Looking out on its namesake, La Mer is the prettiest dining room on Oahu, with carved wooden screens setting an elegant art deco-ish tone. The classic haute-cuisine French food may be a little tired, but the restaurant remains a popular "special occasion" restaurant. Three prix-fixe options are offered (three or four courses, or a seven-course tasting menu)—choose from dishes such as sautéed baby squid with onion marmalade and coriander pesto, and roasted duck breast
with beetroot and red fruit mousseline—as well as several rather expensive supplements. Place yourself in the sommelier's hands for wine choices from the hotel's exceptional cellar. Jacket or long-sleeved shirt required for gentlemen. For an elegant cocktail experience in Waikiki, visit L'Aperitif bar located inside the restaurant. Each cocktail comes with a paired gourmet bite.
Feb 22, 2009
It's been 20 years or so since our first and only visit to La Mer. We returned to this restaurant to celebrate the two-year mark of an important professional venture with a couple we also like very much. We asked for best possible table when we reserved; it was spectacular--a bit semi-private and right on the water. Service was gracious and impeccable--no attitude. Food was beautifully presented and very tasty. We had several laugh-out-loud moments
but never felt "shushed" and they made a point of using the host's name throughout the evening. We all had the two-course plus dessert option and they brought additional "amusements" or small plate before appetizers and after desserts (which included souffles, for which they brought us the dessert menus before dinner proper to allow time). As the sole non-fish-eater I would have liked more non-seafood options, but fair enough, given the name "La Mer" to expect almost all seafood. All in all it's an expensive option but you can pay more in Honolulu and get much, much less.
Dec 17, 2008
Food was decent (not 5 star) but was totally ruined by the pretentiousness of the service. One of the entrees was goose--I asked our waiter if the goose was cooked in the German style in which the goose is crisp--the waiter snapped "I am NOT from Germany, I am from Denmark!"--apparently because he had an accent he thought my question meant I thought he was German--I did not think that and my question was actually based upon my vast knowledge of
food and the menu description. I then inquired if the goose was cooked through--he said "not at all" and told us it was virtually raw. Not wishing to eat raw poultry, I asked if they could cook it a little more--he actually said "the chef will probably throw me out of his kitchen for asking that"--are you kidding me? I seriously had to stifle my laugh. He said he would try and apparently, since there were no bruises on him, the chef did not attack him. After a heavenly 13 course wine paired meal at Chef Mavro without an ounce of pretention, this bloated, pompous and overrated place did not cut it. I also felt very sorry for every single man eating at the restaurant because they were all wet with sweat because the restaurant imposes long sleeved collared shirt and jacket, yet it is NOT air conditioned!!! Even with the jacket off, the men were sweating.