Lemongrass Grill – Kauai

Lemongrass Vietnamese & Thai Cuisine - A Delightful Tour of Asian Flavors
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Lemongrass Vietnamese & Thai Cuisine is off the beaten path, but it's managed to score big points with the locals. Known for pulling the best of both worlds from Vietnam and Thailand, the menu is packed with a number of favorites (including bahn mi, pho, and Pad Thai). Stop by for casual, friendly service with a smile. 

- The HawaiianIslands.com Local Expert Team

Lemongrass Vietnamese & Thai Cuisine offers a number of traditional dishes from some of the tastiest regions of Asia. Pho, Pad Thai, and bahn mis are all on the menu here, which has made the establishment a favorite with many of the locals in Kailua. This eatery also has an extensive vegetarian menu with everything from summer rolls to satehs to salads to curries. 

Lemongrass has a mild citrus flavor to it, and it’s used all over the continent to enhance a variety of dishes. Everything from soups to seafood has benefitted from it in one form or another (be it powdered, dried, or fresh). This restaurant pays homage to the herb and ensures the delicate flavor shines through on a plate or in a bowl. 

This restaurant is known for homemade dishes in a casual atmosphere. While the ambiance isn’t fancy though, the dishes are anything but basic. Patrons rave about both the complexity of the flavors and the number of menu items to choose from. Food quality can be hit or miss here at times. 

We recommend the following if you’re stopping here:

Tom Thit Ga Nuong (Grilled Chicken and Shrimp)
This Vietnamese dish is grilled chicken and shrimp served with your choice of brown rice, sticky rice, white rice, or noodles. Excellent for when you want a lighter dish that’s still heavy on flavor, we recommend the extra protein after a long day of exploring the island. All noodle dishes at Lemongrass are served on a bed of bean sprouts, cucumber, and lettuce, and topped with fried shallots and chopped peanuts. 

Red Curry 
The Thai red curry here is cooked with eggplant, bell pepper, basil, bamboo shoots, and straw mushroom. The curry is served over shredded cabbage and brown, white, or sticky rice. Try this hot if you’re in the mood for something spicy. 

Banh Mi Tom Nuong (Grilled Shrimp)
If it only takes one look at the ocean before you’ve got seafood on your mind, the grilled shrimp sandwich here is delicious. The marinated shrimp is served on fresh French bread complete with carrots, cucumber, and pickled daikon. The tangy veggies balance out every bite and help give this Vietnamese staple its excellent reputation. 

Lemon Grass Chicken with Rice
This dish features marinated chicken with the signature herb, fish sauce, onions, chili, and yellow curry. This dish is excellent for someone who wants a savory meal with just the right hint of sweetness. Without going overboard on either side, Lemongrass has a knack for getting the combination just right. 

Banana Spring Roll 
Spring rolls can be a great choice for either an appetizer or dessert. One of the local bananas on the island is known as the apple banana and Lemongrass makes full use of it in this dish. This dwarf variety is paired with brown sugar, chopped peanuts, and chocolate syrup and deep-fried to perfection. The dusting of Saigon cinnamon is the proverbial icing on the cake. 

If you’re looking for authentic Thai or Vietnamese (whether takeout or dine-in), Lemongrass Vietnamese & Thai Cuisine has managed to impress some pretty discerning palates. Stop in for noodles, rice, curry, or bahn mi dishes that will satisfy your cravings. 

Insider Tips:
-Dishes here may start at medium spice level only, so it may not be a great place for those with a low tolerance. 
-For chicken curry dishes, you have the option of choosing between breast or thigh. 
-Out-of-the-way location means plenty of parking available. 
-Portions are generous, service is friendly, and the location is clean.