Don’t Be Afraid To Ask
From hearty salads to comforting sandwiches, La Tour Café is known for doing simple food right. Originally owned by the Lam family, the casual dining restaurant has gathered a loyal customer fanbase since opening in 2011 on Nimitz Highway. Today, there are five locations throughout the island of O’ahu.
Customers love La Tour Café’s freshly baked artisan breads, which elevate the quality of the flatbread pizzas, sandwiches and burgers. “The Lams have always been savvy of bread – they used to own Ba-Le Sandwich Shop,” says Chris Gee, part owner and corporate chef, “They made their own bread, experimented and came up with a proprietary baguette. Because of their history of making breads, this inspired various menu items like our best-selling dish, the French Dip sandwich.” Other popular dishes on the menu are the La Tour Burger, the "Pho"-ggie and the Goat Cheese and Beet Salad.
But one thing most people may not know is that La Tour Café offers dishes that can accommodate allergies, healthy diets and lifestyles. Starting next month in July, La Tour Café will be launching new dishes for local vegans. Gee says, “We meet every month to discuss our menu and change our specials quarterly. Since we’ve been receiving a large number of requests for plant-based, vegan food, we’ve decided to change things up and introduce vegan dishes.”
The menu will soon feature an intriguing vegan pizza made with pickles and jackfruit. But Gee also says that most salads at La Tour Cafe can be modified to fit your needs and other dishes can be changed if you ask ahead of time. For example, the macarons are gluten-free, made with almond flour, sugar, egg whites and a butter cream filling. There are up to 16 different flavors every day, ranging from classics like vanilla, chocolate and strawberry to more unique flavors like lilikoi, peppermint and guava.
For people on a ketogenic diet (high fat, low carb), the Caprese Salad is a colorful and flavorful option: arcadian greens, local diced cucumbers, grape tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and balsamic or pesto dressing.
If you can’t eat dairy, try the Falafel Banh Mi, which is made with a spicy pepper harissa hummus, pickled local daikon made in-house, spices and olive oil. The sandwich arrives in an organic baguette with the perfect amount of chew.
“For customers who are on a specific diet, I want them to know that they are more than welcome to inquire whether a dish on our menu is safe for them to eat,” says Gee. “We are happy to modify a dish or recommend other options on the menu. Don’t be afraid to ask!”