Two distinctly different and dynamic lu’au style shows are performed in the historic harbor town of Lahaina. The Feast at Lele, an elegant pageant of Polynesia, is nestled in an intimate beachfront patio in South Lahaina. Old Lahaina Lu’au, a classic lu’au honoring authentic Hawaiian traditions, occupies a lush oceanfront paradise on the northern edge of town. Both offer spectacular panoramic settings; an orchid lei greeting; premium open bar; and impressive, quality productions. Executive Chef James McDonald of award-winning Pacific’O and I’O restaurants, combines fine dining with exciting Polynesian entertainment at The Feast at Lele. Set in an intimate garden setting, private tables are terraced around a raised beachfront platform. As the sun sinks, silhouetting Lana’i island across the Auau channel, an outrigger canoe paddled by Hawaiian warriors is welcomed ashore with the blowing of the conch. A seamless presentation ensues as the dancers take diners on a tour of Hawai’i, Aotearoa (New Zealand), Tahiti and Samoa. As Polynesia is explored, corresponding cuisine is brought to the table. While the New Zealand Maori frighten their foes with their famous tattooed faces and haka (war dance); an Upcountry Green Duck Salad is served with Fishcakes and Sauteed Sweet Potato and Mushrooms. And when the sweet romance of Tahiti is presented with the exciting hip movements and regal feathered headdresses, there is Fafa-Steamed Chicken and Taro Leaf in Coconut Milk along with Baked Scallops and Poisson Cru. The five-course Polynesian feast orchestrated by Chef James will satiate any appetite and please the gourmet palette immensely.“Island grown fruits and vegetables, many from our own organic farm, are incorporated into traditional Polynesian fare,” Chef James said. “Complete with tableside service, this is a ‘foodie’s’ luau.”A burst of fire signals the grand finale: a stunning exhibition of Samoan fire knife dancing. For more information on The Feast at Lele visit www.feastatlele.com or call (808) 667-5353. (see pages 38,39)At Old Lahaina Lu’au the focus in on hookipa, Hawaiian hospitality. Guests are escorted to comfortable banquet tables around an outdoor stage with an ocean backdrop of Mala wharf. But no one stays seated long. The tropical grounds are open for strolling along the golden shoreline. Animated cocktail servers keep the mai tais flowing and the atmosphere festive. Before sunset, guests cluster around the imu (underground oven) to witness the removal of the pig, kalua pua’a, the dinner’s centerpiece. Poi, a thick porridge made from Taro, is the Hawaiian staple and this is served with Ahi Poke and sweet potatoes. The traditional buffet includes over fifteen popular island dishes, so there is plenty of choices for all taste preferences. As darkness falls a dramatic torch lit procession streams across the waterfront, drum beats reverberate, and Hawaiian dancers take the stage. Other then an opening tribute to Tahiti (from whence Hawaiians immigrated) the Old Lahaina Lu’au is the only lu’au in Hawai’i that’s pure “Hawaiian.” Authenticity is prized here, with special attention to wardrobe, hula and chants. Kahiko, the ancient hula, illustrates stories of the gods and goddess. Hula is then traced through the missionary era to its resurrection under King David Kalakaua, the “Merrie Monarch,” and to its evolution as ‘Auana, the modern hula known best through Hollywood glamorization. For more information on Old Lahaina Lu’au visit www.oldlahainaluau.com or call (800) 248-5828.