- Kauai, HI -
After a long day of hiking and driving around the island, Matias and I decided to eat dinner somewhere nearby our airbnb. I had been craving Thai food, so we paid a visit to Lotus Garden Chinese & Thai Cuisine restaurant just down the street in the Foodland shopping center in Princeville. The restaurant had mixed reviews on Yelp, but the price range seemed great and like I said - I was craving Thai food! It was a Thursday evening , and the outdoor dining area in front of Lotus Garden was actually pretty full. Lotus Garden is at the end of the food court, right next to Federico’s Mexican Restaurant and The Spot.
The restaurant does not have any indoor seating. Customers simply walk in to order food and pay and then select a table outside so your food can be brought to you. Given the fact that Lotus Garden was one of the few affordable options open late into the evening, a line started to form just outside the entrance. Lucky for us, the line moved relatively quickly. Not only that, but the customer service was great. As soon as I walked into the small shop, I could see all of the action happening in the kitchen. The cooks and front staff were working hard to put together a large takeout order, and I was still greeted and helped! I was pretty unsure of what to get because of all of the different options available, like Pad Thai, Drunken Noodles, Lo Mein, and much more. But the staff helped me decide on the Drunken Noodles with tofu and veggies. They also recommended some boba, which I happily obliged and added a honeydew flavored boba drink to the order.
After placing the order, I went ahead and reserved a table in close proximity to the restaurant. The ambience was great. People were chatting with friends and family, the smell of food filled the air, hanging lights lit up the surrounding walls, and a saxophonist was playing covers of classic songs, like “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and “Besame (Mucho).” I cant forget to mention that the weather at around 8 PM was fantastic. The inviting atmosphere helped distract me from the time it took for the food to get to my table, which in my honest opinion, was not even that long to begin with. Nevertheless, the food took some time to be prepared and brought out, but it was definitely worth the wait! The Drunken Noodles exceeded all of my expectations I had for Lotus Garden. The simple ingredients were really what made the dish an instant hit for me. Even more so, the grilled tofu was incredibly flavorful and complemented the noodles and vegetables so perfectly. As for the honeydew boba, it was a little bit too sweet for me and I probably would have enjoyed it more in a smaller portion, however, it still very refreshing.
Overall, I must say that I was really surprised with Lotus Garden. The flavor of the Drunken Noodles was outstanding and the price was even better. After being in Kauai for almost a week it was nice to finally find a place that offered great food at a more affordable price. The restaurant is catered to everyone, so vegans and non-vegans alike can enjoy what Lotus Garden has to offer. And - bonus - if you can’t dine in, you can always get takeout. I know I will definitely be visiting again before heading back to LA! Thank you, Lotus Garden for an amazing meal!