It all started back during my first visit to the islands in 1994 on Maui, I had a great time!
Everything was new and absolutely beautiful, just gorgeous!!
I was a 'Malihini' (new comer/visitor), it was my first experience, we sat table style and I really did enjoy it.
But...considering my vegan diet, and future Luau nights I went to was primarily for the entertainment and not the food.
On my second visit to the Hawaiian Islands, and my first visit to Oahu, I went to a fun Luau with my girlfriend and partner in crime Priscilla. We had tons of fun, traditionally sat on the ground, had the best Pineapple that I ever had in my life, and enjoyed the entertainment. The vegan options were not really there and what was...well it was "meh".
Then came the next Luau that I went to, which was a couple of trips later and a couple of years later.
Again this Luau was is Oahu, and this time it was the kids first experience at a Luau.
This time was definitely by far the most fun yet! Maybe it was because I was with my children, and experiencing it through their eyes, but there was just so much to do! So many extra activities that I don't recall the others offering (or perhaps I just wasn't paying attention).
The activities were a blast, the kids had an awesome time, the show was great, but again the food for us vegans was just "blah". We had table style dining and DC was with us on this trip. He (not a vegan) on the other hand seemed to indulge and enjoy in the buffet style dinner and was perfectly happy, probably even full!
I chose the Old Lahaina Luau based on the reviews and the vegan menu offerings (I was thrilled that they actually noted having vegan menu offerings!). So I went ahead and booked us a traditional ground sitting table, and had made a note of the reservation that we were a party of 4 vegans - just for safety sake.
Wow, I was in shock!
I was thrilled, I couldn't believe that at my forth Luau in 21 years that they finally recognize vegans and that I wasn't left with a boring iceberg lettuce salad.
So we carefully chose our dinner options and happily knew that we wouldn't be going hungry at this Luau!
Holy toledo these drinks were good! We sipped away, as we were led to our table and then offered to walk about the property and participate in the activities.
I told them that I'd do it too, but on the next go round, as I had to take pictures of them!
Then it was my and DB's turn...well, I've never hula'd before, and Dave doesn't really have any booty to shake, so you can imagine the laughter and tears coming from the kids who now stood on the side lines to watch and photograph us, as we made a fool of ourselves - but heck the rest of these people looked pretty ridiculous too and we're all on vacation to have fun - so what if we can't be as good or natural at it as my kiddos!
OH MY WORD - these were wonder drinks, and they definitely won the kids over! In fact the kids had said that they want to come back to this Luau again during the same trip just so they could have more of these drinks! (Yes they were THAT good, but as if we are doing 2 luaus on the same trip...Not.)
ZOINKS there was so much food!
We were still chomping away when the show was about to begin, getting full, but still munching away. Each dish was surprisingly delicious! And then I hit a wall, I just had to stop. Too much food! But this really was my own darned fault for filling up my platter at the buffet!
NOTE: that not a thing went to waste as we had Dominic "the human garbage disposal" with the bottomless pit for a stomach with us and he ate every last bite of what ever we left on our plates!
In ancient Hawai‘i, men and women ate their meals separately; also women and the rest of society were not allowed to eat foods that were not common or foods that were only served during special occasions. However, in 1819, King Kamehameha II removed all the religious laws that were practiced. King Kamehameha II performed a symbolic act by eating with the women, thus ending the Hawaiian religious taboos. This is when the lū‘au parties were first created.
*Ote'a - They begin the ending entertainment with a tribute to the compelling tradition of the pabu (drums).
*Kahiko - the Ancient Hula - They present a series of hula kahiko which relate one of the most riveting stories in all of Hawaiian mythology.
*'Auana - The Modern Hula - They now take us on a nostalgic journey back to a simpler time in these islands.
This was by far the best over-all Luau experience that I've been to, and I would enjoy returning time and again...not just for the drinks. But they help too!
A few days after the Luau that we had attended, I had found that The Old Lahaina Luau had been featured in:
National Geographic Traveler
New York Times
The Travel Channel
AND was Zagat rated excellent & extraordinary to perfection
It was no surprise. I'm just glad that I finally chose the perfect Luau!
*Provided by Old Lahaina Luau
OLD LAHAINA LUAU
1251 Front St, Lahaina, HI 96761