Today is: Thursday, October 19, 2017
Luau Restaurant Review
Looking for a unique dining experience in Beverly Hills? Luau Restaurant is a diamond in the heart of Beverly Hills. This
Hawaiian-inspired dining to the next level, but doesn’t lose sight of its roots. With an island atmosphere complete with the
amazing retro decor, superb service and magnificent food, Luau offers
a dining among exotic plant life. Distinctive sushi rolls as
well as an
expansive dinner menu is sure to satisfy any appetite. Choose to
begin or end your evening with Luau’s high-quality
When you dine at the Luau Restaurant you literally get the feeling of being at
Waikiki, Honolulu or Oahu excluding the islands extinct
volcanoes. This new
upscale Polynesian restaurant is truly an amazing place to dine, to celebrate,
or just to enjoy a live, colorful
ambience of an amazing restaurant that
takes your breath away while enjoying cocktails or a delicious meal.
The decor is appropriately festive: Loree Rodkin infused the space with her signature style to create a seductive and tropical
experience. The décor creates a contemporary Balinese-inspired Zen-like space highlighted by natural elements of wood and stone.
Guests enter under a thatch awning and through towering 600 pound custom steel and bronze doors, engraved with a bamboo design. The
front door is flanked by two hand-cut granite fountains filled with iridescent abalone shells. A specially-designed LUAU placard hand
painted in 24 karat gold and set in glass reflects off of the water. The entry opens into an intimate bar area lined on the left side
with large, Murano
glass tiles and lit by three hanging Fortuny lamps. The teak and caeser stone bar
which showcases a wide selection
of premium rums, is anchored on either side
by two hand-etched bronze Buddha hands housed in tranquil granite fountains.
A large canvas
print of the signature Tiki salt and pepper shaker from the
original Luau, hangs on the right wall that divides the bar and dining
In the main dining room, thirty three lit Puffer Fish hang from a bamboo
raft suspended from the ceiling to create a striking
chandelier in the center of
the dining room. A Royal Palm Tiki hand-carved by famed carver ‘Tiki Ray’
and modeled after the signature
Tiki from the original Luau, presides over the
dining room from the left corner. On the adjacent wall, a dramatic Buddha
showcases bronze Buddha hands and Papua New Guinea masks that
pop against backlit translucent panels that boast reed embedded in
The exotic cocktails, made with only the finest ingredients including premium aged rums and fresh juices squeezed on-site, are served
in contemporary glassware. Signature cocktails like the BoLo, made with fresh pineapple juice and rum and
the LUAU Coconut, made with a
blend of fresh juices, coconut milk and rum
are served in bona fide fashion in fresh carved fruit like hollowed pineapple and
coconut shell. The new Luau is a Polynesian restaurant opened by Il Sole Ristorante restaurateur Andy Hewitt. It features a pan-Asian
includes curries, spicy shrimp and, of course, a pupu platter. Equally
important, they serve the requisite fruity alcoholic
Using the freshest ingredients of any locale, wrought with the same sense
of fun and freedom found at restaurants in the Pacific
The amazing atmosphere is complemented by the epicurean delights prepared by the staff of experienced chefs under the direction of Chef
Mako Tanaka, who served as the original chef for Wolfgang Puck’s Chinois on Main, used his trademark contemporary take on Asian cuisine
to craft the Pacific Rim-fusion menu that caters
to family-style dining. Inspired by the original, Mako reinvented the menu with fresh
interpretations of classic Polynesian dishes like a Pupu platter which features specialties like Wagyu meatballs, Fire Cracker Shrimp,
Kalua Pulled Pork
Springrolls with Pineapple Hoisin Sauce and Tamarind Glazed Ribs. The menu
is rounded out with original signature
dishes like, Banana Leaf-wrapped Halibut, Macadamia and Potato Crusted Ono with Thai Basil Pesto and Fennel Salad, Chabroiled Filet
Mignon with Red Curry and Basmati Rice plus Mako’s twist
on Ping Pei chicken and exotic takes on traditional desserts like
Tiramisu and Key Lime Tart with Macadamia
Nut Curst, served with vanilla ice cream.
As we walk in to Luau we’re met by pleasant hostesses who lead us to our seat. We feel as if we have entered a Hawaiian cove, with an
amazing décor and foliage being the theme throughout the establishment. As we descend to the main dining area I admire the scenes
either side of the dining area. Throughout the dining room crushed bamboo walls are adorned with authentic Papua New Guinea masks and a
traditional Polynesian Tapa Paper housed in a Larson-Juhl frame. Classic Polynesian accents like Easter Island Heads dot the space.
Authentic Turkish lanterns highlight imported black coral and create a soft glow that reflects of off two walls covered in thousands of
small tiles of laser cut Murano glass creating a warm and sultry dining experience.
I am hard-pressed to think of another establishment that you will enjoy as much
as this. After all the décor is not only gorgeous, but
looks impressive, it adds
an island soundtrack to our meal. The service is sublime and the
entire team makes you feel like a
The clientele at Luau is diverse. Families are
welcome there, as well as large groups gathering for celebrations.
On the night of our
visit both of these groups are represented, with a family
on one side of us and a birthday celebration on the other. With the amount of
colorful cocktails and water-inspired bar seating, Luau can also serve as a
great starting point for an evening on the town.
Our server, who is very attentive and helpful with our selections, from the moment we order our drinks; my guest had the Mai Tai and I
had a wonderful Merlot Rombauer Carneros, 2005 a perfect wine for my meal. She helped us navigate the incredibly expansive menu. We
start our meal with an assortment of appetizers,
listed on the menu in Hawaiian as “Pupu Platters”.
The Kahlua Pulled Pork Spring Rolls; is served with a Kurobuta Pork with Pineapple Hoisin Sauce. Perfectly crisp. The Wagya Kobe
Meatballs, delicious with American Kobe Beef and pineapple glaze. The Tamarind Glazed Pork Ribs that melts in
your mouth and the Fire
Cracker Shrimp; a light tempura batter with crispy
rice, coconut; served with “Tosa” soy dipping sauce. This Pupu
platter is a
delicious and light way to start off the meal.
Curried Vegetables Lettuce Cup
Soon to follow are more not to be missed Appetizers, as per our server’s suggestion, there were some incredible items that we should
try such as the The Luau Poke, it
is like a light delightfully fresh salad, made with Wild King Salmon, Ahi Tuna and Yellowtail mixed
with Cucumber, Avocado, and Macadamia Nuts with spices,
this one was big enough to be shared in 4 people. Next we tried the Unagi;
grilled Freshwater eel served on top of ginger and garlic risotto cakes, again, my
guest who loves eel, commented that this was the
best eel of his life! You must
try it! And finally the Curried Vegetables Lettuce Cup, if you are vegetarian
you will adore this dish,
it is made with Chopped fresh vegetables,
Shitake Mushrooms, and Crispy Tofu, with coconut curry sauce.
Szechuan Peppercorn New York Steak
For our entrees, Luau really shines in the category of taste and presentation. The Szechuan Peppercorn New York, which is Prime New
York Steak dry aged 35
days, seasoned, grilled, and crusted with Black, Pink, and Szechuamn Peppercorns with Washington State Alderwood
Smoked Salt and Hawaiian Pink & Black
Salt, served with Asian Steak Sauce and Kochuchang Sauce and Tarot Root
Fries. The fries are
truly good and balance the dish together, combining out
the flavors of the meat. Showcasing a sweet taste, the meat is tender
portion is great enough for more than 2 people.
Whole Roasted Chilean Sea Bass
The Whole Roasted Chilean Sea bass is served over Garlic Bok Choy. What makes this dish stand out is the perfect preparation in the
wood burning oven; with Soy glazed sauce. This is truly enjoyable and exciting fish that could easily feed 4 people.
Wok Maine Lobster
We also had the pleasure of tasting their out of this world Wok Lobster; a live
Maine Lobster in a spicy Thai basil sauce served with
flat Japanese noodles, I
can say that we could not ask for a better meal, this dish was simply divine!
The dessert menu is rich and…sweet, if you will. With offerings such as Passion Fruit Tart or Key Lime Tart with Macadamia Nut Crust,
it is diverse and also outstanding.
Again we were surprised by our server, who sent us a sweet tasting that included the Upside down Pineapple chaos; caramelized
pineapple upside down cake served
with French Vanilla Ice Cream, a Coconut Cheese Cake and finally the
famous Molten Chocolate Lava
cake; all these desserts were superb
and left us feeling the tropical breeze of the Big Island.
Visiting Luau is like stepping into a Hawaiian oasis behind a sparkling waterfall. The desert outside is a distant memory, replaced by
the green and blue tones of the islands. Located in a part of town where you still may come across a busy road and a fair share of
traffic cones, it’s a nice break from the parade of fast food in this chic area.
As we exit the restaurant, the host lures us back for future visits by telling us to come back again… As if we needed to be
For map and location click Here!
Article By: Mary Adams
Photos By: Chris Marx
|© 2013-2015 Buzz of Los Angeles (All Rights Reserved)