Miller & Lux — the modern American steakhouse from television chef Tyler Florence — opened its first location in San Francisco in Sept. 2021, and has since expanded west. The restaurant debuted its first location outside of San Francisco at the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai on the Island of Hawaii on Dec. 14.
The new location follows a partnership from the prior year, in which Miller & Lux took over the resort’s Hualalai Grille for a two-week pop-up over the holidays. Now the restaurant has moved in permanently, bringing a club-like ambiance to the space, while blending the brand’s American steakhouse concept with local Hawaiian flavors.
Florence is a longtime fan of the Four Seasons, and when he first visited the Hawaiian property, he could not ignore a surprising stroke of kismet:
“On my first trip to meet the team at Hualalai, they brought us to the Waimea Farmers Market where we found a Paniolo Heritage Center,” Florence said. “After learning that cattle originally came to Hawaii from San Francisco, maybe even from Henry Miller and Charles Lux, the ‘Cattle Kings’ that inspired our steakhouse, I had absolutely no doubts that this island was the perfect second home for the Miller & Lux brand.”
Miller & Lux is known for its 45-day dry-aged steaks — available in cuts like filet mignon, New York strip and wagyu tomahawk — as well as fresh seafood, a tableside Caesar salad and a burger that the Michelin Guide called one of the best in California.
While much of the menu remains consistent, Miller & Lux Hualalai’s menu is not a copy and paste of the original location, but rather takes care to incorporate local ingredients and flavors in its dishes.
“Hawaii offers us an abundance of fresh ingredients,” Florence said. “The entire raw bar, our oysters and cold lobster are all locally sourced, as are the Hawaii big eye tuna tacos. The shrimp is from Kauai.”
For example, the steak tartare is made with local beef, the greens in the Caesar salad and creamed kale are harvested from a nearby farm, and the tomatoes are local to the Big Island. The bananas foster features Hawaii’s unique apple bananas, and the Hawaiian fruit tart is hyperlocal, made with fruit grown on the property.
The restaurant’s drinks menu includes an extensive wine list, plus Hawaiian beers and cocktails, like the Kona coffee-accented negroni and a margarita featuring calamansi (a Philippine lime), and hibiscus that’s rimmed with li hing mui (a salted, dried plum to native to China).
When guests cut into their steaks, they might be wielding a special knife from local blacksmith Neil Kamimura. He makes some of the world’s most coveted blades, and his knives have a multi-year waitlist. Miller & Lux Hualalai partnered with Kamimura to create a limited number of specialty steak knives forged from Damascus steel and unique natural elements, including petrified wood, bone, and semi-precious stones.
Miller & Lux Hualalai isn’t the brand’s only extension. Florence and his team, who also operate Wayfare Tavern, recently opened Miller & Lux Provisions in the heart of downtown San Francisco at Union Square. The brand offshoot offers a more casual experience that Florence describes as “a bit of cafe culture,” where guests can linger over a cup of locally roasted coffee or grab a couple of to-go items for a picnic in the park.
Split into two distinct sections bookending the plaza, the patisserie side serves breakfast sandwiches, pastries and desserts, while the rotisserie side serves rotisserie chickens, soups, salads and a few brunch dishes like smoked salmon benedict and a croque madame.
“We put the same energy toward sourcing and developing the menu at all Miller & Lux locations, but Miller & Lux Provisions has more of an everyday vibe, both in the ambiance and the cuisine,” Florence said.