Keo Sananikone was one of the first restauranteurs to introduce Thai fine dining to the islands. Since I have his cookbook at home and since Keo’s was within easy walking distance of where we were staying in Waikiki, we came here for dinner tonight.
Depending on weather, the restaurant opens its windows to the street so anyone walking by will be sure to look in. Even if the chef was highly regarded when he opened his first restaurant in 1977, your eyebrow gets raised a bit when a large neon sign, inside Keo’s, declares it “Hawaii’s Most Popular Thai Restaurant.”
Crispy Calamari Salad featured calamari strips, battered and deep-fried, mixed with cucumber, mint, red onion and lemon grass, then tossed with an assertive roasted chili sauce. This sounded great on paper, but the salad seemed too sweet, not unusual for Thai cuisine.
Keo’s sirloin steak entée can be ordered either with a spicy lime cilantro chili or mild shiitake mushroom sauce. We picked the former, very tart and sweet. Steamed broccoli, cauliflower and carrots were bland accompaniments.
Honolulu likely has a better representation of Thai restaurants than Keo’s. To us, it seemed touristy and a bit expensive.
Keo’s Thai Cuisine
2028 Kuhio Ave.
Honolulu, HI 96815