Monday, March 12, 2012

Lilikoi Grill, Haiku

Dante's Inferno pizza featuring the Hawaiian chili pepper at the Lilikoi Grill. I was very happy with the pizza - it was the right amount of hot. 

Updated 8/22/13: Lilikoi Grill has closed, at least as of a few weeks ago.

A new hot spot in Haiku opened up a few months ago. By day, it looks like a casual take-out pizza place that also features house granola and baked goods. By night, it looks more sophisticated, with a bar, climate-controlled wine pantry, and a meeting room that features wi-fi and a large flat screen. The other pizza joint in Haiku is Colleen's, which has been a popular hang out for years. 

Wi-fi room
Bar scene at Lilikoi Grill

The Lilikoi Grill opened a few months ago in Haiku, in the building across from the post office. It's not been the easiest spot for restaurants, since Max World Bistro and Pan (Vasi's attempt to expand from catering into sit-down restaurants) both have closed in the last few years. Pan had an extensive pizza menu, but the one we tried had such a lousy, spongy crust, I almost took it back. Vasi's saving grace was the fantastic chocolate-dipped coconut macaroons, which is now available at Maui Coffee Roasters. So either Vasi's is a new supplier, or someone at Coffee Roasters is making really good knock-offs. By the way, Lilikoi is Hawaiian for passion fruit. 

Warm buns flavored lightly with little red Hawaiian chili peppers. 

Lilikoi Grill does have tasty pizza, and the crust was quite satisfactory - thin and chewy. We did not try everything on the menu, just pizza and ribs, which saved room for dessert. The ambience is not stuffy, but a bit more upscale than Max World Bistro. Our server was friendly but not overbearing. We met owner PJ by sticking our noses in the wi-fi room where he was sitting with a laptop. Plans include featuring more locally sourced produce and live music. 

Some diners at Lilikoi Grill.
Lilikoi BBQ Ribs and sweet potato fries

Dessert tray at the Lilikoi Grill. The lilikoi creme brulee was good!


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