5 Questions With Chef at Reopened Royal Hawaiian in Laguna Beach

Photo credit: Emily J. Davis


Executive chef and co-owner Maro Molteni from Argentina has reopened the Royal Hawaiian Fire Grill, the iconic Laguna Beach restaurant established in 1947.

The secret to your beef?
I like (beef) cuts with flavor—a top sirloin cap. The key is the way we cook it. First on the wood grill on low heat for 1½  hours. Then it rests, is cut into portions, and finished on the wood grill.

Your favorite drink?
Red wine from Argentina, a Malbec. Mendel is one of my favorites.

Biggest influence?
My older brother (and co-owner) Martin is the serious one; he is an award-winning chef. He grabbed me at 21 after I had been playing sports and told me that I needed to do something serious. That’s when I started cooking.

Biggest luxury?
A glass of wine and a little piece of meat. Five or six days a week I eat steak.

What’s your philosophy?
I played soccer, a sport in which teamwork is key. That’s true for running a restaurant.

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