Twenty five years ago, when we first opened Lemon Grass Restaurant, we had to run down to the farmer's market every weekend, hording all the rau ram (Vietnamese coriander) and rau que (Asian basil) that we could find to stock up for the week. We begged, pleaded with this one herb grower to grow more variety so that we could cook up the dishes we wanted. At first the grower hesitated, fearing we wouldn't really buy them. So we made a deal: plant the herbs and we promise to buy them.
Since those days, we have continued with that passion, cooking recipes that help preserve and celebrate the authentic flavors of Vietnam where Chef Mai Pham was born and raised, and of Thailand where she grew up in later years. Each and every dish on our menu comes with a story and is rooted in family recipes or inspired by notable street food vendors.
Our signature Ca Kho To, or Mom's Fish in Claypot is an everyday family favorite that originated in the Mekong Delta. Bo Luc Lac, or 'Shaking Beef' is Chef Pham's interpretation of a French-Indo China legacy, an irresistible bestseller prepared with succulent Niman Ranch beef marinated in shallots, pineapple juice then wok-fired to lock in the flavors and juice. Time honored Vietnamese recipe, California sensibility.
Our seafood curry, made in the manner of Thai street food, is bathed in a luscious coconut sauce created by hand-pounding fresh spices, roots, freshly picked Kaffir lime (grown at the restaurant!) and Thai chilies. But enough said, please come visit and treat yourself to our many delicacies!