Sam Sato’s is one of the restaurants on my ‘must visit’ list when I go home. In all honesty, I can either make or get MOST local food that I crave. . . . . good katsu, chow fun, kalbi ribs, teri chicken, lomi salmon and poi. However, when it comes to good dry mein and manju, I NEED to go to Sam Sato’s.
There are ‘legendary’ noodle / saimin places through Hawaii and the Wailuku based Sam Sato’s is Maui’s. If you are visiting Maui, you could stop by on your way to / from the Iao Needle, maybe the Waihee Ridge Hike we posted on previously. If you are coming from Lahaina on Honoapiilani HWY, stay on it until you get into Wailuku and Main St. (which will also take you to Iao Needle) and the restaurant isn’t far from there.
Sam Sato’s has been a Maui Trademark since it opened in 19XX and when you walk in, you’ll see pictures of ‘famous locals’ who have eaten there including Hawaiian Musician Anuhea, Kurt Suzuki from the Oakland A’s, and Kendall “Da Spyder” Grove from the UFC.
Now, if there is one reason I avoid Sam Sato’s it is the lunch crowd (Sam Sato’s doesn’t serve dinner). There’s no RSVP’s unless you have a semi-large party (say 8-10 people) and want to reserve the sitting area outside the main restaurant (it is the blue roof on the left in the photo above). If you go at ‘peak lunch hour’ (11:30 – 1pm) you are in for a 30-45 minute wait. When you go, be sure to sign your name on the waiting list located by the door or you’ll be waiting indefinitely.
However, the wait is well worth it. The menu has remained relatively unchanged for years ~ my favorite dish being the Dry Mein. In fact, my family and I can order a pan of Dry Mein for takeout and have it polished off in a day. Yikes – that’s a lot of carbs but OH SO WORTH IT! We usually pick up a few of the azuki manju to take home. For those of you that grew up eating Japanese food, you’ve gotta try their manju!
And there you have it ~ one of the ‘must stop’ locations on every trip that I go home. I think between my brothers and I, we must be 1/10th of their revenue in any given year. Enjoy!