’anapali and Kapalua. If you are traveling to that side of the island, I can’t stress enough how important it is to stop by at a modest pie shop on the way. Jun and I visited Leoda’s on a whim for lunch the day of our friend’s wedding as the weather was surprisingly poor with drizzling rains and we couldn’t relax on the beach next to our resort. It turned out to be a game-breaking decision for our culinary journey in Maui.
Leoda’s has long been known for its various pies but what I didn’t expect is how delicious the non-pie dishes would be. We ordered a couple of sandwiches and one pie to share thinking that we will go easy on our lunch before what would most likely be a big dinner after the wedding ceremony. After we ordered at the counter and the food came to our table, I figured we should buy a bag of chips on the side; on the way back to the table, Jun was exclaiming, “Oh my god! You need to try this sandwich!” That sandwich was the seared ahi one; after a bite, I couldn’t agree more with Jun. The seared tuna (“sashimi grade” according to the menu) was just so right in texture and temperature, and worked harmoniously with avocado, caramelized onion, cheese and local basil pesto inside warm grilled rye bread for one blissful bite after another. I don’t remember having a sandwich this good, maybe not since our last trip to New Orleans. The other sandwich, Reuben with corned beef and house made sauerkraut, was not far behind in its deliciousness; I tend to stay away from sandwiches with too much pile of meat inside, but the amount of corned beef for this sandwich was just right and the richness of its flavor was something that I wouldn’t forget in a while. As to the famous pie, we ordered one with banana cream flavor and it delivered too. It wasn’t too sweet to my liking, and the moist cream on top and the sliced banana below made the texture of this pie quite outstanding.
The shop doesn’t take reservations and the line got quite long during our lunch, but the turnover of tables is pretty quick and a lot of people visit the place for take-outs. There are some beer and wine options, as well as other beverages like lemonade, to complement your meal the way you prefer. You wouldn’t think that Hawaii can make some mean sandwiches and pies, right? Well, Leoda’s will prove you wrong in a good way. If they were to open a branch in New York City, I will run, not walk, to the shop to try a couple of sandwiches followed by a pie in a heartbeat.
KenScale: 8.5/10 (Jun’s Score: 8.5/10)
- Creativity: 7.5/10
- Execution: 8.5/10
- Ingredients: 8.5/10
- Flavor: 8.5/10
- Texture: 8.5/10
- Value: 8.5/10
Address: 820 Olowalu Village Road, Lahaina, HI 96761
Telephone: 9808) 662-3600