If you want maximum value for your dining dollar, you can't do better than Lei's Class Act at bthe UH Maui culinary school. It's been a "must" destination on all of our trips to Maui ever since we discovered it. I'm mystified why there are so few reviews of this gem -- even at twice the price, you rarely will find meals of this quality on Maui.
Our most recent visit with friends and family was again close to perfect -- only a couple dishes were less than satisfactory for our guests. To start, our server brought out spoons of an amuse' bouche' -- a lovely take on caprese salad, with bits of fresh mozzarella, tomato bits and basil. The following cold appetizer, Ahi carpaccio with olive relish and roasted garlic aioli was so good, I would have been happy continuing with several more servings of that alone!
The hot appetizers were a little more mixed. The roasted butternut squash soup with creme fraiche and sage butter was silky heaven in a bowl. Extraordinary flavors that, again, would have made a most satisfying meal. The zucchini saltimbocca with fresh tomato coulis was a bit soggy for one diner, although the taste I had of my wife's dish was quite crispy; the tomato sauce was excellent, everyone agreed.
We tried all three entree offerings. The grilled lamb sirloin was delicious and tender, although one of my pieces was done almost to medium, while the second was a pefectly pink medium rare. One other diner had the same situation -- two pieces cooked differently. The pine-nut crusted opah was a great piece of fish, set off by a slightly spicy tomato-caper-butter sauce. the vegetarian entree, portobello and spinach ravioli featured several large ravioli with a light butter and cheese sauce that complemented, rather than overwhelmed the pasta. I'm a devout carnivore, but I would have been more than happy with that as my main course.
We finished off with a decadent, yet not-too-sweet mocha mascarpone panna cotta with pistachio gelato. The gelato wasn't as flavor-forward as we might have liked, but the panna cotta more that diverted our attention. The French press coffee service at the end of the meal, but for some reason, they couldn't get the water hot enough for one of our group. The others with the coffee service had no problem, but it took 3 times before they finally got it right. To the restaurant's credit, they comped the coffee for everyone without being asked, and our server promptly took it back each time with no complaint or argument.
Although both the chefs in the kitchen and the servers on the floor are still students, the whole experience was quite professional and very much what you'd expect in a fine dining restaurant. We brought our own wines (high-end Bordeaux and Oregon pinot noir) and although our server obviously was not familiar with them, she was quite competent in opening them. When offered the "Dollar Tree" glasses, we asked for better stemware, and she was able to find some large-bowled stemware that showed off the wines much better. She seemed to take our hints and requests in the instructive manner we intended, and are quite certain she will be an excellent assest to a fine dining establishment in the near future!
Thank you again Class Act students and advisers/teachers for a most enjoyable meal. At $32, what a bargain! We will be back many more times, you can count on it!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC