I want all of your pity upfront and unreserved. I’m on vacation in Hawai’i and have experienced about a day and a half of torrential rain following my arrival. Not just rain, but a massive storm system that created flash floods, closed roads, and altered plans. One thing that remains unchanged is my unwavering resolve to provide you with soda and fry reviews during this journey.

One of my favorite things to do on vacation is to spend 30% more per meal eating out than I do at home. It’s the best. I’m not directing that sarcastic comment at Pita Paradise directly, but Hawai’i is a bit expensive in general. What are you gonna do? You’re on an island and things cost more. Overall I found Pita Paradise to be a decent value for a great meal and their Nojito Mocktail was a wonderful compliment to the rest of my order.

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Nojito is obviously a play on “mojito” which is an alcoholic drink containing lime, mint, and white rum. The Nojito contains similar ingredients (muddled fresh mint and limes) as well as simple syrup, soda water (lemon lime soda per the menu) and your choice of a fruit puree. I chose lilikoi (passion fruit) because my answer to most choices while in Maui is lilikoi. It’s how I roll.

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The Nojito at Pita Paradise maintained a wonderful level of carbonation even though it was served with ice and a generous amount of fresh mint. The lilikoi puree naturally settled towards the bottom of the glass, but with a bit of encouragement it mixed with the soda well enough. The lime and lilikoi added a refreshing tartness to the beverage that encouraged conservative sipping, and the mint added a freshness and aromatic quality that brought the whole thing up a couple notches. These flavors went very well with the rest of my Mediterranean inspired meal which was also noteworthy.

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My kids ate pasta with butter and parmesan. While I don’t find the dish all that impressive, I am impressed my restaurants that make sure to provide something like that for their little visitors. I shared an order of hummus and ahi tartar with my wife. The hummus was nice, but the ahi tartar was like some sort of Hawaiian take on ceviche after watching My Big Fat Greek Wedding a couple of times. I loved it, especially the crispy crackers that brought the fish to my mouth.

My entree was the spicy falafel with rice. While not a culinary noble prize winner it was a great deal for $!0 and was one of the lighter things I’ve eaten on the trip so far. In a good way. ┬áThe flavors were bold but it didn’t weigh me down. Well done, Pita Paradise.

The food and general good vibes might be boosting this rating a bit, but I give the Nojito with Lilikoi an 8.5 out of 10 on my rating scale. At $7 it isn’t unreasonable, but it’s also not cheap. I nursed it throughout my whole meal, and I’m tempted to go back and try something else. If you find yourself in the Wailea area of Maui this place is worth your time.

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Sampled on April 30, 2017