January 5th, 2010 by Brian Schwartz – Comments (6)
A few months ago I had lunch at Keo. It’s well worth the trip. The space is sleek and airy, with 15 foot ceilings and floor to ceiling windows. Upscale decor (and good service) with downscale prices. Most entrees are $9. The chef was born in Cambodia (though she grew up in Oklahoma) and most of the dishes are Thai, Vietnamese or Cambodian, though some, such as the grilled tuna with orange soy glaze, are Asian-inflected creations.
Two friends and I tried the Thai Sweet Basil (larb, basically, with ground chicken and basil leaves), the Beef and Broccoli (what it sounds like) and the Tom Ka (a Thai soup, Gai Tom Ka, but with shrimp). The first two were good but ordinary, but the Tom Ka was extraordinary. Crisp sharp flavors of lemongrass, ginger and other spices swirl and blend in your mouth. It was as good as any version of that dish you’d find in New York. Fortunately that was my pick so I got to eat almost all of it.
On a later visit I had the Thai green curry, which was even better. Usually the green curries bore me, this one not. I think that the “curries”, dishes with a lot of sauce, are a far better choice than the stir-fries.
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About Brian Schwartz:
Brian was born in NYC, age 0, on my birthday. College in Oxford (meaning cow crossing a stream in Chinese) at age 16. Law School in New Haven, Conn. 6 years travel in Africa and Asia. Haven’t done much lately. I speak enough Chinese to order food not on any English menu. Spanish French Italian too (not fluently but food-ently) My favorite restaurant is Jean-Georges in New York. But those NYC chefs would sell their soul to get the produce available from the farms around Inola. “A writer writes alone. His words tumble forth from a magical inner void that is mysterious even to himself, and that no one else can enter.” And yet, the most important thing to me the writer is YOU. Without you to hear them, my words are worth less than silence.