R Social Grill
If you’re looking for the best loco moco of your life, it could be found at R Social Grill in Maui. The only draw back is that R Socail’s loco moco isn’t a mainstay on their menu. Trust me, I love my meat and rice dishes. Out of all the different regions of food, Hawaiian offers some of the tastiest meals. From spam musubi to short ribs, it’s all good. If I had to pick a favorite, it would definitely be the loco moco.
The loco moco is a simple dish. In its most basic form, it has a gravy covered hamburger patty served over rice. No matter where you get it, you’ll find comfort in the meal.
To this day I still think about my absolute favorite loco moco. I had it on our last visit to Maui. Cooked by Chef Chris Mahon at his restaurant R Social Grill in the city of Lahaina. (formerly known as Shark Pit Maui). What made this dish so memorable was the fact that it wasn’t even on the menu!
Shark Pit is a small and unassuming restaurant near the center of Lahaina. It has no building signage. Just a logo and its name on the storefront window. Shark Pit started as a food cart. Where it garnered overwhelmingly positive reviews. The critical acclaim helped Chris turn his food cart into the brick and mortar restaurant that secretly houses one of my favorite meals.
We got Lucky
We ordered a handful of items off the menu and enjoyed them all. As we were wrapping up, Chris started making his rounds and greeting his guests. He came up to us, and we immediately hit it off. We talked about our favorite meals and restaurants, etc.
When I mentioned my love for loco moco and how the best version of it was served at Animal in LA, he smiled at me and said, “I make the best one.” I laughed and responded by saying, “How am I suppose to know that? You don’t even offer it on your menu.” That was the moment a passing conversation turned into a memorable eating experience. Chris replied and said, ” I know you guys already ate, but if you give me 15 minutes, I’ll make it for you.”
Of course, I jumped at the opportunity. The next thing I knew he was grabbing his wallet, running out the door and saying, “I need to go to the market. Don’t move!”
I was dumbstruck. I couldn’t believe he was going out of his way for us. He came through the door about ten minutes later with a couple bags of grocery and got to work.
If people weren’t sitting right next to us I would have licked the plate clean!
The best Loco Moco I have ever had
Shortly after, he placed a mouthwatering entree in front of us. It looked different from other loco mocos that I’ve had. It had a light colored gravy that completely flooded the dish. Under the gravy was this amazingly flavorful patty of ground beef covered with eggs that laid on top of a delicious bed of fried rice.
I took my first bite and almost died. Chris’ version of a loco moco tasted like home. The rich beef flavor blended perfectly with the generous amount of creamy gravy. Every bite was memorable. No joke my mouth is watering as I type this.
Chris watched as I ate the dish and smiled. He knew he had me. He grabbed the closest spoon, snagged a bite off the plate and said, “Yup. That’s it. That’s how I’ve been cooking it for years.”
- 170 Papalaua St
Lahaina, HI 96761
- Open Monday – Saturday 11am -3pm
- Open Sunday – Saturday 6pm – 10pm
- Takes Credit Cards
- (808) 662-3663
- Takes Reservations
Shark Pit Social’s website:
What a memorable meal
It was the first and only time we’ve received such awesome service by a chef. We’re still amazed that Chris took the time to take care of us the way he did. I can honestly say that meal and the ensuing conversation was the highlight of our Maui trip, and that’s saying a lot given how amazing the island is.
If you guys ever find your way out there. Be sure to check out his place.
More from Us
In addition to random food posts, we enjoy blogging about our travel experiences. If you head over to our Travel Page, you’ll see posts detailing our itineraries, person travel videos, and memorable stories we’ve picked up along the way.