Watch out when you walk through the door of Joy's Place--especially if it's a busy lunchtime and you don't have a sense of humor!
Of course the "regulars" know that Chef Elaine Nardella, the "tour-de-force" behind Joy's Place on the side of the Island Surf Building in Kihei, is all smoke and mirrors. They actually look forward to the sassy New England-type snap response they might receive if it's between noon and p.m. and they request a third helping of chopped onions--or ask too loudly whether the plastic forks go in the trash or recycling.
But behind that mock sarcasm is a big smile and a heart of gold.
Chef Elaine is perhaps one of the most creative cuisine artists on Maui. If you're a vegan or vegetarian and looking for yummy organic soups, salads and sandwiches, this is the spot to stop and savor!
It's out of the way just enough to be filed in the "Best-Kept Maui Secret Eateries" category--but you should definitely put Joy's Place on your "must try" list because it will make your "en-joy" list for sure!
The prices are reasonable for food of this impeccable quality and taste, and well worth any extra time and pennies.
If you're not familiar with Maui's South Side, the exact GPS address is1993 S. Kihei Road. Turn on Kanani Road from the Pi'ilani Highway. South Shore Plaza is on the right side of the road, just before you hit South Kihei Road. You can't miss it. It's across from Cove and Kalama Parks.
It will be savory taste experience and a "joy to behold."
This opinion column is written by Charles Laquidara, who has lived on Maui for over 11 years. He worked at WBCN radio in Boston for 30 years as the morning-drive host of a show called "The Big Mattress" and is occasionally heard on Mana'o Radio here on-island. Email email@example.com