Maui Tacos

Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sun.-Thurs. 11.a.m -10 p.m. Fri. & Sat.

Let’s begin with a brief history lesson: The year was 1993, and Hawaii-based chef Mark Ellman began to open a series of small stands serving Mexican food. He called this enterprise Maui Tacos, and it eventually spread to Oahu. Sixteen years later, in 2009, the eight locations were purchased by a franchising firm. They say good things take time, and 10 years later, the company’s dreams of mainland expansion seem to be coming to fruition. Currently, there are locations planned for Monroe, La. and Reno, Nev., and this January 2019 saw the opening of a Maui Tacos in Las Vegas, followed quickly by another here on Meeting Street. Sharing an entrance with the 34 West Theater Company, the space occupied by Charleston’s Maui Tacos is awash in primary colors. A tiki hut-themed salsa bar and bright blue map-covered tables share the space with vibrant metal chairs. Order the Baja grilled fish taco. It features a double layer of warm corn tortillas generously filled with freshly grilled fish and topped with cabbage, plus a mild, creamy cilantro jalapeno dressing. Better yet, there’s more than enough of everything stuffed in there to warrant dividing it among the tortillas and doubling your pleasure. —Vanessa Wolf (Dish, Summer 2019)

Restaurant Details

Let’s begin with a brief history lesson: The year was 1993, and Hawaii-based chef Mark Ellman began to open a series of small stands serving Mexican food. He called this enterprise Maui Tacos, and it eventually spread to Oahu. Sixteen years later, in 2009, the eight locations were purchased by a franchising firm. They say good things take time, and 10 years later, the company’s dreams of mainland expansion seem to be coming to fruition. Currently, there are locations planned for Monroe, La. and Reno, Nev., and this January 2019 saw the opening of a Maui Tacos in Las Vegas, followed quickly by another here on Meeting Street. Sharing an entrance with the 34 West Theater Company, the space occupied by Charleston’s Maui Tacos is awash in primary colors. A tiki hut-themed salsa bar and bright blue map-covered tables share the space with vibrant metal chairs. Order the Baja grilled fish taco. It features a double layer of warm corn tortillas generously filled with freshly grilled fish and topped with cabbage, plus a mild, creamy cilantro jalapeno dressing. Better yet, there’s more than enough of everything stuffed in there to warrant dividing it among the tortillas and doubling your pleasure. —Vanessa Wolf (Dish, Summer 2019)

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