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Honolulu and Oahu Restaurants

La Mer

  • 2199 Kalia Rd. Map It
  • $$$$
  • French

Updated 01/17/2014

Fodor's Review

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.

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Restaurant Information

Address:

Halekulani, 2199 Kalia Rd., Honolulu, Hawaii, 98615, USA

Map It

Phone:

808-923–2311

Restaurant Details:

  • Credit cards accepted
  • No lunch
  • Reservations essential

Updated 01/17/2014

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Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating

By annw

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Feb 22, 2009

Great for business or pleasure

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.

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Dec 17, 2008

La Attitude

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.

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By Robert

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Aug 14, 2006

No more romantic table & view exists i=on our planet.

A Pearl in what has become a tacky metroplois ... the only Michelin Star experience available in the islands.

By Karen

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May 31, 2006

Nice Meal

La Mer has a lovely ambience and relaxed servers - a bit too relaxed. We're all for laid back, but our dinner took 4 hours and was too long between courses. (we had the degustation menu) The service took so long, we ran out of wine and had to order another half bottle. This added considerably to the bill. The food was excellent and well presented, and we liked the champagne to start, but we've had better. We thought it was over priced compared

to other high end dining experiences we've had in North America. Worth a trip, but slow and overpriced.

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By Debi

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Feb 26, 2006

So memorable!!

The best meal I've had in my life!!

By Michael

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Nov 18, 2005

The Royals

Exceptional. We ended up having dinner here twice during our stay. The food, service, staff, etc... was just excellent. The view is probably the best you will receive in Honolulu. Very romantic. I can not say anything negative when it comes to this restaurant. You pay for you get.

By Alan

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Mar 23, 2005

Best restaurant on Earth

I've eaten at the Ritz in Paris, posh eateries in Beverly Hills, the Savoy in London and elsewhere, and La Mer at the Halekulani is my absolute favorite restaurant on Earth. It is perfection. Sitting at a corner table, looking out at Diamond Head while the sea breeze wafts gently in, with a glorious sunset going on, amazingly delcious food. It's simply Heaven. It's a dream that's real. And I'm going back in June! Can't wait.

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Jan 26, 2005

A very special place

We ate at La Mer in December 2004. We had the chef's special fixed price menu (which I believe was $75.00 per person, all courses included). We both agreed it was the most memorable dining experience we ever had. We had purchased a package, so we used a voucher for the dinner. The gratuity was pre-determined and included in the voucher, and yet the service was as respectful and attentive as if we were ordering a la carte. We didn't feel any pressure

to order wine. We selected the inexpensive house cabernet. The sommelier took our order with the same gracious respect that he would accord someone ordering wine costing hundreds of dollars. I was impressed, as I was on the lookout for any hint of snobbishness. We were also given a lovely table with a prime view. The food was just outstanding - imaginative, exquisite, delicious. But...Yes,I did notice that the waiter spoke to my husband first...but my husband made a point of deferring to me each time with a subtle motion of his hand... and this made the waiter aware of the dynamic we preferred. There are many cultures represented among visitors to Hawaii. Do you suppose it might be that some cultures prefer that the man be the one interacting with the waitstaff? Or, as one previous poster suggested, this is considered proper (if dated) etiquette. No matter what is behind it, I'm sure they meant no disrespect. We plan to dine there again twice when we return this coming year (we've already booked). Please don't pass this restaurant by based solely on a few unfortunate experiences reflected in the postings here, because you will honestly be missing out on something so very special.

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By Trish

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Dec 13, 2004

Ocean Breezes and French Cuisine

Superb location and fabulous food make this Number 1.

By May

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Jan 21, 2004

Romantic, but not much else

Agree with the other posters who said this place is the ultimate in romantic on Oahu - get a oceanside table for the best view. Being greeted with champagne and a quiche appetizer was a nice tough, as was the plate of chocolates after dessert. Food was excellent (lobster and opakapaka), portions adequate. I was disappointed they only had 1 salad (appetizer) on offer. The waitstaff is a bit stuffy (and they didn't seem thrilled when we did not

order wine). The food at Alan Wong's and Hoku's is better, but you can't beat this atmosphere.

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By Kathy

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Aug 8, 2003

Services Needs Updating

We stayed at Halekulani and ate at La Mer our first night on the island. The scenery is very beautiful and food is good. But the service was sexist and appalling. It ruined the whole evening. The captain, wait staff and sommelier spoke only to my husband. "Mr. S, how are your dinners?" "Mr S, can I be of any help selecting a wine?" "Mr S, how is the wine?" "Welcome Mr. S and your lovely guest". This type of service is not the mark of good

manners but the imagination of someone failing to realize that its 2003. Not to mention I paid $350 for the pleasure of being reminded that women once actually were second class citizens - and far higher than much better meals we had on the island. Try Chef Mavro, Alan Wong's, 3660 on the Rise and L'Uraku instead.

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By Kim

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May 6, 2001

BEST ATMOSPERE

This is it for atmosphere on Oahu. Lovely setting, excellent service and very good food. Order the tasting menu for a real treat. Most romantic place in town!

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