Brothers’ “Chefs’ Table” is double the fun at Royal Hawaiian

Story and photos by Diane Armitage

When the Molteni brothers purchased the iconic Royal Hawaiian in January, Laguna Beach was in for a rare treat.

While Chef Martin and Chef Maro have independently operated award-winning kitchens all over the world, they’ve also supported and created in each other’s restaurant kitchens for decades, wordlessly and inherently playing to the other’s strengths.

“We’ve worked together in kitchens since we were kids,” says Chef Maro Molteni. “So, every time we’re together again, it just locks in fluidly. It’s easy.”

Brothers Chefs duo

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Chef Martin Molteni, left, with little brother and Co-Chef Maro Molteni of Royal Hawaiian Fire Grill

This certainly proved the case this last Saturday evening when they chose to co-host a Chefs’ Table dinner in their revitalized private dining room at the Royal Hawaiian Fire Grill. The brothers scheduled two such dinners, with this coming Friday, Aug 2 still offering a few seats at 7 p.m.

A 10-Course Exquisite Dinner

Saturday’s Chefs’ Table was nothing short of extraordinary. Greeted at the door with a glass of Veuve Cliquot, it only improved from there as the brothers served dish after dish with cocktail and wine pairings for each.

True to their Royal Hawaiian duo-world menu that combines Argentinian coastal cooking roots with historical Hawaiian coastal favorites, Chefs Martin and Maro explained they would be doing the same for this dinner.

Brothers Chefs ceviche

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Geoduck Ceviche is prepped and ready for the Chefs’ Dinner

The menu started with a giant Littleneck Clam on ice, followed by a rare Geoduck Ceviche, fresh-caught Sea Bass Sashimi, Ahi Tuna Tartar and Sweetbreads. With each entry, the chefs explained the dish and poured fresh wine.

Already stuffed to our own human gills, a glorious Wagyu Empanada was followed by an even more glorious, melt-in-your-mouth Wagyu steak.

Brothers Chefs torte

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Rogel Torta brings down the house at the Chefs’ Dinner event

The brothers finished the evening with a duo of desserts – an Argentinian favorite, a magnificent Rogel Torta, and an “American favorite,” a flourless Lava Cake adorned in bright, fresh tropical fruits.

While there are no promises that the same menu will be in play this coming Friday, guests can be assured that this Chefs’ Table dinner will be a most memorable one and well worth the $100/person investment. Chefs Martin and Maro are world-class talented innovators. Grab the last of the Friday seats at their website at

 The best-selling author and blogger on The Best of Laguna Beach, Diane Armitage is on an endless quest for the most imaginative adventures in Laguna’s restaurants, events, and lifestyle.