Review: Gaylord’s at Kilohana, Lihue, HI

by Michele Pesula Kuegler | October 7th, 2008 | Restaurant Reviews

While staying on Kauai, Gaylord’s came recommended as an excellent restaurant that served Hawaiian fare. It was indicated that this restaurant offered upscale dining. Being foodies in search of excellent local fare, we made a reservation for dinner.

Arriving after dark, it was a little confusing to find both the entrance for the driveway and the entrance for the restaurant. Once we found the restaurant and hostess station, we were seated promptly and given menus. We perused the drink menu and searched for a menu page that detailed the history of this plantation. Sadly, there was no history to be found.

Having chosen cocktails, we awaited the arrival of our server. A very friendly waiter stopped and asked if we had been helped, but as we started to answer, a waitress appeared and claimed us as her customers. She took our drink and appetizer orders and left.

Drinks arrived in short time. Our appetizer of Baked Brie with Roasted Garlic arrived shortly thereafter. The brie and garlic made an excellent taste combination and were served with grapes and crusty bread. Even as our favorite dish, it had issues. The center of the brie was cold and lacked a spreadable consistency.

For dinner, each of us ordered a salad and entrée. I chose the Asparagus and Prosciutto Salad and Chicken Kauai, while my husband ordered the Roasted Beet Salad and Prime Rib of Pork with Roasted Macadamia Nuts. All of these dishes were disappointments.

My salad was supposed to contain shaved prosciutto, however, the meat had the taste and consistency of ham that had been cooked until crunchy. Additionally, the salad was finished with Kauai honey dressing with essence of white truffle oil. Served on the side, by request, it tasted more like plain honey. Any essence was lost. My entrée was described as chicken with papaya and pineapple served in a port wine macadamia nut cream sauce. What it tasted like was a plain white sauce that had some macadamia nuts added.

My husband’s choices were no better. His salad was disappointing also. Supposedly containing red and yellow beets, he bit into what he thought was a yellow beet only to discover it was grapefruit. While the salad had a variety of flavors, it did not contain the ingredients the menu described (including the yellow beets). Finally, his pork was abysmal. Told by the waitress that it was best served medium, he agreed. What was delivered was a well done, tough piece of pork.

Gaylord’s was a major disappointment. We chose this restaurant for a taste of both history and good Hawaiian dining. What we received was a hefty bill and disappointed minds and stomachs.

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