Guam can now add Thapanee Thai Cuisines to its growing list of restaurants. Located on the second floor of the Hafa Adai Exchange in Tamuning the 729 square-foot restaurant opened on Nov. 6.

Kimberly Screeton owner of Thapanee; told the Journal that the restaurant is open seven days a week for lunch from 11 a.m. through 2 p.m. and for dinner from 5 p.m. through 11 p.m. It can seat 58 people and including Screeton has four employees. More than $150 000 was invested into getting the restaurant ready for business. There is a large plasma television in the corner. She said many customers come to eat at the restaurant on Monday "" when most of the National Football League games are televised on Guam. "I’m packed."

The restaurant is named after Screeton’s Thai name. She was the former owner of Phuket Thai and the King and I but left the King and I in August 2004. She has more than seven years experience in the restaurant business.

Thapanee’s menu includes a variety of Thai soup and noodle dishes vegetarian stir-fry curry and spicy salad dishes as well as a few local favorites like fried chicken and pork chops.

She said that some of the customers’ favorite dishes include the Papaya Salad Chicken Pad Thai and Tom Yam soup. Because Screeton owned the King and I many of the dishes served at Thapanee are the same.

Lunch specials are served Monday through Saturday and range from $4.99 to $6.99. The dinner menu starts from $7.50 up to $18 for shrimp stir-fry.

Unlike other Thai restaurants Thapanee serves Thai food and not Thai-American food she said. The difference between Thai food and Thai-American food is that the food served at Thapanee is mild with almost no spice but if customers choose to do so they can request that the food be made spicier which most customers choose to do. Screeton said.

She said "Right now it’s not very busy because I just opened. But all of my old customers have come back. All my customers are like my family. Everybody calls me Kim."

Screeton chose the location at the Hafa Adai Exchange because it is on Marine Corps Drive. "There are a lot of people around here." Although Thapanee is located along Marine Corps Drive it may be hard to spot because there is no sinage but she plans on putting up a sign soon. MBJ