The best restaurant in Hawaiʻi might just be one you haven’t heard of. Open Table Reservations, a nationwide online restaurant booking service used by 350 million diners, recently revealed that the Leis Class Act Restaurant run by the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College’s Maui Culinary Academy (MCA) was rated number one on their list of “Best Overall Restaurants Hawaii.”
What’s their secret? It could be the enthusiasm of MCA students who enjoy the opportunity to shine both in preparing and serving exotic menu items like Salmon and Scallop Paupiette with Pea Shoot Coulis, Chicken Bastilla with Shaved Fennel and Harissa Yogurt, or Mocha Mascarpone Panna Cotta with Pistachio Gelato to their discriminating clientele.
“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! So it’s a thrill for their success to be reflected in the real opinions of Open Table diners,” said MCA External Program Coordinator Chris Speere. “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.”
The acclaimed fine-dining restaurant can seat up to 75 patrons and has a breathtaking ocean view. At the center of this living classroom is the Exhibition Kitchen, where diners can watch up-and-coming chefs as they deftly wield pots, pans, knives and spatulas to prepare cuisine. Appetizers, salads, soups, entrees and desserts highlight the Island’s freshest locally-grown produce. The restaurant is open Wednesdays and Fridays with seating starting at 11:30am. Reservations can be made through Open Table, or by phone at (808) 984-3280.