For five days while hoofing it around Waikiki, we'd been trying to find an authentic Thai restaurant. The five Thai restaurants advertised on the tourist info interactive billboards do not serve authentic Thai cuisine. (If they don't have Pad See Iew on the menu, you know they're faking it.)
Last night we walked two miles around the perimeter of Waikiki hoping we might luck out and stumble upon a non-touristy place that the locals frequent. Sure enough, as we were about to give up, I noticed the word Siam on the second story window of an obscure looking building at the corner of Kuhio and Lewers. You can't enter from the main street ... you have to go around on Lewers to a somewhat dark side of the building and climb stairs to get to the entrance.
Sure enough, at 8:40 p.m. Saturday night there was a 15-minute waiting list. We knew we were in the right place. Within a few minutes, another dozen people showed up.
We were eventually seated, and the restaurant was packed. Décor is minimal but comfortable, definitely casual.
After about ten minutes our server arrived to take our orders. Alcoholic drinks are available for about $7 and beer is about $3.50.
The menu is extensive, with typical items you find at authentic Thai establishments. The exception is there's no vegetable spring roll. The three fried roll options contain either shrimp or pork, so we skipped the rolls. Appetizers range from $7.99 to $11.99 - a little on the pricey side compared to home, but on par with other Waikiki eateries.
All entrees are $11.99 or $13.99 depending on your choice of meat.
We decided on Chicken Pad See Iew, of course, and Chicken Rad Na. It took a loooooong time for our food to arrive, probably more than 20 minutes, but again it was super busy.
When the food did arrive, we weren't disappointed. My husband said the Pad See Iew was the very best he'd ever eaten (and he's ordered that entree at dozens of Thai diners.) I tried it, and it was indeed remarkably good.
Chicken Rad Na was fantastic. My portion was enormous, but I finished every morsel. The chow fun noodles were wonderful, chicken was white meat, plentiful, cooked perfectly, and the Chinese broccoli was still just a bit crunchy. The rich sauce was generous, amazing.
If you have a larger group, you might find 15% gratuity added to your bill. If you want authentic Thai in Waikiki, Siam Square is the only place to dine.
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