On The Water's Edge... with Chef Mark Ellman

Tropical sunlight reflects off the ocean and streams into this casual, yet chic tavern as you enter. The brilliance illuminates the room, and you think better of removing your sunglasses. The last time you dined this close to the water…well, you’ve probably never dined this close to the water!

The ambiance at Mala may be casual and the menu doesn’t appear to take on airs, but don’t be fooled: this is Chef/Owner Mark Ellman’s establishment. Be prepared for your taste buds to sing as you treat them to a symphony of perfectly balanced flavors and textures. Organic, healthy, fresh, and delicious— there’s nothing casual about this food.

On the Menu

Start with the Seared Ahi Bruschetta (as seen on the cover)—it practically melts in your mouth and at the same time explodes with the freshest mingling of flavors. Chef Mark uses the highest grade ahi available, sears it, and layers thin slices along with Olowalu tomatoes on a bed of edamame puree that’s spread onto a sliver of flax seed toast. It’s topped with locally grown micro greens, and a luscious olive oil and balsamic drizzle. Sounds incredible, doesn’t it? It’s just the beginning.

Next, dive into the Whole Wok Fried Fresh Market Fish, Snake River Farms Kobe Beef Cheeseburger, Hoisin Glazed Baby Back Ribs, Grilled All Natural Angus Filet Mignon, an entire pound of Steamed Manila Clams, or any of the other mouth-watering entrees, and you’ll understand why this popular eatery has consistently earned rave reviews since opening in 2005. And you absolutely must leave room for Mark’s signature dessert: the Caramel Miranda—delicious, decadent, and oh, so scrumptious.

Hawai‘i Regional Cuisine

In 1987, Chef Mark opened the highly acclaimed Avalon Restaurant & Bar in downtown Lahaina, which featured Pacific Rim Cuisine. He soon formed an alliance with eleven other prominent (and now famous) Hawai‘i chefs. Together, they published a compilation of recipes, and Hawai‘i Regional Cuisine was born.

Chef Mark and his wife Judy currently own and operate Mala, an Ocean Tavern, and sister restaurant Honu in Lahaina. Honu sits on the rocks right next door to Mala, and enjoys the same 180-degree unobstructed view of the Pacific Ocean. The menu showcases a wide array of seafood and Naples-style pizzas, as well as the Ellmans’ trademark—superior food and ambiance. And let’s not forget the offshoot of the original Mala: Mala Wailea, located in the Wailea Beach Marriott Resort & Spa.

Practice Aloha

Multi-talented Chef Mark recently authored and edited Practice Aloha, Secrets to Living Life Hawaiian Style, a compilation of 150 stories, songs, and recipes from people who live in the land of aloha. The stories come from a diverse assortment of characters, and the foreword is written by Dr. Wayne Dyer. Another book you’ll want to add to your collection is Chef Mark’s cookbook Mala Ocean Tavern, Recipes for Living a Healthier Life.

Chef Mark, his wife Judy, and daughters Ariana and Michelle, invite you to share the experience with them, and practice your own style of aloha while you dine at Mala



The ambiance at Mala may be casual and the menu doesn’t appear to take on airs, but don’t be fooled: this is Chef/Owner Mark Ellman’s establishment...

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