About the Entrepreneur
What started as a pop-up and farmer’s market favorite has become one of the most sought-after restaurants in Honolulu’s historic Chinatown. The Pig and the Lady was created by Andrew Le in 2011 and is known for his globally accented, modern Vietnamese cuisine. The restaurant concept is the perfect blend of Andrew’s formal culinary training and palate and his mother’s Vietnamese sense of “home” and motherly love.
While you’ll catch Andrew and Mama Le calling the shots in the kitchen, you’ll be greeted at the front of the house by brother and son, Alex Le. Lovingly referred to as “The Older Pig," Alex completes the family-run restaurant and has played a vital role in gaining Pig and the Lady’s rabid and loyal following. Since it’s pop-up days, the Pig and the Lady has found permanent homes in Honolulu’s Chinatown and Ward.
More with Andrew and Alex
What do you love about your business?
Andrew: We’re incredibly fortunate to be working with a dedicated team. Everybody there puts in 110%. They all care about what we’re doing, and so for me, that’s the main motivator to get out of bed and be a part of the team.
Alex: What motivates me is that we’re so involved in the community. We have so much support that drives us to do what we do every day: feed people and make people happy.
How was navigating a restaurant business in the midst of a pandemic?
Andrew: The pandemic specifically affected our service industry in a very challenging way. It was a big adjustment, but our team is very dedicated. When we’re faced with challenges, we always come up with creative solutions and then find the silver lining of what we’re doing. So in essence, we haven’t lost that ability to bring joy to people—just the way we do it is different.
What lessons will you carry into the future?
Andrew: Perseverance gets you through a lot of things. When you have incredible challenges to tackle, just try to be focused and keep moving forward.
Alex: Perseverance is a quality you gotta have. I think the reason we were able to survive this is because we are very passionate people, passionate about our food, our restaurant, our staff. Failure wasn’t an option for us.
How did you start working with Hawaii National Bank?
Alex: Our family used to own Toys n Joys in Kaimuki and Hawaii National Bank on 9th Avenue was our first bank. They were our first bank back in 1984 so we’ve already worked with them for a long time. We’ve had several different people that worked with us at the bank, every single one of them, it just felt natural. They would come to support us and they understand the restaurant, the business, and where we started.
“Real success is being able to help the community.”