La Mer

Upscale French Dining at La Mer: Indulge in an Elite Experience at Honolulu's Most Decorated Establishment
Local Expert's Rating:
4.5 / 5
The Bottom Line:

As Hawaii's most glamorous restaurant, La Mer is widely known for its upscale atmosphere and gourmet menu. Ocean views elevate this opulent experience. Order a la carte or try the tasting menu. Either way, you'll quickly realize why this award-winning establishment receives so much praise. 

- The Local Expert Team

Casual eats abound in Honolulu, but what if you crave a distinctly upscale experience? Look no further than La Mer, which blends the best of French and Hawaiian sensibilities to create something truly special. You’ll certainly pay for the privilege, but you’ll come away with priceless memories. 

As the only AAA Fine Dining restaurant in Hawaii, La Mer represents the epitome of local gourmet cuisine. This restaurant has also received Five Stars from Forbes. Just as importantly, it consistently garners high praise from visitors of all types, who appreciate the pampering they receive throughout every moment of this indulgent dining experience.

Local ingredients are heavily represented on the La Mer menu, but most dishes are inspired by exquisite French flavors and preparation methods. Ordering can feel a bit confusing at first; you can either order à la carte or try the tasting menu. The Degustation menu, in particular, is a culinary whirlwind that will expose you to all kinds of exquisite flavors.

All menu items are described in French, although English translations are also included to make ordering a bit easier. Once you’ve successfully ordered, take a moment to absorb this spectacular environment — especially the mesmerizing view of the ocean. Details such as the romantic decor and the spiffy white jackets on the waitstaff will also stand out.

As your menu selections arrive, you’ll be blown away by the presentation. There’s no denying the attention to detail, which makes these hors d’oeuvres look far too good to eat. This detail-oriented approach extends to the intricate flavors and textures, so each bite is a truly remarkable experience.

No meal at La Mer is complete without a glass of fine wine. The selection here is amazing. Don’t hesitate to ask the sommelier for help with pairing. The inventive cocktails are also worth a try, as they incorporate unique ingredients such as green chartreuse. If you have extra time to kill, sip on a cocktail in the Lewers Lounge prior to your meal. 

A few of our favorite menu items include the following:

Crown Jewel Caviar
The caviar service can quickly elevate an already glamorous visit to La Mer. While the menu includes several compelling choices, the appropriately named Crown Jewel is a worthwhile selection. Referred to on the menu as “la crème de la crème,” this velvety caviar features gold and silver flecks. 

Agneau Rôti aux Epices Galantes: Roasted Lamb With Spice
Beautifully presented, La Mer’s take on roasted lamb includes unexpected, but delicious elements such as daikon roll, black garlic, and eggplant with onion. 

Homard Poché: Poached Lobster
If you enjoy upscale seafood but also adore chorizo, you’re in luck: this memorable take on poached lobster integrates flavorful chorizo to great effect. Featuring a chorizo cream sauce as well as a swirl of tomato chorizo, the lobster dish also comes with a unique squid ink gnocchi.  

Chilean Seabass Poche: Poached Chilean Seabass
Another excellent poached option from La Mer, this poached seabass features a memorable mousseline sauce that incorporates edamame. Other highlights include himeji mushrooms, sea asparagus, zucchini, and the classic creaminess of beurre blanc. 

Soufflé de Hawaii
Treat yourself to a delightful souffle, which features a trio of sauces you won’t quickly forget: black tea, caramelia, and mango. Strawberry elderflower nibs make the souffle extra special.

Discover the gastronomical delights of La Mer, where you’re encouraged to slow down and luxuriate in classic French flavors and romantic Hawaiian ambiance. You’ll never forget this remarkable dining experience.

Insider Tips:
-As a fine dining establishment, La Mer maintains a strict dress code. Aloha shirts are perfectly acceptable, but golf shirts aren’t allowed. Denim and open-toed shoes are also out of the question. 
-If you’re not staying at the Halekulani Hotel, take advantage of the restaurant’s valet parking. This will give you the opportunity to take in the hotel’s splendid entryway, 
-While the wine selection is impressive, you’re allowed to bring your own bottle. Keep in mind, however, that you’ll need to pay a significant corkage fee for this privilege.