Contemporary cuisine in the shade at Hyatt Regency's Umalu Restaurant

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Visitors to Kaanapali, on Maui, should be pointed toward the just-opened Umalu Restaurant at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa.

Umalu is a casual yet upscale, full-service lunch and dinner venue showcasing contemporary Hawaiian cuisine. The $8 million restaurant is located hillside, off the resort's pool area and below the main resort tower, and offers views of the ocean and the islands of Lanai and Molokai.

Umalu, which in Hawaiian means "shade under a cliff" or "to cast a shadow," affords guests a reprieve from the sun.

The entrance is constructed of rich stone. This leads into a room with open-air seating that offers the option of sitting in a cool flagstone area or dining at tables set on sand.

Umalu's contemporary Hawaiian menu showcases indigenous Maui flavors with entrees such as pan-seared scallops, prawns and island mahi-mahi with snow peas, baby bok choy, Hawaiian Hamakua mushrooms, red curry coconut cream and flat rice noodles; sake-seared Hawaiian ahi steak; and "volcano-spiced," slow-roasted prime rib.

Starters include Snake River Farms kobe beef sliders (on poi rolls with gorgonzola and caramelized Maui onion) and Uncle Kimo's ahi poke "nachos" with taro and sweet potato chips.

Salads from the restaurant's To-Go Deli are made with fresh, organic produce from Hawaii's micro-climates.

Selections also include a variety of resort-prepared sushi, salads, sandwiches and hummus.

Umalu also has a 24-seat, poolside bar serving specialty drinks such as Mutiny on the Carthaginian, which is a Long Island iced tea made with guava juice, and the Ka'anapali Sunburn, made with coconut rum, banana liqueur, grapefruit, pineapple and cranberry juice and served in a pineapple or coconut.

Call (808) 661-1234 or visit www.maui.hyatt.com.

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