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Cut eggplant in half lengthwise and place, cut side up, on baking sheet. Using paring knife, score deep diagonals into flesh--but not through skin--of eggplant halves. Repeat at 45 degree angle in other direction, creating diamonds. Sprinkle sea salt over surface and into cuts. Set aside 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Gently squeeze eggplant over sink to drain excess water; then, wipe dry. Slowly drizzle each half with ¼ cup olive oil, until soaked through. Wedge garlic slices into cuts. Place in oven, flesh side up, and bake 30 minutes. In small bowl, whisk together maple syrup, soy sauce, and 1 Tbsp olive oil. Remove eggplant from oven and brush with maple syrup mixture; then, return to oven and continue to bake 15 to 30 minutes, or until eggplant is soft and golden brown. Let eggplant cool a couple minutes; then scoop out flesh and serve with grilled meats or over a grain bowl.