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“For the "green eater"”
Review of Lotus Cafe - CLOSED

Lotus Cafe
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $12 - $24
Cuisines: Indian, Indonesian, Thai
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups
Dining options: Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Kamanu Street
Description: Our cafe has closed but we still offer the same delicious and healthy food from our Lotus Cafe Fresh Express Food Truck. Our goal at Lotus is to serve the highest quality and best tasting Asian food you have ever eaten. Using our 35 years of experience working with natural and organic foods, we have created unique recipes and sourced special ingredients, many that we grow on our farm, to bring you the flavors of Northern Thailand, Burma, India and Indonesia, all cooked without the slew of artificial ingredients commonly used in all other Asian restaurants. Our cooking techniques maximize the flavor and nutritional / medicinal benefits of the fresh herbs and spices we use. Nothing is fried in oil; mostly we braise or ingredients in the sauces we create. We use fresh herbs & spices to prepare all our sauces from scratch; bottled & canned sauces are NEVER used. Being Hawaii's only Pan-Asian natural foods food truck, with a great menu of dishes not offered anywhere else in Hawaii, and serving fresh delicious food, we have built a huge following of clients just by word of mouth. Come for a meal or just a snack of our delicious gelato, made fresh with local fruit (9 flavors)and coconut milk. It's dairy free and delicious. Come find out why people are raving about Lotus Cafe! Lotus is the only Gluten free & GMO free eatery in all of Hawaii. We use unprocessed and mostly organic ingredients. We can easily accommodate any food allergies or preferences you may have, as we cook the food when you order it, not earlier in the day. You can also find us on Saturdays a t the Keauhou Farmers Market and Sundays at the South Kona Green Market. Also Wednesdays at the Waimea Midweek Farmers Market.
Seattle, Washington
Level 6 Contributor
168 reviews
78 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
“For the "green eater"”
Reviewed March 7, 2014 via mobile

This restaurant bills itself as gluten free and non-GMO. We are traveling with a celiac so this was a no brainer. Tiny restaurant kitty-corner from Costco with a menu that features dishes from Thailand, Sumatra, Indonesia and India. The dishes are priced a bit high but that is probably because of the fresh nature of the components. The restaurant, itself, is in 1/2 of a furniture store and looks like a typical strip-mall type restaurant. We all liked the food, liked that it was healthy for us & appreciated a bit of a break from Hawaiian oriented fare. This is much more SE Asian. If you are a "health food" person you will like this. If you aren't adventurous then you probably should get your meal somewhere else.

Visited March 2014
1 Thank KathrynandTerry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

175 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Dublin, Ohio
Level 6 Contributor
86 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
“Not really vegetarian”
Reviewed February 26, 2014

My wife and I are vegetarians so we look for a true vegetarian or vegan restaurant during our travels. Naturally, we were interested in this place in Kona, about 4 miles out of the main city. You can only reach this place by either a cab or if you have a car. This restaurant is located across from Costco, but is easy to miss unless you are looking for it. The place was 3/4 full when we arrived at around 8 pm. There is only one young waitress who does all: greeting and seating you, taking your order in between serving others and giving them their bills etc. etc. The menu lists limited vegetarian dishes, a few Indian dishes and has many meat and fish dishes. Even the vegetarian fried rice has eggs as an ingredient. We ordered a Kashmiri vegetarian preparation, supposedly prepared with special Indian-Kashmiri sauce and spices.However, it was prepared with soy sauce and other spices, and you can order it mild, medium or hot. The vegetables were half-steamed added to the watery sauce. Nothing Indian-Kashmiri about it! To us, most dishes appeared to be Thai and not The single waiter was just too busy to even ask us how the meal was or if need any thing else. She was very polite when we asked for our check, and did complete the charge card transaction in the usual time. Our impression is that it is a nice family owned and run cafe with Thai cuisine, and go there for that purpose.

  • Visited February 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Petsom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
howiehawaii, Manager at Lotus Cafe, responded to this review, February 28, 2014
Thank you for your feedback..Please allow me to correct your misstatements about Lotus Café and our menu.

We have made a special effort to serve tasty and healthy pan-Asian cuisine at Lotus. We are the only Asian restaurant on the island using organic and local ingredients. We have over 30 vegetarian selections on our dinner menu, more than any 5 other Asian restaurants in Kona combined. Sorry that isn’t enough to satisfy you. It clearly states in 3 places in our menu that any chicken or fish dish can easily be prepared vegetarian style if you request it. We list eggs in our vegetarian fried rice as an ingredient because 9 out of 10 vegetarians order it that way, but we could leave the eggs out if you request that.

You state that your dish was prepared with soy sauce. Not true. We are the only Asian restaurant not using soy sauce in all of the Big Island. We have avoided soy sauce since we opened 6 years ago and don’t want to serve it or any other ingredient that contains artificial coloring or preservatives as you find in soy sauce.

Contrary to your statement, there is no meat dish on our menu as we only serve wild caught fish, shrimp an organic chicken.

While we strive to maintain the traditional flavors of the countries we feature cuisine from, our chef does offer her own interpretation of some of these dishes. The Kashmiri curry you ordered is made with a traditional Kashmiri curry paste that we make from scratch, using fresh ginger, garlic, onion, coriander and other fresh spices. If you read up on this, you will learn that not all curries are thick; many are thin, so don’t let your lack of knowledge show by criticizing something you know nothing about. The Kashmiri curry is very popular and well received by clients who have lived and traveled in Northern India.

Our café is well serviced by our outstanding waitperson. On a a busy night, she may not have the time to check each table as often as we would like, but most people understand and appreciate the great job she does. I am always impressed with the way our clients praise her service and attitude under duress.

By the way, Lotus would be easy to fin if you were looking for it. of course...you found it.. Contrary to your statement, we don’t think it necessary to be easily found by people who are not looking for us.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Woodbury, Minnesota
Level 4 Contributor
43 reviews
37 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“I thought my food was quite good.”
Reviewed February 24, 2014

My business partner brought me to this restaurant for dinner last week. It is one of his favorite restaurant in Kona. I had the tofu pad thai and my business partner had their grilled fish. Both were quite good and my portion of pad thai was quite large. I took half of it home. The price was reasonable considering it is Hawaii. The service was a little slow since there was only one wait staff and the restaurant was busy.

  • Visited February 2014
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank headnut
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eugene, Oregon
1 review
“Worst Thai food”
Reviewed February 15, 2014

My wife and I were drawn here last year for lunch as they can do vegan food. The food was edible and the portions small. We decided to return this year and were very disappointed. The waitress was not forthcoming with any recommendations when we told her what type of sauces we prefer.I asked about beer and was directed to the cooler. I chose a bottled beer and sat for nearly ten minutes waiting for a glass.(only two other people were dining)One of our entrees was a ginger/garlic veggie/tofu dish that arrived luke warm to nearly cold. The sauce had a few pieces of ginger and was essentially tasteless. Veggies were tough broccoli,cabbage and a few pieces of carrot.The other entree was a rice noodle dish. This was a clump of noodles drowned in a tasteless brown gravy that we could hardly consume. When the waitress finally visited us I told her politely what our experience was. Suddenly she was attentive and offered us a fried rice dish. We declined. She returned with a free piece of cake and took 10% off our bill. If you are vegetarian or vegan wanting a wholesome flavorful meal look elsewhere.

  • Visited February 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank itsinthewater
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Chester, Pennsylvania
Level 5 Contributor
87 reviews
64 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Bad bad bad”
Reviewed February 14, 2014 via mobile

Service poor, food questionable. My order of oaf thai came ten minutes after everyone else was served and was just Luke warm shrimp on wet noodles with chopped peanuts on top. I don't think anyone in our group finished their meal. Decor dark and the restaurant looked dirty. Not sure why others gave it such high marks

Thank Lynn M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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