Maui Hawaiian Grill

Kenneth Sitjar

6/12/20232 min read

This review was originally published on Yelp.

Rating: 5/5

During our visit to Tempe, Arizona, to see my aunt and cousin, who reside in the area, my family and I decided to explore local dining options. After some research, we stumbled upon Maui Hawaiian Grill, a restaurant with consistently high ratings. Intrigued by their offerings, especially the renowned spam musubi, a Hawaiian staple, we were eager to give it a try. With enthusiasm, I presented the idea to my family, and we promptly informed my aunt and cousin about our plan to dine at Maui Hawaiian Grill.

Nestled in a small strip mall, conveniently located off a bustling road just a few miles from Arizon Mills, the restaurant was easy to find, even on a Sunday. As we entered, we were greeted by a modest yet inviting setup, with a few patrons already enjoying their meals. A friendly staff member stood ready to take our order, and I couldn't help but notice the self-serve kiosk, presumably available for busier times. Taking a moment to peruse the menu, we were delighted by the diverse selection, featuring options such as pork, chicken, beef, and seafood. After a brief discussion, we were ready to place our order. With a group of seven, we decided on an enticing array of dishes: Spam Musubi, 2 Hawaiian BBQ Mix Combos, a Chicken Combo, a Chicken and Beef Combo, a Hawaiian BBQ Beef Aloha Plate, and a Fried White Fish Aloha Plate. It's worth mentioning that the combos did not include drinks, which had to be purchased separately.

After submitting our order, we settled into our seats and engaged in lively conversation, eagerly anticipating the arrival of our food. To our surprise, the wait was remarkably short, and before we knew it, our was being called. The meals looked appetizing, and we wasted no time in savoring our meal. My 10-year-old and I shared the colossal portions of spam musubi, which could have easily sufficed as an entire meal. The only addition that would have made them even better was a perfectly cooked over-medium fried egg, turning it into a delightful breakfast-inspired treat.

Although our order comprised various plates and combos, we discovered that the meats were essentially the same, only arranged differently. Our taste buds were treated to succulent BBQ beef, flavorful BBQ chicken, tender short rib kalbi, and crispy chicken katsu. The white fish, on the other hand, was featured exclusively in its solo plate. Each piece of meat was tender and bursting with flavor, perfectly complemented by the accompaniments of fragrant jasmine rice, creamy macaroni salad, and a bed of steamed cabbage and broccoli. In the case of the white fish, it was served atop a bed of slaw. The katsu and fried fish were cooked to perfection, boasting a delightful crispiness with the fish maintaining a moist and flaky interior.

While my wife, who had chosen the fish dish, found it slightly lacking in flavor despite its fantastic texture, I agreed with her assessment after sampling it myself. Nevertheless, the leftovers proved to be enjoyable, as we found reheating the fish in the air fryer revitalized its appeal.

When it comes to value for money, Maui Hawaiian Grill did not disappoint. The portion sizes were generous, easily providing two meals, with the potential for a third if one's appetite is more moderate. The overall dining experience was satisfactory, with prompt service that left us impressed by the efficiency of the staff. Undoubtedly, Maui Hawaiian Grill offers excellent value for the price paid.

As we plan our future visits to Tempe, Maui Hawaiian Grill will undoubtedly remain on our radar. The combination of diverse menu options, ample portion sizes, and favorable prices makes it an enticing choice for another round of delightful Hawaiian cuisine.