The pho noodle soup features thinly sliced beef filet and brisket in a fragrant broth. It's seasoned with aromatic Saigon cinnamon, star anise, cloves, and charred ginger and onion.
The wok-seared "shaking steak" is named after the motion of the meat in the wok. It's seared and served with colorful red rice and fresh daily greens of the island kind.
The crispy calamari is first dipped into beer batter and deep fried, then accompanied by a sprinkling of scallions, jalapeno peppers and tangy Vietnamese dipping sauce.
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo
Proprietor Laura Nguyen has turned the old Auntie Pasto’s into an exotic oasis in the Queen Ka‘ahumanu Shopping Center.
All of these dishes and more may be found at the new Lemongrass Maui, located in the former Auntie Pasto's restaurant location near Sears at the Queen Ka'ahumanu Shopping Center. Some of you may recognize the owner, Laura Nguyen, from her days running Lemongrass in Lahaina.
"I sold the one in Lahaina about five years ago," says Laura with her Vietnamese accent. "I wanted to stay home with my daughter. But now she's all grown up and a manager at the Fairmont Orchid on the Big Island. I'm a single mom and I wanted to do something, so I opened this."
The result is full of feng shui and classic photos, lots of bamboo, orange tablecloths and yellow and orange walls.
"I have three chefs from Vietnam and they are all very good in the kitchen," she says. "People already have favorite dishes like the oxtail soup, the garlic prawns, and the Saigon curry."
The latter dish is full of red coconut curry with hints of cayenne, kaffir lime and stewed mushrooms and water chestnuts.
For more details, call Lemongrass at 871-5999.