By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published May 02, 2002 at 5:52 AM

Milwaukee doesn't have tons of Thai restaurants, but there are a few and almost all of them are quite good, with dishes that range from sweet to tangy, to out-and-out blazing hot. Here is a quick guide to Milwaukee's Thai choices.

Bangkok House
4698 S. Whitnall Ave., (414) 482-9838
You may not be looking for Thai food near the airport, but you should be, because this gem -- hidden away in a strip mall -- is a good south side find. Brightly lit and always ready with a warm welcome, Bangkok House has satisfying noodle dishes, seafood and chicken specialties and more. The décor is a bit strip mall, it's true, but the food is good, the prices moderate and the staff extremely charming.

EE-Sane Thai-Lao Cuisine
1806 N. Farwell Ave., (414) 224-8284

This unassuming family-run eatery on Farwell Avenue is one of the city's best with sumptuous seafood dishes and portions that will boggle the mind. The fact that it seems to always be crowded is a good sign, but it also means you sometimes need to wait. But don't give up, it's worth it. Order a Singha from the bar and breathe in the alluring aroma.

Mai Thai
1230 E. Brady St. (414) 810-3386
Here you'll not only find the tastes of Thailand, but also the traditions in a vibrant, contemporary setting. The menu at Mai Thai is fairly large but well-organized by dish -- salads, noodles, curry, stir-fry, fried rice and specialty -- and then categorized by flavor profiles: sweet, sour, savory and spicy.

Mekong Cafe
5930 W. North Ave., (414) 257-2228
Mekong features authentic dishes from Thai, Laotian and Vietnamese cuisines.

New Bangkok
7225 N. 76th St., (414) 353-4219
New Bangkok offers a variety of Thai dishes.

Singha Thai
2237 S. 108th St., (414) 541-1234
The original West Allis Thai restaurant has been around since 1990. With generous portions and many choices, Singha Thai is a great choice for one of those night where you feel like going Asian.

Thai Palace
838 N. Old World 3rd St., (414) 224-7076
Although it was likely no secret to many, I recently discovered the Thai Palace and now can't stay away. All the "volcano" dishes -- but especially the shrimp -- are unbeatable and it's difficult to find something they don't do well. The noodle dishes, chicken and seafood are tops and the service is attentive and friendly. Gazing at the peculiar lampshades is a personal favorite pastime at Thai Palace and someday I'm going to try some of those exotic Thai fruits advertised on colorful posters in the men's room!

The King and I
830 N. Old World 3rd St., (414) 276-4181
Milwaukee doesn't exactly have a thriving Thai restaurant scene, but one of the better entries is The King and I. Their lunch buffet features all of their favorites, including their famous Volcano Chicken (which is worth the trip on its own).