Actor Enjoys “The Life” at Fine RestaurantDining With the Stars
January 14, 2020
Story By: Anne Lee | Photos by: LAWRENCE TABUDLO
Dining with ADRIAN R’MANTE at LA VIE
Best known for his role as Esteban Julio Ricardo Montoya de la Rosa Ramirez in the Disney Channel’s The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, Adrian R’Mante has been an actor for more than 20 years. Although that’s the show that put him on the map, he has also appeared in Hawaii Five-0. He recently stopped into town to ﬁlm a few episodes of Magnum P.I. and discuss his favorite restaurant, La Vie at the Ritz Carlton Waikiki.
La Vie, which means “the life” in French, provides guests an extraordinary dining modern French experience led by general manager Dusty Grable (also interviewed here), executive chef Shaymus Alwin, and chef de cuisine Patrick Collins.
R’Mante has dual passions in life — acting and great food — and he chatted with La Vie’s Grable and Dining Out about his career and love for exquisite cuisine.
“I started at the age of 17. I did a play when I was in high school,” shares R’Mante. “I loved the reaction from the audience, and it changed my life. I knew that I wanted to do this for the rest of my life — perform.”
Read on to learn more of R’Mante and how he found his way to La Vie in Waikiki.
AL: Adrian, what brings you to Hawaii?
AR: I used to be a high school teacher, teaching ninth and 10th grade English for five years in Los Angeles, while I pursued an acting career, as I didn’t want to be a starving artist. In my ﬁfth year teaching I booked The Suite Life of Zack & Cody. I ﬁnally was able to give up my day job. But I missed my day job. I missed mentoring and working with young people. In the height of my show, I created a program for actors, and I was able to get my celebrity friends to also work with this group of kids. I started this in L.A. and now it takes me all over the world — United States, Canada, Australia.
About four years ago, I decided to come to Hawaii to search for actors and by far Hawaii has been the most successful state in terms of ﬁnding quality actors, the talent here is amazing. I was also able to meet Nancy Bernal and eventually got onto Hawaii 5-0 and Magnum P.I. (The episode aired on Dec. 15).
Our next program will be in February, if you know a child that is talented, you don’t know what to do, how to get started, go to my website or email info@ cgtv.la and we can connect from there. We specialize in younger talent 25 and under. Why up to 25? If you are 24, 25 you still look like a teenager. (For more information about R’Mante’s program, visit: CGTV.LA. Also follow him on Instagram @adrianrmante.)
AL: What type of cuisine do you prefer?
AR: I am a foodie, my favorite restaurants are located in Pasadena, California and Auckland, New Zealand. La Vie came into mind as it aligns with the type of sophistication of food that I love — the preparation, service. You can have the best food in the world but if the service isn’t there, it affects the whole meal. I just love restaurants that care about their customers, and I feel welcome, like they know me. La Vie has the same type of vibe that I am used to.
DG: We are having a lot of fun with La Vie, service is a big part of what we are doing, hospitality is the core of what we do. The approach to the menu is a unique one. You can pick three, four, ﬁve items on the menu and create your very own tasting menu. Guests have their own preferences so instead of having a chef’s tasting, we want diners to have their own bespoke tasting. If you are pescatarian, you can choose the ﬁsh items. The idea of trying to take certain factors out of the question, such as price really allows a guest to sit back, relax and enjoy.
AL: What does La Vie bring to the Hawaii food scene?
DG: We recognize if hospitality is our focus that needs to be inclusive, not exclusive in any way. So often there’s an afterthought for guests with dietary restrictions or preferences. We want to have every guest that sits down for dinner to be able to have a full vegan, full vegetarian menu, and a full gluten-free menu, on top of the already create your own, ﬂexible menu. Our culinary team is an incredible team and passionate and supportive of these challenging ideas.
AL: If you had to eat one item every day for a year, what would that be and why?
AR: If I knew that I wouldn’t get fat, I love gourmet ribs, the one marinated for like four days from Houston’s.
DG: If I could — I adore mochiko sesame fried chicken