Today (4/27/2012), we had a micro group for lunch (2) and thought it would be a good time to sample Mahi’s Fish and Chips, newly opened in Kopiko Plaza, below Long’s Drug Store in Lanihau Center. The space was formerly occupied by a myriad of eateries, and the new owner, Dion DeBois, wisely assumed the lease, along with most of the kitchen equipment and decor. I had been in Tex’s Drive In (the former tenant) not so long agoooo… and was cognizant that the Mahi’s crew did such an outstanding job of revamping the interiors that I wanted to sit there all afternoon and absorb the gigantic wall murals that dominate the colorful room.
The menu is simple and uncomplicated, featuring their signature Fish N Chips, beer-battered and moist. All baskets arrive with a healthy portion of fish, pineapple coleslaw (made by Dion’s wife), Lilikoi tartar sauce, your choice of crinkle-cut fries or jasmine rice, plus a huge square of the very popular Kona Ranch House cornbread (yes – it’s their recipe).
Other offerings include the Jumbo Shrimp basket and my favorite: Captain Jack’s Combo – beer battered shrimp and ono! There are various combinations on the menu – ask your waitress!
If deep fried food is not your thing, Mahi’s offers wood-fired grill option – next best thing to actually cooking out on the beach! Dion and his friendly crew put a very juicy 1/3 lb. hamburger on the menu and although I didn’t get a photo for this write up, my spouse grunted his high approval between bites. On that particular visit, I sampled Mahi’s famous Fish Tacos: two corn tortillas, coated with shredded cheddar cheese and deep fried. Then they are stuffed to overflow with “garlic-citrus basted mahimahi”, plus the assorted stuffing. Fire-roasted salsa and cilantro-chili sour cream round out the basket. See for yourself!
As it seems to go with most newly opened small family operated eateries, Mahi’s menu has varied over time with additions and subtractions to the food items, store hours, etc. so it’s best to give them a call before you visit. One day, we met a couple of exuberant ‘investors’/friends of the fam, who added a zesty caesar salad (of their making) to the offerings. I got to sample it right out front on the sidewalk – and although I thought it needed a tad more lemon juice, I remembered that he ran into the kitchen to mix up a quick dish for me on the spot! Only in Kona!!
Mahi’s is like a breath of fresh air in Kona. I highly recommend it for a quick meal with friends – or even to sit solo; you’re bound to run into someone you know. It’s small, clean and friendly….and it feels like you’re at the beach! If you don’t want to sit in air conditioning, get a take out order to enjoy at the location of your choice; judging by the healthy to-go traffic picking up bags of food while I was there, it’s a popular option.
Dion DeBois used to work at Maui Divers, but had a vision and decided to pursue it and become a restauranteur. He followed his dream and needs our local support to keep it alive. Located in Kopiko Plaza, below Longs Drug Store in Lanihau Center, Mahi’s is not readily visible to passing traffic. You have to look for it – but it will be worth the effort! Remember to call and check the hours: 329-6244