Luxurious Cuisine

Cover Story

June 2, 2024

Story By: Dining Out Team | Photos by: Mark Galacgac

Lasagna de la Maison ($31)

Located in the Ritz-Carlton Residences at Waikiki Beach, La Vie is a contemporary restaurant that highlights local ingredients and collaborations with the community. Through its French cuisine, La Vie strives to offer diners with a sense of place and appreciation of Hawaii. The eatery invites guests to take a unique approach to multi-course dining by creating their own menu from the chef’s seasonal selections.

We spoke to G. Lion Hawaii’s beverage director, Ariana Tsuchiya, and La Vie’s chef de cuisine, Patrick Collins, to learn more about La Vie’s offerings.

DO: What makes La Vie unique from other eateries?

AT: At La Vie, we believe in making dining a delightful and unique experience. What sets us apart is our modern take on multicourse dining. Instead of the typical prix fixe menus that can feel a bit rigid, we offer a variety of choices for each course. This way, you can pick the dishes that excite you the most, making your meal feel truly special.

We’re also very mindful of allergies and dietary restrictions. Our team is always ready to accommodate your needs, ensuring everyone can enjoy their meal comfortably.

Our open-air dining room provides a relaxed and inviting atmosphere with stunning views of Waikiki’s skyline and the Pacific Ocean. And to make your evening even more special, we have live piano music every night. We want to create a warm, welcoming and memorable dining experience for all our guests.

DO: Can you tell us about your bestselling dishes?

PC: Our Marinated Beets + Chèvre ($23), which is a crisp salad, highlights the beautiful work of our local farmers. Hirabara Farms beets and baby romaine are dressed with a raspberry vinaigrette and paired with crumbled goat cheese from Sweet Land Farm in Waialua. Toasted ground black sesame, shaved baby fennel and fresh raspberry round out the flavors.

The Lasagna de la Maison ($31) — our house lasagna — is a nod to the iconic French starter, escargot. J Ludovico Farm chicken is turned into a ragout and layered between pasta sheets before getting crisped and topped with braised snails, roasted chanterelle mushrooms and garlic ramp pesto.

The AAA White Asparagus ($29) is a seasonal favorite consisting of asparagus from Holland paired with our smoked “ham” made from rose veal raised on the Big Island. (It is) garnished with toasted macadamia nuts, orange supremes and sauce fleurette made with Waialua eggs.

For our Kanpachi au Poivre ($49), we carefully age Kona kanpachi in-house for 10 days to bring out rich meaty umami that pairs beautifully with the black peppercorn crust and red wine sauce. Pan roasted cauliflower and hen of the woods mushroom round out the bold flavors for this savory entree.

The Gateau Ispahan ($16) is a classic flavor combination from the famous French pastry chef Pierre Herme. The cake consists of an almond biscuit with lychee-rose-flavored mousse and a gelee made from raspberry and brachetto wine. The plate is garnished with fresh raspberries, almond meringues and fresh tarragon.

These dishes are also available on the House Menu ($120 for four courses) and the Sunset Menu ($99 for four courses). The latter is exclusively available from 5 to 6 p.m.

DO: What’s your favorite dish on the menu?

PC: My favorite dish on the menu has to be our Fried Chicken & Champagne set ($59), available every Wednesday! This dish holds a special place in my heart because it’s how my wife and I have celebrated many birthdays, anniversaries and special occasions. It’s such a joy to share this personal tradition with our team and guests.

Not only is it a fun and unique combination that our guests love to take photos with, but it also tastes incredible. Pairing crispy fried chicken with a great glass of Champagne feels like elevated comfort.

DO: Can you elaborate on the restaurant’s name?

PC: Our restaurant’s name, La Vie, is French for “the life,” which beautifully captures the essence of what we offer. The name reflects the strong influence of French cuisine on our menu, drawing from French flavors and techniques from around the world.

But La Vie is more than just a nod to French tradition. It represents the vibran cy we bring to our dining experience. Our menu is ever changing, evolving with the seasons as we incorporate the freshest ingredients available. This approach ensures that there’s always something new and exciting for our guests to enjoy.

We also infuse life into our concept by using local ingredients and collaborating with our community. This not only supports local producers but also brings a unique, regional twist to our dishes. By blending the traditions of French cuisine with the flavors and spirit of Hawaii, we aim to give our diners a true sense of place and an appreciation for both life and the beautiful surroundings of our island.

DO: Do you have anything special or new going on this month?

AT: On June 6, we’re hosting a Macallan Whisky Dinner. It is already fully booked, but we are wait-listing guests.

If you’re interested in these unique and fun concept dinners, we encourage you to follow us on Instagram (@laviewaikiki). This is the best way to stay updated on all our future events and ensure you don’t miss out on our upcoming experiences.

DO: What else is in store for La Vie this year?

AT: We have some exciting plans in store for La Vie in 2024! One of the highlights will be our new tableside cocktails. We’ve created The Nightcap as an homage to our “big brother” restaurant, Hy’s Steak House, in honor of their reopening and as a remembrance of our pop-up experience during their closure. This tableside flaming cocktail features Knob Creek G.LION barrel Select Rye, Coffee, and Crème de Cacao, providing a spectacular and delicious end to your meal.

In July, we’re extending the celebration of National Caviar Day throughout the entire month with a special collaboration with The Caviar Co., a female-owned, sustainable company renowned for its high-quality caviar. We’ll be offering exclusive caviar and Champagne specials, making it a perfect time to indulge!

DO: What would you say to encourage people to dine here?

PC: We offer a $99 Sunset Menu that provides a more approachable way to experience our unique and delightful dishes, while still enjoying the flexibility of our “choices” concept.

Additionally, our House Menu is available as à la carte selections, allowing you to mix and match your favorites. And if you’re looking for a special way to enjoy Friday night fireworks, join us on Fridays for an unforgettable evening with stunning views.

383 Kalaimoku St, Honolulu, HI 96815

Hawaii's Best
Hawaii's Best