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A dream come true

Story By Terri Hefner Photos By Lawrence Tabudlo
May 27 - June 2, 2012

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There’s a slightly cynical saying: If you have a wish in one hand and nothing in the other, what do you have?

That’s right, nothing.

That is, unless you’re wishing for a beautiful, breezy restaurant centrally located in Waikiki that uses farm-fresh ingredients in its exotic, elegant cuisine and nearly every dish on the menu can be made vegetarian-style – and to top it off, they’re more than happy to do it.

At Keo’s Thai Cuisine, a Waikiki favorite for 30-plus years with locals, visitors and celebrities alike, owner Keo Sananikone can make your foodie dreams come true (without emptying your wallet!). And not only that, but he owns not one, but two farms on Oahu where he grows those wonderful vegetables, herbs and spices that make his cuisine stand above the rest.

For instance, Panang Curry Vegetarian ($12.95) is a best-seller, and that is thanks to Sananikone’s fastidious attention to detail.

“Thai curry is made with all fresh spices, so the paste is wet, not powder,” he explains. “In the Panang Curry, we use all the vegetables we have in the kitchen – eggplant, string beans, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, peas …” and much more, all cooked in coconut milk with kaffir lime leaves and lemon grass. You can order it hot or medium, so go ahead and spice up your life!

Sananikone adds that Keo’s will try to accommodate any vegetarian request – all you have to do is tell your server.

“Almost anything can be made vegetarian,” he says.

Wish granted.

Keo’s Thai Cuisine

  • Where
    • 2028 Kuhio Avenue
    • Honolulu, HI 96815
  • Call
    • (808) 951-9355
  • Hours
    • 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.
    • Open daily
  • Website