Maui No Ka Oi
The evening started out with this magnificent view from Front St. in Lahaina.
Next was the arrival of my “Maui Family” consisting of son Michael, Daughter-in-law, Sarah and 9 year old Grandson Kevin. We had dinner reservations in a fancy new Lahaina restaurant. Everyone was excited. Unfortunately, things went downhill from there.
We felt that waiting a full hour without our entrees was too long. I was as hungry as a bear, so I flagged down the waitress and asked her what’s taking so long. She said, “It’s because he (pointing to my son) ordered a Beef Wellington which takes an hour to cook.” We were all shocked. Michael told her that if she had told us that up front he would have ordered something different. He felt horrible for holding us all up. She then said that it’s still going to be “a while.” Michael said, “No way” and ordered something different; a New York Steak. She said, “Okay, we’ll get that out right away.”
20 Minutes later we were still waiting, and the manager brought us each a bowl of tomato soup as an apology. The soup was sour, but I appreciated the gesture. In about 20 minutes they ceremoniously delivered our dinners. She told Michael that the cook would pay for his steak. My squash ravioli was tasteless, and Michael’s steak was burned to a crisp. I pushed the ravioli aside and she carried it off with no comment. Michael retrieved her and said that his steak is burned and that “turning it over and covering it with Bar-B-Q sauce” was not an appropriate solution to fix it. I told her to just bring me a the check.
Meanwhile and Sarah Kevin were eating away at their chicken and fish. After eating some of Kevin’s fish, Michael called the manager over and “unloaded on her.” He told her that they should make this disastrous meal complimentary. She just stared at him. I interrupted and said, “Just give me the check, it’s not about the money.” She then said, “We will comp it,” and stormed off.
On the walk to the car we talked extensively about how much better the entire thing could have been handled. It was nice of her to “comp it,” but she undid the nicety in the way she did it. Had she just apologized, offered the “comp” and said, “We hope you will give us another chance in the future” we just might. Maybe she thought we were just “tourists” and wouldn’t be back anyway. We are not and we won’t.